Yesterday I wrote some thoughts on John McCain. Today the parties have used the occasion of his death to make the case for me about how dangerous both parties can be.
I've been following along as media outlets have hosted commentators from both left and right and here's what I'm hearing:
From the Left:
"Yes, McCain was a war hero but let's not forget his faults. Iraq, the recent tax cuts, and worst of all when given the chance to defend Obama from a voter who called Obama an Arab, McCain said, 'No, Ma'am. He's a decent family man and a citizen' as though you can't be both and Arab and a decent man!"
This is precisely the kind of small, petty thinking that puts the lie to the idea that the left gives people the benefit of the doubt when Republicans will not. OF COURSE, McCain wasn't disparaging Arabs. Any honest viewer of the footage will agree.
At the same time from the Right:
The profound indignity suffered to on one of their own by their leadership is just stunning. Frankly, the fact that the President has refused to say a kind word of McCain shouldn't be a surprise. What IS a surprise is the Whitehouse's refusal to lower the flag to half staff, the comment from Senator Inhofe (R) that McCain deserves that disrespect for not bending to the President's will, and the gaul of some people to comment in adjacent news cycles on the "tragic disrespect" of NFL players taking a knee for the flag at the same time they permit this disrespect of one of the flag's finest defenders.
From here to the end of the campaign, when people ask me why I'm not a member of either party. My answer will come back to this twin set of lies at the core of the parties. They're not interested in what's right as much as they are interested in defending their team.