Sen John McCain, R-Arizona, former Navy pilot, prisoner of war, and twice failed presidential candidate has the awful knowledge that he is going to die soon. The approaching abyss must daunt even a man of his considerable courage. On the other hand, McCain has time to prepare, to put his affairs in order, to say goodbye to family and friends, and, being who he is, to start settling scores.

Not inviting President Trump to the funeral would seem to be ungracious, no matter what McCain thinks of the man as a human being and as a president. To be sure Trump was rude to him as well, with that statement about preferring war heroes who had not been captured.

Still, forgiveness is a virtue and McCain is inviting the two men who beat him to the presidency, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, to not only attend but to give eulogies.

On the other hand, eyebrows are rising, and faces are hitting palms about what McCain said about Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska who he elevated to the national stage by making her his running mate in 2008. The depths of ingratitude and political folly is making it hard for many people to mourn McCain’s passing.

McCain now regrets making Palin his running mate

Apparently, in his new memoirs, McCain regrets choosing Sarah Palin to be his running mate in 2008, preferring now to have picked Joe Lieberman, the former Democratic senator from Connecticut who was obliged to serve out his last term as an independent for being insufficiently liberal.

McCain had been warned off Lieberman because he was not pro-life, an absolute disqualifier for many Republican voters. He chose Palin, then a young, reformist governor of Alaska who had taken on oil company influence in her state and was considered, in many ways, as much of a maverick as McCain was.

What Palin must be feeling now

At the time, the choice of the charismatic Governor Palin seemed to have been an outside the box masterstroke. McCain surged in the polls, and it appeared that his ticket might just pull out an upset against Barack Obama, despite the economic downturn and the unpopular war in Iraq. However, McCain and her team made a number of unforced errors, such as suspending the campaign as the economy teetered on the brink of disaster.

McCain’s campaign staff moved to undermine Palin, considering her to be more popular than the man on top of the ticket. The Democrats proceeded to destroy the governor, painting her as a kind of psycho bimbo who should not be allowed near the levers of power.

Palin became a national figure after 2008, becoming a leader of the Tea Party movement that helped to recapture the Congress for the Republican Party and blunt the power of the Obama administration. However, she paid a hefty price on her reputation and her family as she became a target of an unrelenting and remorseless campaign of smears and attacks from the Democrats, the media, and even Hollywood, which produced a scurrilous HBO movie about her role in the 2008 campaign.

Palin has always been loyal to McCain, even though many people consider him a RINO, Republican in Name Only. Now the senior senator from Arizona, soon to be with the ages, has repaid her with ingratitude. What she must be feeling right now must be well-nigh indescribable. Et te John McCain?