But McCain hasn’t been right in his endless promotion of war as the primary solution to our national conflicts. He has been consistently wrong and America has paid a very high price because of the ideological zealots of war that McCain represents.
After yesterday, I wished that the coming vote on confirmation could be the other way around; that America could somehow vote John McCain out of office and off the American political stage. The cost of McCain’s theology of war has been far too high.
The important discussions yesterday should have been about other critical issues: like how quickly and responsibly we can leave the endless war in Afghanistan, how we can address the real threats of terrorism in better ways than failed wars of occupation, what we should do about the real problem of Iran, and a very serious strategic and moral examination of our growing reliance on drones as a primary instrument of our foreign policy. Instead, we saw old men defending their old wars. That was both very sad and morally objectionable.
These are some rather strong words about John McCain and his vengeful attack on his one time friend Chuck Hagel during the Secretary of Defense confirmation hearing recently. Jim Wallis from Sojourners is not one to parse words but these are some of the strongest I have heard from him in recent months. Jim is a very strong advocate for peace and making war as a very last resort so I guess I should not have been surprised by his emotional response to Mr. McCain and his actions.
It is hard for me to understand how someone who spent two years being tortured as a prisoner-of-war can so frequently seem to want to put our country at war with others. I appreciate some of the things he stands for (for instance is constant battle against “pork barrel spending”) but his such frequent call to war deeply troubles me.
I think John McCain is a noble man but has just been mauled so much by politics that he has become a shell of his previous self. He has just been in the political meat grinder too long. He and others like him are so scarred by the political battles that he no longer has much of a concept of reality outside the beltway. I include Mr. McConnell and Mr. Reid with that same condition. Maybe it is time for them to leave politics and let those less vindictive take over the leadership. Then maybe something could actually be accomplished in Washington.
If that were to happen I believe a good part of the petty bickering now present in the Washington would lessen to a significant degree. Of course our political environment in this country has always been partisan since Jefferson and Adams had it out more than two hundred years ago. I don’t expect that to change but I hope the magnitude of it subsides. We have to find a way out of all this petty squabbling that seems to daily occur there now.