Even as he proceeds to go kicking and screaming into that good night, Sen John McCain, R-Arizona, is creating controversy. The latest kerfuffle happened when a White House staffer made a crass remark about the elderly senator and war hero dying. The statement, which was leaked to the media, has caused spasms of outrage and horror. McCain, as his friends and defenders often remind us, endured torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese. Therefore the question arises, why is he depicted as such a snowflake that words are an unbearable affront? McCain chose the profession of politics and part of the job description is to receive insults.

And it should be noted that he had given as good as he has gotten.

Is John McCain the single greatest political leader of our time?

One curious phenomenon surrounding McCain’s long goodbye is the tendency on the left to heap copious amounts of praise on him. No more copious was the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who proclaimed McCain the “single greatest political leader of our time.” It would have been nice if the media had been so generous when he was running for president in 2008.

While McCain is a very flawed politician and a man with more than his share of faults, he would have made a better president than Barack Obama did. But just about anyone in the Republican party would have been a better candidate than McCain, chief among them his running mate, Sarah Palin, whom he so crassly dissed recently. Palin, showing more grace than the senator deserved, refused to hit back, in turn, returning treachery with kindness and class.

What to do about a problem like John McCain

Giving a dying man insults and jibes demonstrates a lack of class. However, the country can let the senator from Arizona and twice failed presidential candidate know how it really feels about him by denying McCain a final victory. McCain has issued a plea to the Senate not to confirm Gina Haspel as director of Central Intelligence.

With at least two Democrats signaling that they will vote in favor of her confirmation, it looks like the senator will be denied his last, dying wish. It is just as well. Waterboarding would have been an afternoon’s recreation compared to the horrors McCain endured while locked up in the Hanoi Hilton. To pretend otherwise showed that, not for the first time, the senator was allowing his ego to override his judgment.

In any case, two groups of people will mourn McCain’s passing. One is his family and friends. But the other consists of people who write about politics. If nothing else, the senator from Arizona was an endless source of great copy.