James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain, Keating and Willy Loman

The Oct. 9, 1999, edition of the Phoenix newspaper, the Arizona Republic, the state's largest newspaper, carried a column by Bill Muller, setting out in somewhat more than ordinary detail the long and mutually helpful association of John McCain with Charles Keating.

Keating was the savings and loan shark who was known for buying members of the Senate and thumbing his nose at government regulators, which he could do because his senators, including McCain, protected him. Keating ultimately went to prison. You can find the article on line, and it is very much worth looking at if you have forgotten or are too young to remember the ugliness of that scandal.

The Nov. 29, 1989, issue of the Phonix New Times, had a more opinionated – one might say angry -- piece by a writer named Tom Fitzpatrick on McCain's misdeeds with and on behalf of Keating. Written as a letter to McCain, the piece (1989, remember) is noteworthy in part because of these three sentences: “You won't let anyone forget that you were a prisoner of war. But you have played that tune too long. By now your constant reminders about your war record make you seem like a modern version of Arthur Miller's tragic failure Willy Loman.”