August 26, 2010
Dear JohnBy Randall Hoven
Our relationship has certainly had its ups and downs, but if you are willing to give it one more try, I guess I am, too.
In my political adolescence, I admired you from afar. I would see you standing next to Ronald Reagan, or see your pictures from the war and your release from captivity. I was always a sucker for a man in uniform. And then you spoke. You spoke of limited government. I swooned.
Our very first year together, 1987, you were with me 91% of the time. Our first few years had their ups and downs, but you were more than 86% faithful to me in those early years. By 1994, our relationship appeared solid at 96%, then 95% in 1996. Good times.
But then something happened. By 1998 you voted against me 32% of the time. For the next ten years, you would be against me more than 25% of the time. And in 2008 you voted against me 37% of the time. Sure, my enemies were against me almost all the time. But you're supposed to be on my side, John.
What's worse, you entered serious relationships with other men: Feingold, Lieberman, even Ted Kennedy. Ted Kennedy! And you went along with the crowd who thinks cow farts are more influential than sun activity on the earth's temperatures. I thought you might have a serious Alzheimer's problem, John.
Then you spoke against my family. You said, "I think, frankly, the problem was with a Republican Congress."
John, I know my family isn't perfect, but my family won the presidency with the most electoral votes in history. It then ended the Cold War, cut taxes, and reversed the growth trend of government. My family took the House of Representatives in 1994 for the first time in forty years. It then ended welfare, cut capital gains taxes, cut spending to its lowest fraction of the economy since 1966, and ran surpluses. Surpluses!
With your infidelities, your relationships with other men, your badmouthing my family, I thought it was the end, John. But you did one more thing to keep my hopes alive: you asked that dear girl from Alaska to help you. It was enough to restore my faith in you. It was the first hint in years that maybe something of the old John I knew still beat in your heart. I even sent you money.
Then you did just about the stupidest thing a man could ever do: you voted for a near-trillion-dollar "bailout" of banks just one month before the biggest election of your life. And worse, you criticized my own family members if they didn't also vote for it. And all this time, I thought you cared about earmarks and fiscal responsibility.
I have a confession to make, John. I voted for Bob Barr instead of you. (I don't love him, John. It was a one-election-night stand.)
I can't say that I'm sorry about that, either. You treated me like dirt for about a decade straight. Was it all that attention, or strange new respect, you got when you went out on the town in D.C. or New York and bad-mouthed my family or acted like I was the crazy one? Did you really think they would love you for the long haul, John? I tried to tell you they were just using you to hurt me, but you wouldn't listen.
Well, 2008 was a bad year, John. I guess that's an understatement, with what we know now.
I know that you've tried to reform. In 2009, you were with me 96% of the time. That's the most time you've spent with me since our blissful days in 1994. But I can't be sure anymore, John. Also, I know you are on the "comeback" after that awful rejection by the other voters in 2008. I don't want that kind of relationship. I've been hurt too much. How can I know you'll stay faithful this time?
That nice girl from Alaska still seems to believe in you, so maybe I can give you another chance, too. I actually kind of liked that Hayworth guy, but the way you kicked his butt was kind of cute. Am I a sucker for the playground caveman? You know, I confess I thought it was cute when you used to rail against ethanol subsidies even when all your friends were against you.
When you voted against that prescription coverage under Medicare, the stupidest thing my family ever did, I almost thought I could love you again. I want that John back, John.
I never wanted to settle for the Hayworths of the world. What I really wanted was the old John. The John who stood next to Reagan. The John who stood with the other prisoners of war. The John who walked off that tarmac in 1973.
So I'm willing to give it one more try if you are. But please, no more crazy talk with the cow farts. No more relationships with Feingold or anyone like that. No more of this "bi" talk. I know I can't expect purity, John, but how about a good 90% or better? And don't forget your vow -- to remain faithful to the Constitution. You said "I do" to that vow the first time many years ago. It still means something, to both of us.
If we are to get back together, I have one condition and one warning. First, your daughter is going to have to find her own place to stay. And secondly, remember that hell hath no fury like a voter scorned.
Randall Hoven is the creator of Graph of the Day. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or via his website, randallhoven.com.
[McCain's ACU scores in the U.S. Senate, 1987 through 2009: 91, 80, 93, 87, 86, 85, 83, 96, 91, 95, N/A, 68, 77, 81, 68, 78, 80, 72, 80, 65, 80, 63, 96]