McCain was a hero. Again

    The Republican attempt to kill Obamacare was instead killed by John McCain last night.

    Shortly before midnight McConnell presented the latest of his many attempts to replace Obamacare. The exact details don't matter because the intention was to pass a bill, any bill, in order to create a vehicle with which to set the stage for a House/Senate conference. With Collins and Murkowski standing firm McConnell needed all the other Republicans.

    With the exception of the two women, he'd got them. Lindsay Graham had fallen for the lie that Ryan would ensure there was a conference at which the latest vehicle to kill Obamacare and millions of our citizens could be debated. As Lawrence O'Donnell (thanks MSNBC) explained. that was meaningless. Ryan could and would have entered into a conference and then just changed his mind and his minions would have passed the already crafted Rep version. 

    He never got the chance to do what he dishonorably intended. McCain showed again that he is a hero. He provided the negative vote that stopped this murderous process.


    I just love how the two women who have been fighting this from the start, while receiving threats of physical harm and political retribution all along, are an afterthought in this story, while McCain who has cravenly gone along with the repeal effort along the way somehow gets all the laurels here.

    America synecdoche baby. 

    Not that there is anything wrong with McCain finally learning to fight like a woman. Good for you John. Better late than never. 

    Fair comment. In general.Not so sure about characterizing McCain's prior stance as "craven". 

    My Massachusetts daughter ,  despite her tight budget, went for cancer screening  she would certainly have delayed but for Romneycare. And was ,practically, rushed onto an  operating table

    Afterwards her surgeon- on the staff at Harvard- said "You may someday die of cancer but it won't be that one."

    The Republicans, one and all,  those  who passed the House bill and those who almost 

    passed night's Trojan Horse were saved from being correctly categorized as murderers by:48 democrats, two admirable Republican  women and John McCain.


    edited to correct a mis spelling


    What I think of your title, from my own life experience (and I know you rank on me on that front, but I am pretty confident I've gone through enough hell to be competitiive):

    What people call heroism is often confused with "nothing left to lose." Go with your gut, at least salvage your integrity. McCain learned about "nothing left to lose" a long time ago, this is just a repeat.

    Right now my thoughts actually come around to solving the mystery of the Palin thing: it was: oh dammit, I've made a mistake, but what the heck, let's just see what happens, nothing left to lose.

    I want to go further on speculation here. About Graham and McCain being so very close, best buds. I think they may have plotted this. See the press conference by the two of them last night before the vote, with Ron Johnson, where Graham called the bill "a fraud". Watch the actual video, it really does seem that way. 

    If so, it's important. Because Graham may very well be inspired by McCain's illness and possible death to become a stalwart against all things Trumpian. To take up the nothing left to lose thing.

    Reverting to the base story. I did not give up on McCain earlier in the week( Wednesday?) when he was accused by many ,including Krugman in a rare error, of talking a good game -in his address to the senate- and then caving when he voted to bring  Skinnycare to the floor. In that address he made a plea for "regular order"which I believe  is a term of art, as well as having a plain vanilla dictionary meaning.

    Whatever. I believe he was saying 'let's return to being a normal legislative body which considers matters systematically with appropriate time schedules etc. His vote to bring  skinnycare to the floor ,as we ultimately learned, was a vote to consider it in a  regular fashion,rather than for its substancel 

    I agree with you, including on Krugman, I read it, I think that Krugman has got it wrong.

    Especially in context of McCain coming against doctor's orders. And then if one goes back and rereads that speech, coming from someone who has been confronted with the truth of the end being near.

    Seems your theory above is backed up by the fact that his first yes vote was fundamental to killing the repeal effort definitively: he had to bring it to a floor vote and vote it down there since reconciliation can only be used once a year (per topic - spending, revenue, etc). Smart play. 

    Astute. I only saw what I thought a “twofor”:  McCain combining a courageous “lone wolf” (almost) stand against skinnycare with an implied  rebuke of Senate leadership ( perhaps bi-partisan , not just McConnell but also earlier Reid in the original Obamacare passage ?)for his/ their abuse of the  “regular order” of  the Senate’s deliberative processes.

    Because “that way madness lies”:the madness of legislation not just  possibly, but certainly,  endangering the lives of our citizens  proposed not only without being subjected to the regular committee  process but even without even time to be read by  the senators. .   

    You suggest  a third prong ( a “threefor”?).By his own parliamentary maneuver McCain well and truly drove a stake into the evil heart of skinnycare.

    As Moat occasionally says “ my head hurts”.

    Hillary did it! It was a 4 pronged attack from the evil witch. She colluded with McCain from their Senate days. Waiting in the muck like a crocodile...

    It was clear to me something strange was up when Graham voted no on BCRA and McCain voted yes and then shortly thereafter they hold a press conference standing side by side (with Ron Johnson as a third compadre) saying they hope it won't become law and Graham calls the bill "a fraud".

    Meanwhile, many left sources are screaming about McCain's vote, and it's clear they are wrong, that Graham and McCain are plotting something to try to fix this fucking mess, and they don't trust Paul Ryan to go with it. And that's why McCain flew in to vote.

    Make no mistake, it is not them leaving the GOP behind, rather, it is them trying to fix the GOP and Congress in general. Hence both McCain and Graham have been feisty towards Trump from the getgo. And Trump may finally be getting the picture that he can never synch with where they want to go.

    Myself, I am not sure their attempt to go back to the "old ways" is going to work, I still have a strong feeling that the whole Trump thing may be the catalyst to break up the two big parties and start a whole new paradigm.

    Graham seems decent and sensible. But economically I am far less laissez faire. 

    I agree. If Dems entire opposition was as reasonable and thoughtful as Graham, this country would be in great shape.

    Anonymous is us.

    We on the left need to recognize folks who take brave pro-people stances even when they're not always or even usually with us.  Murkowski, Collins, and McCain all acted with honor and in the best interests of the American people when they stood firm against the bullies in their party.   I believe they deserve our thanks.

    For sure.

    I realize I may have a problem with the word hero, uncomfortable with it, so I don't often use it except when being sarcastic, and I not going to do it here.

    But after a day to think on this, and especially after reading this (which I find a little bit over the top on Trump, since the headline has been clear for quite some time), I do have this feeling that McCain was trying to do something for the history books, my underlining:

    Mark this date: Donald Trump is now a lame-duck president

    By Steven Pearlstein @ Wonkblog @, July 28

    Remember this day, July 28, 2017: The day Donald Trump became a lame duck president. More significantly, the day the tea party revolution ended and Washington began the return to “regular order.”

    The coup de grâce came at 1:30 a.m. on the Senate floor as John McCain became the third Republican to break ranks and defeat the third attempt to repeal Obamacare, which embodied the Democrats’ promise that all Americans could — and should — have health insurance at a price they can afford. It was, as tea party Republicans had warned, another expensive government entitlement that, once granted, could never be taken away. Now McCain had acknowledged that political reality.

    Although it appeared to fall short by a single vote in the Senate, that was always going to be the margin of defeat for the seven-year effort to repeal Obamacare that had become the centerpiece of the tea party revolt. There were as many as 10 Republicans who had acknowledged that the proposal cobbled together at the last minute by the Republican leadership was so bad that, earlier in the day, they had demanded assurances from the House of Representatives that it would never become law [....]

    Or at least he tried to. That's why he told reporters to "watch the show".

    Hero ain't nuthin but a samwich.

    Reading right wing news, McCain is already out, the same way Megyn Kelly was disowned moments after any non-lockstep move. The years of kompromat ready to show that comrade X was always a traitor, a RINO, never a hero or true conservative voice. Their messaging is teh awesome. Their ethics and aesthetics are shit, but they sincerely don't seem to mind.

    I think it Is the height of ridiculousness in this particular case because: he is a heart and soul conservative, the real thing. Not a phony posture chosen because it is the only opposition available against liberal elites and political correctedness, but because he believes.

    Hillary colluded with the Russians Trumps just met with them. So what anyway. Mueller is a Clintonite tool and has found nothing at all. They are after Trump because he is so awesomely effective.

    I'll believe it all only when Rush says so, can't trust the fake media.

    For those feeling that there are two "heroines" not being acknowledged enough, Collins got some very strong spinal support that she is more than pleased with:

    [....] “It was just amazing. I’ve never had that happen in the twenty years that I’ve been privileged to serve in the Senate. So it was very encouraging and affirming, especially after arriving back home after a very difficult time,” she continued.

    This is true: Susan Collins on our plane to Bangor, gets applause as she passes through Bangor airport waiting area.

    — BLCKDGRD (@BLCKDGRD) July 28, 2017


    I like that The Hill is publishing it, maybe some other Congresspersons will see it and think: gee sure beats having to hide from the town hall meeting.

    McCain lifts the Senate

    OPINION by Brent Budowsky, columnist, The Hill - 08/02/17 10:59 AM EDT

    [....] McCain’s call to arms was for the Senate to return to its historic role as the great deliberative body, to rise above the partisanship and rancor that overwhelms American politics and distorts the Senate today. McCain wants to return the Senate to the regular order of committee hearings leading to a reasoned and respectful debate during which the rights of all senators would be respected, and the traditions of the Senate would be honored.

    The traditional role of the Senate has been destroyed in recent years.  The Senate is now virtually indistinguishable from the House of Representatives. The founding fathers would be appalled. McCain is right [....]

    The evidence he is seeing in article here as well as elsewhere

    Can this marriage be saved? Relationship between Trump, Senate GOP hits new skids.

    @ WaPo; some excerpts

    “We work for the American people. We don’t work for the president,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said. He added, “We should do what’s good for the administration as long as that does not in any way, shape or form make it harder on the American people.”

    Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) said that if the rules were changed as Trump wants, “it would be the end of the Republican Party. And it would be the end of the Senate.” Trump’s repeated insistence “doesn’t help,” Hatch said. “But he just doesn’t understand that.”  

    the 60-vote threshold as Trump has demanded would not have changed the outcome — a point McConnell was quick to bring up Tuesday.

    “It’s pretty obvious that our problem on health care was not the Democrats. We didn’t have 50 Republicans,” he told reporters. He added, more forcefully, “There are not the votes in the Senate, as I’ve said repeatedly to the president and to all of you, to change the rules of the Senate.”

    And here @ The Hill in "Republicans wonder: Can we govern?"

    “We’re horrified by the drama coming out of the White House,” said a Republican senator who requested anonymity to comment frankly on the administration.

    The lawmaker said the failure of the healthcare bill is a “wakeup call” and a “kick in the butt” for Republican senators to get organized or risk falling into what that person described as the disarray of the White House.

    “We don’t want to fall into the same soup,” the lawmaker said.

    And Trump's going to continue to troll them:

    Trump rips Congress, brags about deal-making prowess in Russian sanctions statement

    By Jonathan Easley @ The Hill - 08/02/17 11:40 AM EDT

    President Trump is ripping Congress in an unusual statement criticizing the Russian sanctions bill, which he signed into law on Wednesday.

    Trump said in two separate statements that while he favored the policy objectives in the legislation overwhelmingly approved by Congress, he believes the new law encroaches on his power [....]

    Partly because he knows their approval rating is below his....

    What is it about not doing the stupidest, most self-destructive act possible makes you a "hero"? Low expectations

    I for one have no answer for you, because as I said above, I'm not fond of the word itself, I'm not comfortable applying it to humans, just doesn't seem to apply.

    But one more appropriate word did pop into my mind: savior. Not like in the Chist myth, more like: this man just saved us from a bunch of crazies dragging all of us over a cliff. Strong leader might apply, too.


    McCain makes formal rebuke to Trump's complainin' signing statement on the Russia sanctions bill --


    [The White House
    Office of the Press Secretary
    For Immediate Release
    August 02, 2017
    Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Signing of H.R. 3364]

    Today, I have signed into law H.R. 3364, the "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act."  While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed.

    In its haste to pass this legislation, the Congress included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions.  For instance, although I share the policy views of sections 253 and 257, those provisions purport to displace the President's exclusive constitutional authority to recognize foreign governments, including their territorial bounds, in conflict with the Supreme Court's recent decision in Zivotofsky v. Kerry.

    Additionally, section 216 seeks to grant the Congress the ability to change the law outside the constitutionally required process.  The bill prescribes a review period that precludes the President from taking certain actions.  Certain provisions in section 216, however, conflict with the Supreme Court's decision in INS v. Chadha, because they purport to allow the Congress to extend the review period through procedures that do not satisfy the requirements for changing the law under Article I, section 7 of the Constitution.  I nevertheless expect to honor the bill's extended waiting periods to ensure that the Congress will have a full opportunity to avail itself of the bill's review procedures.

    Further, certain provisions, such as sections 254 and 257, purport to direct my subordinates in the executive branch to undertake certain diplomatic initiatives, in contravention of the President's exclusive constitutional authority to determine the time, scope, and objectives of international negotiations.  And other provisions, such as sections 104, 107, 222, 224, 227, 228, and 234, would require me to deny certain individuals entry into the United States, without an exception for the President's responsibility to receive ambassadors under Article II, section 3 of the Constitution.  My Administration will give careful and respectful consideration to the preferences expressed by the Congress in these various provisions and will implement them in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations.

    Finally, my Administration particularly expects the Congress to refrain from using this flawed bill to hinder our important work with European allies to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and from using it to hinder our efforts to address any unintended consequences it may have for American businesses, our friends, or our allies.


    [Aug 02 2017
    STATEMENT BY SASC CHAIRMAN JOHN McCAIN ON PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNING INTO LAW RUSSIA, IRAN & NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS BILL. Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on President Trump signing into law the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, legislation that strengthens and expands sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea]:

    “I welcome President Trump’s decision to sign legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The enactment of this legislation, which enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, sends a strong message to friend and foe alike that the United States will hold nations accountable for aggressive and destabilizing behavior that threatens our national interests and those of our allies and partners.  

    “The concerns expressed in the President’s signing statement are hardly surprising, though misplaced. The Framers of our Constitution made the Congress and the President coequal branches of government. This bill has already proven the wisdom of that choice.

    “While the American people surely hope for better relations with Russia, what this legislation truly represents is their insistence that Vladimir Putin and his regime must pay a real price for attacking our democracy, violating human rights, occupying Crimea, and destabilizing Ukraine. On this critical issue of national security policy, it was the Congress that acted in the spirit of national unity to carry out the will of the American people. And that is why it is critical that the President comply with the letter and spirit of this legislation and fully implement all of its provisions. Going forward, I hope the President will be as vocal about Russia’s aggressive behavior as he was about his concerns with this legislation.” 


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