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What McCain Built (Trump’s Presidency)

What if John McCain hadn’t run for president in 2008? Donald Trump might not be sitting in the White House today. 🇺🇸

Cartoon by Pia Guerra.

At first glance, that might sound odd. The six-term Republican senator, who passed away Saturday, has been hailed as an outspoken opponent of the president, while Trump himself despised McCain and famously claimed the former prisoner of the Vietcong was “not a war hero.”

McCain has also been held up, by both right and left alike, as an exemplar of political civility, integrity, and decency; a nonracist Republican; theanti-Trump. Bernie Sanders called him “a man of decency and honor;” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised him as an “unparalleled example of human decency.”

Remember: The hate-mongering, race-baiting, Trump-precursing 2008 presidential campaign — against the first black Democratic nominee for the White House. How have the vitriol and smears of a decade ago been so easily forgotten by his eulogizers? So casually consigned to the media memory hole?

Remember: McCain introduced the loathsome Palin to the world in August 2008, when he plucked her from Alaskan obscurity and made her his running mate. In doing so, he granted prestige, influence, and credibility to a know-nothing demagogue and conspiracy theorist; a woman who thrived on racial and cultural resentment and would later become a leading figure in both the tea party and the “birther” movement. Sound familiar? Palin, as the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wrote in 2016, was “politically, the Mother of Trump.” Full Story