It should go without saying that we wish John McCain a full recovery from his recent diagnosis of a malignant tumor in his brain. One can hardly imagine the grief he and his family must be going through.
That being said, our job here at Millennial Review is to discuss policy. In doing so, it’s important to point out that McCain’s perceived heroics are nothing more than attempts to maintain his (self) perception as a “Maverick” while simultaneously toeing the same line as the President and fellow GOP Congressman that he critiques in front of the news cameras.
Mr. McCain has had a whole lot to say about the failures of the Senate GOP and their partisan attempts to jam through a bad healthcare bill, and yet he hasn’t stood opposed when it actually came time to vote on the bills. There has been three iterations of the bill thus far. None have actually made it to the vote on the Senate floor, but not because of the opposition of John McCain, who has been mysteriously quiet when the bills have actually gotten close to be voted on. In fact, his fellow Arizona Senator Mr. Jeff Flake has been a bigger boon to McConnell and Trump’s healthcare initiative than has been Senator McCain.
McCain made a somewhat unexpected flight across the country to secure the 50th Republican vote to advance the GOP health bill after Susan Collins (R – ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R – AK) opposed the motion. Mike Pence cast the tiebreaking vote. This despite the fact that there’s no actual piece of legislation to be debated on, something a Maverick like John McCain should surely be principally opposed to.
And he was. In a rousing speech following the vote, McCain disparaged the weakness of the bill, its lack of bipartisanship, and Republicans’ need to be more transparent and allow debate.
In case you’re confused, let’s recap. John McCain just flew across the country after receiving brain surgery to remove a tumor in order to vote “AYE” so the GOP could move forward a bill that he immediately critiqued as being partisan and nontransparent. Yeah, really.
“And then there was the speech he delivered immediately after the vote. It was a surreal moment,” David A. Graham wrote in The Atlantic earlier today, “A stemwinder denouncing fight-for-every-inch gamesmanship, hasty procedures, closed-door wrangling, and legislation that puts partisan gain over helping citizens, delivered moments after McCain cast the deciding vote for a bill that embodied every one of those tendencies.”
But the irony was apparently lost on the news media, who cut to emotional journalists harrowing McCain’s bravery and wit.
Mr. McCain is going through tough battles in his personal life, and we genuinely wish him all the best in his recovery. That said, the Senator’s speech today was an example of everything Americans hate about slimy politicians talking one way and acting another. He doesn’t deserve a pass for that.
Oh, and by the way, thank God Senators get adequate healthcare to cover operations like the one Mr. McCain just went through so that he was healthy enough to fly back to D.C. and advance a bill to take away ours.