It looks like John McCain’s final fight will finish in defeat. His final fight apparently is against President Trump. Based on this article, McCain finishes looking like a bitter loser.

John McCain always said he’d go down fighting, and so he has, dickering from his deathbed over CIA nominee Gina Haspel and pre-emptively disinviting President Donald Trump from his funeral, then leaving as a legacy some fierce final words for the leader of his party, who is now a political enemy. All Trump displays is “a reality-show facsimile of toughness,” the six-term Arizona senator and former GOP presidential candidate, who for a generation of Washington politicians has defined genuine toughness, writes in his forthcoming memoir.

There’s no questioning that John McCain, POW, was tougher than nails. What he did in the Hanoi Hilton took fortitude and then some. John McCain, the politician, however, is an entirely different story.

Sen. McCain, the politician, was a wimp. Further, he wasn’t that bright when it came to policy. As a senator, Sen. McCain swore to uphold the Constitution. That’s odd because Sen. McCain’s signature piece of legislation, McCain-Feingold, was thrown out because it violated the most sacred of our rights, the right to speak freely about our political opinions. The bill wasn’t just taken apart a little bit. It was totally uprooted.

Sen. McCain tried preventing Gina Haspel from becoming the CIA Director. He failed in his misguided attempt. Haspel’s sin? Doing what was legal at the time she did it while trying to protect the country from a terrorist attack.

The irony of McCain’s curtain-closing contretemps with the president is that it is clearly Trump himself who has inherited McCain’s mantle as the leading Republican maverick in Washington. Both men have often taken on the party orthodoxy across an array of big issues, with Trump running as the ultimate populist outsider in 2016 and spouting apostasies on trade, immigration and foreign policy; and McCain doing so on just about everything at one point or another during his long career. Both are known for being irascible and often bad-tempered, and unsparing toward enemies and rivals, even in their own party. Indeed, during McCain’s first run for president in 2000 he managed to enlist only a handful of his 53 Senate Republican colleagues to support him over George W. Bush, and some cited his volcanic anger and congenital impatience (traits that McCain insists he has since reined in) as reasons. As one GOP senator told me back then, “I didn’t want this guy anywhere near a trigger.” The two politicians even share some views on the proper use of American force in the world and the perils of palliative diplomacy—McCain opposed the Iran nuclear deal as fiercely as Trump, for one.

The difference between McCain and Trump is that we always know where Trump is on the important issues of the day. Sen. McCain was totally unpredictable in that respect.

It’s become a cliché to label McCain a “maverick” for his dramatic, and increasingly frequent, breaks with the Republican Party line. But it’s a cliché because the label fits: Over nearly four decades in Washington, McCain has given a master class in maverickism, and it is for this he will be most remembered.

Sen. McCain was all over the place because he rarely thought things through. He’s been short-tempered and not that bright.

Truthfully, the Senate will be a better place when Sen. McCain is no longer part of it. Hotheads that don’t respect the Constitution shouldn’t be part of the greatest deliberative body in the world.

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