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HORIST: The ghost of McCain haunts Trump

HORIST: The ghost of McCain haunts Trump

Whatever one thinks of President Trump’s recent tweets about the late Senator John McCain, he is not gratuitously reaching into the past to sully the Senator’s reputation.  He is responding to the most recent reports that it was a McCain aide – almost certainly with McCain’s permission or directive – that distributed the largely discredited Steele dossier all over Washington following the election.

Note: It was not during the campaign in order to defeat Trump’s election.  That would still have been a despicable act against the Republican standard bearer, but more of a betrayal of party loyalty of the kind found in a number of so-called moderate GOP leaders.  In doing it during the transition period, McCain was joining the #NeverTrump Resistance Movement to undermine and bring down a duly elected president of the United States.

Although we may have just learned the extent to which McCain and his aide went in trying to weaponize the phone dossier, we need to keep in mind that it was McCain who first leaked the dossier to the anti-Trump press.  It was the act of a reprobate, not a national hero.

Having followed the career of John McCain rather closely over the years – and having had some personal interactions with him – I had long ago concluded that he was a very venal, vengeful and mean—spirited individual.

That was not my first impression.  In fact, I was initially an admirer of the Arizona Senator, and he was my early choice to be a future President as early as 1992 and 1996 – as the GOP standard bearer.  It did not happen then – and by the time he was the Republican candidate I worried about his fitness for office.

McCain’s anger management issues and his egocentric vindictiveness were already the topic of discussions in Arizona.  In many ways, he was like the little girl in the Henry Wadsworth rhyme.  “When (he) was good,) (he) was very good indeed, but when (he) was bad, he was horrid.”

To say that takes nothing away from his heroic service to the nation as a military man.  While even that is controversial in some quarters, the fact that he fought and suffered what he did should be sufficient to deserve praise and appreciation.  And … just maybe it was those years of confinement and torture that left the psychological scars that later manifested themselves.

Even disagreeing with McCain on issues – such as campaign finance reform and Obamacare – are not enough to disparage his reputation as a person.  Conversely, his military service and his policy positions do not exempt judgment on his character. By all measure, he was not a very nice person.

The beatification of McCain’s image and reputation by the Fourth Estate was largely due to the fact that his visceral hatred for Trump suited the partisan narrative of the east coast elitist press.  They were not always so kind to him.  As I had noted in a 2017 commentary:

“His [McCain’s] occasional and inexplicable lapse of rationality has been observed and criticized throughout his political career.  McCain’s opponent in the 2016 election, medical Doctor Kelli Ward, alluded to his history of mental issues when she drew attention to the fact that the senior senator is ‘… already known as an angry man.’

This history was also noted in a 2008 article in U.S. News and World Report, which said, “While questions of age and health have shadowed McCain, they have largely remained under the radar.”

Ezra Klein wrote in The American Prospect in 2008, “John McCain has an anger problem.  But not one that many political observers presumed he’d have.  He has not lost his temper at a questioner, blown up at a reporter, or exploded during debate.  Rather than a swift detonation, he has settled into a slow burn.  He seethes.”

In that same campaign, a Slate article addressed McCain’s history of mental issues in a much more colorful way.  Christopher Hitchens wrote:

“What a good time to shift the subject to the temperament (or temper) of Sen. John McCain and to hint, as did Michael Leahy in a major piece in the April Washington Post, that we should wonder whether the Republican nominee [McCain] has his tray table in the fully locked and upright position, whether he lives happily or unhappily in his own Zip code, whether there are kittens in his granary or bats in his belfry, and whether his elevator goes all the way to the top.”

The reporting of his mental stability is so abundant from his earliest political career – often attested to in private by friends –that it is difficult to imagine these reservations are merely the product of political enmity.”

All this, and more, from the same left-leaning press that would rather canonize McCain for no other apparent reason than he emerged as one of the most outspoken Trump haters.

McCain could not even depart this earth without exposing his seething meanness.  He left behind a request that Trump not be allowed to attend his funeral even though the President gave orders to afford McCain all the benefits of a state funeral, the national flags at half-staff for a longer than traditional official mourning period and the use of Air Force One – courtesies afforded to very few senators.

In response to Trump’s response to the latest news report, the Senator’s daughter, Meghan, has been invited on the #NeverTrump news shows to reprise the family tradition of Trump-bashing.

Make no mistake.  Trump does not like the McCains, and he has no reason to do so.  McCain did not like Trump and lost no opportunity to show it –now through his surrogate daughter.  The only good thing that can be said about Trump-McCain feud is that it is all rather meaningless in the big picture.  It is a political version of a barroom fight in which neither side looks good no matter how hard they try to make the other side look bad.

So. There ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Carl J Bujan

    Everyone knows that McCain was a RINO and always went against Trump and the republican party. I agree with every word Trump said about McCain. McCain sided with the democrats on almost every issue.

    • narmvyguy


  2. Ann

    John McCain tried to spread that FAKE DOSSIER to whoever would listen so he could destroy President Trump! He also pushed that nauseating OBAMACARE all over us! I am sick of John McCain! And here I am seeing him all over the Mainstream Media! Enough Already!!!

  3. Cliff Love

    He became EXACTLY what conservatives HATE about that swamp d.c., a rino PIECE OF TRASH!!!

  4. Blake

    During my 61 years of God-allowed living I can sadly announce that most of the racism I have seen has been from Blacks.

  5. Rickey

    I agree with the president and all above.

  6. Lawrence

    A good article. I would only disagree with parts that McCain’s military service is to be honored. His military record is second only to perhaps John Kerry who was probably DD’ed and yet became a presidential candidate also. Is this a great country or what?? McCain essentially played a pivotal role in a failed coup. Most participants in failed coups end up hanging. McCain’s record in prison was also questionably treasonous. As was that of Benedict Arnold. That said I agree that kicking a dead horse is not needed.

  7. Severa Wedde

    Let McCain’s soul rest in peace! God is the one who will judge him what he has done on earth!

  8. Lynn

    Why do they say he was a Hero when other men who were captured in the same prison said he was a SONG BIRD….His father sent money to take care of him in prison…plus all the Ladies of the night he had…and look what he did to his poor wife who was in a accident….! He was a real ASS-H–e

    • Joe Gilbertson

      As far as I can tell, the only thing he did that was heroic (and it was genuinely so) was staying with his men after he had been offered a chance to go home. Trump is right, getting captured and thrown in a prison camp is NOT heroic, since he really never had any options once he was shot down.

  9. ravi Tamerisa

    great discussion on this topic as this is not known to general public in such detail and thanks for the write up. I wish a national TV broadcast will cover this with Larry in the lead as it is important history to know of John McCain who played a dirty role and inspite of his passing, it needs to be addressed as a matter of fact with respect and political correctness…Please do it for the sake of sanity in America .

  10. adelyn smith

    You need to public this article more so the average person person will the truth about McCain.

  11. John M

    John McCain was factually a hateful person who, like a bee when crossed would not stop his attack on that person. He, in fact did hurt the Republican party and helped the democrats because of his hateful ideology requiring him to directly attack the President. That however should not bring hate upon him but rather what effect his long unbelievable confinement in North Vietnam had on his ability to think critically and logically when someone or something picked his constant mental and emotional pain. In looking at the past, I think he should have stepped down long ago and allowed himself to enjoy, to whatever degree he could his remaining years. Yes, he was a military hero and we should all understand that, even as we cannot understand his thought pattern in all probability resulting from his time in North Vietnam and the emotional and physical pain he suffered for so long.

  12. Fighterforfreedom

    The correct title to this article is “Trump haunts McCain’s ghost”. The fact is that the globalists used a dying man to instigate a fraudulent dossier to the DOJ to result in a more fraudulent FISA warrant



  13. Andy

    McShame was given platitudes he did not earn or deserve. He has a corrupt criminal past from his time at the Naval Academy to his Naval career & time in Congress. He was an arrogant hateful self absorbed person.

  14. Lanora West

    Interesting piece outlining one man’s opinion but the fact of the matter is that Trump is his own worst enemy. Normal society has an aversion to those that speak disparagingly of the dead. All is fair when we attack the living; they can and will defend themselves with a well deserved vengeance which Trump is known to do. Trump consistently has a knack for using the wrong words at the wrong time and what he laments about McCain is no different. Regarding McCain’s transgressions? If we weren’t witness to them as they occurred then they are second hand accounts of by gone events. Every American must see events as they lived through them in the here and now. Keeping this in mind I will say what I “know” to be true “Grab em by the pussy.”

  15. Scott

    President Trump has been Subject to Ridicule, Lies ,Back shooting , mccain just jumped on the band wagon Trump Has been 150% for the People and constantly getting Kicked from all sides Should the people get together and Set all these Corrupted Bozos Who are even going for each others Throats ,,,,Trump has already Been Doing the right thing and Getting laughed at and accused by almost every one who watches THE FAKE NEWS ! He has Obama Beat when It comes to The health and welfare of The American People ! ! Obama Is just as much a worthless Rat as Hillary and anyone who follows her There is not enough time to Bicker and Bitch The country is not safe And no one is minding the store !,,,,Everyone is living in Fantasy land and I bet if we attack the Bullshit Media On a large scale I mean This Crap Has to stop ! ! I dont have to even get close To Get The true news ,,,There are A very large number of people Who want That Garbage news Wiped Out ! ! one way or another !