5 reasons why Obama could legit get out of eulogizing John McCain and we wouldn’t even be mad
"It’s Obama’s business whom he chooses to eulogize, but here are a few reasons why I might sit out the McCain memorial if I were him." - Dustin Seibert, writer
Sen. John McCain died this weekend, his passing engendering many conflicting feelings that demonstrate why there are levels to this mourning shit: McCain wasn’t exactly David Duke, but he was an old white male Republican from Arizona (a.k.a. Florida-lite) who held ideologies and took legislative positions that made many of us roll our eyes in the back of our heads. Last year, Drew Magary at GQ perfectly laid out the trouble with painting McCain with a brush that ignores how problematic he was only because he was sick.
Few people have absorbed more of McCain’s public ire than Barack Obama, who trounced McCain in 2008 to make history by becoming the first Black United States president. Despite their professionally adversarial relationship, McCain asked that Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush speak at his funeral, while simultaneously pulling the (admittedly gangsta) move of requesting that our sitting president stay his papaya-colored ass home.
Our statement on the passing of Senator John McCain: pic.twitter.com/3GBjNYxoj5
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 26, 2018
Even though McCain’s defense of Obama against a racist pod person during the 2008 campaign (though he managed to unwittingly shit on Arab people in the process) will last as one of our enduring memories of him, it’s not like the former hasn’t given the latter a million reasons to throw up the middle finger.
It’s Obama’s Black-ass business whom he chooses to eulogize and I can’t abide anyone’s criticism of him for doing it, but here are a few reasons why I might sit it out if I were him:
1. Blame for Orlando Pulse Nightclub attack
In June 2016, McCain, speaking to a group of reporters in the Senate, blamed Obama for not doing more to combat ISIS, which took credit for the Pulse nightclub shooting that month that left 49 dead. McCain said Obama is “directly responsible” for the attack because he because Obama pulled troops out of Iraq, 13 years after this bullshit started. It’s akin to saying that Obama is giving up on knocking down Mt. Kilimanjaro because all of his predecessors have spent years unsuccessfully chipping away at it with plastic bats. Obama is better man than me, because publicly blaming me for one of the most awful incidents on contemporary American soil would alone be enough for me to stay on the couch in my draws cracking open a cold one during your funeral.
2. Obamacare Foe
McCain will be remembered for practically single-handedly killing the Republican health care bill meant to slice the head off of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) on the Senate floor in July 2017. It was largely covered as a courageous, defiant act by a dying man who knew his end was near. But, later that year, McCain stuck with his party to vote for a tax plan that would get rid of the individual mandate and cause premiums to rise, which would cause millions to lose health care by 2019…the very thing Obamacare was designed to prevent. And this came after years of McCain sticking with the party line to deep-six Obamacare. Even near the end of his life, McCain was a politician who, like many of his peers, wasn’t entirely interested in the well-being of the country’s most vulnerable citizens.
3. Anti-MLK Day
In 1983, McCain went against then-President Ronald Reagan – himself another white male Republican who deserves some posthumous side eye – in voting against establishing a federal holiday in King’s honor. McCain was in his 40s at the time. When Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham repealed the essentially canceled the holiday for the whole-ass state in 1987, McCain supported Mecham’s decision, even when Mecham told people outright “King doesn’t deserve a holiday.” McCain later admitted that trashing the holiday was not a good move, but he did all of that dumb shit when he was pushing 50 and should’ve known much better. Like, we don’t believe you…you need more people.
4. Wrong Side of History on Many Issues
It’s not hard to imagine that a Jesus-loving white male politician born during the Great Depression and who came up in and around the U.S. military had some radioactive politics. Indeed, McCain was anti-affirmative action, anti-pro-choice and pro-death penalty, among other unsavory positions that he went back on only when he was an old-ass man. I’m sure Obama will be affixing his U.S. flag pin to his suit the morning of the funeral knowing that he’s about to deliver kind words to a dude who likely used the N-word regularly within the last decade or two.
5. Two Words: Sarah Palin
Sure, McCain and Palin’s relationship was fraught with drama, grandstanding and overall f—ery, and McCain later expressed regret for bringing her onto the ticket. But the truth is, McCain knew what he was doing as he played the political game and is singlehandedly responsible for allowing this hack to get within spitting distance of the White House and tainting our television airwaves for over a decade. Palin has been such a thorn in Obama’s ass that he should add a whole “f— the staff, record label and crew” caveat in his eulogy. On the other hand, McCain’s awful decision gave us some great “Saturday Night Live” sketches and somewhat braced us for what we have to deal with in the White House now…
Dustin J. Seibert is a native Detroiter living in Chicago. Miraculously, people have paid him to be aggressively light-skinned via a computer keyboard for nearly two decades. He loves his own mama slightly more than he loves music and exercises every day only so his French fry intake doesn’t catch up to him. Find him at his own site, wafflecolored.com.