August 10, 2017
Will John McCain copy Ted Kennedy?
John McCain had told reporters that his vote depended upon House speaker Paul Ryan assuring him that the skinny bill would not become law, that it would go to conference. The speaker gave that assurance publicly. Later that evening, reporters asked McCain how he was going to vote. He told them to "watch the show." In the early hours of Friday morning, forty-nine Republicans voted for repeal. The deciding fiftieth vote was John McCain's. All eyes were on him as he entered the room and walked to the well. McCain slowly raised his right hand, as if to call for silence (an unnecessary gesture, since the room was quiet already). Then, like Emperor Tiberius deciding the fate of a fallen gladiator, he turned his thumb down. Wrong digit in the wrong direction, but his message was clear. McCain's performance had nothing to do with health care and the millions of people who suffer under it. This was about drama in the...(Read Full Post)