Thirteen months ago, five-time student deferred Donald J. Trump said of John McCain, "I prefer people who don't get captured." It was a gratuitous, ugly, cheap remark that earned Trump universal condemnation, but of course did not cost him either the nomination or the election. A few words of background. John McCain was a young ne'er do well much pampered, the son of a famous admiral when he entered the Navy Air Corps. He crashed four or five planes before earning his wings, and was then shot down over enemy territory and captured during the Viet Nam War being held a prisoner for five years. In the prison camp, he was tortured, as were the other men held there. When the Viet Namese discovered the identity of McCain's father, they offered to release him as a propaganda move, and McCain refused unless all of the other men were released as well! You can say anything you wish about the legitimacy of the war, the morality of serving in it, or McCain's long and appalling political career, but that was an act of extraordinary heroism, and he deserves all of the praise he has had from it since. Has he dined out off it, as we say? Used it for political advantage? Of course. But I don't care. That was an act of great and totally admirable heroism and self-sacrifice. So Trump trashed him for it. And McCain, who was in the midst of a difficult re-election campaign, bided his time.
Did McCain forget that insult? Hardly. Did time heal the wound? Not a bit. McCain waited until the moment when Trump's fondest dream depended on McCain's single vote, and then, in the most dramatic fashion possible, he shafted Trump.
Now Trump has pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and the first voice to condemn the pardon is that of John McCain.
I will offer a prediction. Every time McCain finds himself in a position dramatically, publicly shaft to Trump -- which, in light of the balance of votes in the Senate may be rather often -- he will do so. Trump will fume, rage, storm, tweet, and McCain will just keep shafting him.
Pass the popcorn.