John McCain

John McCain

mike skliar's picture



Liner Notes: 

So this one might be a little divisive. I wrote it as a reaction to the seeming-universal "holier-then-thou" coverage of him on his passing. No doubt, no doubt, that he was a genuine hero for his war service and survival as a POW for five years. He did have some admirable qualities, definitely.

That whole reputation for being a 'bi-partisan straight talk maverick' thing, tho?..

well, yes and no, if you look at the actual facts. This tries to lay out some of those facts, and I know some will disagree with the tone here- i'm not trying to offend anyone but I do think that his political actions were not so wonderful much of the time. He did have political courage at times, for sure, but so did many others back in the day (sadly, something that seems to have evaporated for the time being).

Anyway, enough hemming and hawing, here's a quick recording , on a 12 string guitar (with a few missing strings so it's a 10-string for this!) of this song...


There was a man named John McCain a hero of the war
But sometimes truth is more complex and here’s a little more
He fought and he was captured, yes he was brave its true
And most of us could never withstand what he had to do

Applauded as a maverick of the straight talk express
But most of that was due to the fact that
all the others were so far from the best

He came back from the war, in the Senate he arrived
And caused a little scandal as part of the Keating Five

He voted for Neil Gorsuch, for a Supreme Court judge
Tho the seat was stolen, the maverick wouldn’t budge

He thought the war with Iraq was the best thing in sight
And only on his deathbed did he say that was not right

He voted to save Obamacare you hear the people shout
But he voted for the tax cuts that cut the mandate out

In doing so, he saddled us with debt for years to come
He said no to the minimum wage, the poor can live on crumbs

The big signature moment when his supporter said “Im scared
‘cause Obama is an Arab”, then McCain famously declared...

‘no, he’s a good man, tho we disagree”
But what about what was said by his VP nominee

Sarah Palin was his choice he foisted on the land
Her rhetoric goes so well, if you’re wearing an armband

She was his choice for VP, he gave her such attention
Since then we’ve been living in some alternate dimension

Yes he and Trump were enemies, but he voted for Trump's plans
Here’s an example, he helped undo the deal with Iran

Voting with the Trump white house, 83 percent
So much for' the maverick' having common sense

Applauded as a maverick of the straight talk express
But most of that was due to the fact that
all the others were so far from the best

There was a man named John McCain a hero of the war
But sometimes truth is more complex and here’s a little more

(c) M. Skliar 2018

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


billwhite51's picture

you have most of it right, but i dont buy any of that war hero crap, and i am told palin was forced on him by the party, not sure if what i was told is correct, but his mere association with palin makes me sick. he probably survived five years as a POW by the kissing the enemy's ass. there is a song i may or may not write, which sets forth a theory on the chessboard mentality of having each president selected three terms in advance. in this theoretical world,mccain chose palin as his running mate in the same way a second rate boxer throws a fight. it wasnt his night. the 2008 victory was decided to be obamas way back in 2000, when john kerry introduced him to deliver the keynote address at the 2004 democratic convention. kerry threw that race in order for bush to make things worse so that the people would vote for any democrat who ran just to get the republicans out. so obamas victory was assured, and kerry was his first secretary of state. in the 2012 race, obama got the nomination, clinton was made secretary of state , and promised the 2016 nomination. yhis was ensured by the competition nsisted of toe losers, but it backfiredecause one of those losers happened tp hit the right note with the public and only lost the primary vote because nobody knew who he was until it was half over. to ensure her victory, the republicans set up a competition of over a dozen nobodies. this backfired because all the nobody support went to frontrunner trump, a person who was only in it for the fun of it, as he knew it would be impossible to win. but he woke up like he was waking from a bad acid trip to discover he wss president. what a farce/ now, im not saying any of this is true. its just one way of interpreting the facts.

Peter Arvidson's picture

So very sad what happened, but its important to recognize both a man's virtues and faults. Nice work on this.

nancyrost's picture

"Sometimes truth is more complex and here's a little more" is a great way to lead into this (and a lot of things!) Pretty sobering litany, and the music drives it along well.

kahlo2013's picture

The complexities of human nature are just that and I think your treatment of them is fair and well done. I'm always so impressed with the perspectives and insights you bring. This also has such a great sound.