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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Another Lion fades away

Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

George Wenschhof

With the passing of another lion in the senate one has to ask, "Who is in line to take the place of the late Sens. John McCain, Edward Kennedy and others"?
I did not vote for Senator John McCain(R) when he ran for president and often wonder if his pick of a temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified Sarah Palin as a vice president running mate was a harbinger to the election of Donald Trump.
However, countless actions by Senator John McCain over his decades in office, earned my respect.
One of the more important pieces of legislation that has been passed in congress was The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. The effort to rein in soft money in political campaigns was known as the McCain-Feingold Act because of the efforts by McCain to reach across the aisle and team with Democratic Wisconsin senator Russ Feingold.
Another pivotal moment in American politics was when McCain reached across the aisle to co-sponsor The Comprehensive immigration Reform Act with Ted Kennedy in 2007. While this bill would ultimately fail, it would turn out to be the last reasonable bipartisan effort on immigration reform in congress.
The video clip of presidential candidate McCain correcting, in a polite manner, the elderly woman who accused Obama of being an Arab during a Town Hall gathering, is forever etched in my mind. "No, ma'am. He's a decent family man [and] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign's all about. He's not [an Arab]."
Perhaps, one of his last votes in the senate will be one I never forget. Battling the cancer that would cost him his life, he would return to Washington in July 2017 after he refused to go along with President Trump and a Republican led congress to repeal The Affordable Care Act. McCain's nay vote ended this reckless effort that would have thrown millions of families across the country off of health care.
McCain was an example throughout his career, of what many Americans long for today. A time past when elected officials could argue viciously and fight strong battles for their positions on issues of importance to the health, safety and welfare of Americans.
But, who would throughout the heated fray exhibit respect toward their opponent, mindful that America and Americans come first before political or personal ideology.
I regret the opportunity never presented itself for me to personally meet Senator McCain or to have had the occasion to enjoy a cocktail and conversation with him.
I would have enjoyed thanking him for his service to our country and saying Cheers!