Image: AP

The great thing about death is that Donald Trump won’t be there.

From a New York Times feature on John McCain’s visits with loved ones and friends as he battles brain cancer:

His intimates have informed the White House that their current plan for his funeral is for Vice President Mike Pence to attend the service to be held in Washington’s National Cathedral but not President Trump, with whom Mr. McCain has had a rocky relationship.

The piece, “At His Ranch, John McCain Shares Memories and Regrets With Friends,” is ostensibly John McCain sharing memories and regrets with friends, which is to say, a bit of a painful preview obituary for a man with brain cancer, overcast by the awareness that political vultures are already circling his seat. But it’s also an opportunity for the Times to extoll the oft-cited axioms of the admittedly “flawed politician,” whether or not you actually believe them to be true about John McCain: following a moral compass, reaching across the aisle, criticizing the establishment, rooting for Joe Biden, lamenting the loss of the past (generally), lamenting the loss of the past (political sanity), lamenting past decisions (Sarah Palin), and an excerpt from McCain’s forthcoming book which the New York Times has obtained, by the way:

In the book, Mr. McCain scorns Mr. Trump’s seeming admiration for autocrats and disdain for refugees.

“He seems uninterested in the moral character of world leaders and their regimes,” he writes of the president. “The appearance of toughness or a reality show facsimile of toughness seems to matter more than any of our values. Flattery secures his friendship, criticism his enmity.”

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His party is terrible, also.