I used to be very proud of John McCain.
After all, when you look at the historical package, what's not to like? He's Republican, and fellow Vietnam veteran and genuine war hero.
I've studied McCain's conduct in Hanoi, and have come away very impressed. John was a world-class SOB in Hanoi. He knew that, because of his worldwide visibility, the North Vietnamese government could not "dispose" of him, nor could he have a "fatal accident" so he tormented his tormentors. He gave them no slack at all. He was totally impossible to deal with, he didn't bargain with the enemy or barter his "celebrity" status for better treatment. In fact, he was such an impossible person to deal with, that he brought a lot of his beating on himself.
I get misty just thinking about it, wondering how I, as a fellow combat aircrew member, would have fared. Not as well, I fear, not nearly as well.
When McCain went to the Senate and stood up to the POW-MIA activists, I was gain proud of him. His refusal to buy in to the conspiracy theories that the activists were promoting, and his refusal to allow them to exploit his time in Hanoi, made his office the victim of violence, when one of the most notorious MIA activists punched out one of McCain's staff member in a Senate office building stairwell.
When the activists began to portray McCain as the "Manchurian Candidate" claming he had been brainwashed by the North Vietnamese, and was really their agent, I vocally stood in his defense. When the activists claimed there was a statue of McCain in Hanoi that honored him, I cheered as members of the Vietnamese community provided translations that showed that the monument celebrated that act of shooting him down, rather than honoring him.
But I'll have a hard time voting for him again, as something has gone seriously wrong. John McCain only cares for John McCain. Loyalty is apparently a one-way street. One is loyal to John McCain, but John McCain is loyal only to John McCain. I believe that John McCain is so focused on becoming POTUS, that he has sold his soul to that dream. He envisions himself as some sort of middleman who can bring both sides together, claming the title of The Great Centrist, but in reality all he has done lately is greatly weaken his own political party, damage the Bush presidencies, and severely damage freedom of expression with his campaign finance legislation.
John, I loved and respected you, but you've gone away and I'm afraid you'll never come back.
I'll not be tying any yellow ribbons around the old oak tree.