Whatever happened to John McCain, you know the guy who ran for President of the United States, yes those United States? This article could spiral downwards with the “old” jokes we dump on anyone over 60. Like “John McCain is so old he invented plumbing” or “John McCain is so old his Secret Service codename is The Clapper.” No I won’t stoop to such banal and easy silliness, I have too much class. What I am interested in doing is finding out if I should put his face on a milk carton or are his principles in an undisclosed location? Because what I see and hear is not the John McCain I remember.

Senator John Mc Cain (R-AZ)

He has started down that slippery slope of re-inventing himself and finding it is a cliff. What has happened is that his opponent in the ’08 contest has soared and he has slowly become more and more irrelevant and confusing. I wonder if it has anything to do with his senate challenge in “papers-please” Arizona. Senator McCain is on the verge of being ousted in his party’s primary election in Arizona this August. McCain is facing a serious challenge from a former talk-show host, JD Hayworth, who charges that McCain is not conservative enough to represent the Grand Canyon state.

If this is true then it makes a little more sense when I read he changes his mind on things then doesn’t remember he has changed his mind on things. How can some one who so despised the far right wing fringe of the Republican Party try and play nice with them? He is revising himself on a whole raft of measures and probably not doing himself any favors. He rejects the idea that he was ever an independent “maverick.”

He has changed his positions on “Don’t ask don’t tell” on the redistribution of wealth and embracing of right wing political figures he had denounced. And more recently he has changed his stand on the Arizona SB 1079, the new anti-Hispanic-anti-immigration bill recently signed into law.

I miss the old (no pun intended) John McCain, the man with the envious service record in the US military, and the guy who served so well for the good of the people of Arizona. More often than not, he was a voice of reason across the party dividing line. I don’t like the new ultra-conservative McCain. It doesn’t fit well. Even the little tantrum he pulled after the health care debate where he told the senate, the President Obama could not count on any Republican co-operation for the rest of the year, gave a glimpse into how deeply he must have smarted from the Presidential campaign.

He must be hearing footsteps since ’08. His political blunders during that historic campaign must still be stuck in his craw like in a world of what could have beens. Down deep he must be kicking himself for allowing his handlers to choose an un-vetted, light weight vice-presidential candidate like Sarah Palin who has since been the Tea Party darling. He must be shaking his head wishing he could take back his statement that the economic foundation was sound while Obama was on top of the financial crisis. His public discourse has changed and sharpened to a screech echoing with most of the Party of No’s members. He seems lost and with the Arizona primary just around the corner, it looks like he may lose. I hope he can rediscover himself as the genial, level-headed person we have known from time to time. Even if he loses to Hayworth and can say to himself, I was honest, that would be a great sendoff for a great career. He could leave head held high and as authentic as hell.

And so it goes….