Wait, this can’t be real. John McCain, who hates President Obama and ObamaCare almost as much as he loves being a Republican, shockingly came back to the Senate in the middle of brain cancer treatment just so he could cast the deciding vote in the latest Republican effort to kill ObamaCare. But then McCain ended up being the deciding vote to save it? There’s got to be a glitch in the matrix. And yet this is very much happening in front of us.
McCain managed to confuse everyone on both sides of the aisle when he gave an impassioned speech this week about how much he despised the procedure that the Republicans were using to try to ram through the ObamaCare repeal – but then he cast the deciding vote to move forward with the repeal process anyway. But then, even as the Republican leadership was scheduling a vote in the middle of the night to try to pass their latest “repeal and replace” effort because they believed they had the votes, McCain decided to go the other way. He really did cast the deciding vote to kill TrumpCare and save ObamaCare.
So what the heck was John McCain doing this week? There will be at least a few theories kicked around. One will be that he was so outraged at Mitch McConnell’s flouting of Senate rules, he came back to the Senate and voted yes on McConnell’s procedure just so he could teach him a lesson by voting no on the bill itself. Another more cynical theory will be that McCain engineered all of this just so he could play hero by putting himself in position to cast the deciding vote that killed a piece of legislation that only had 17% public support, while screwing his nemesis Donald Trump in the process.
The bizarre part, of course, is that if McCain had simply stayed home, the outcome would have ultimately been the same. By showing up, he made no difference in the vote. But whatever the reason behind why he showed up to vote against a TrumpCare bill that he could have killed just by staying in bed, the bottom line is he did indeed kill it. John McCain, in what might well end up being the final act of his political life, cast the deciding vote to save ObamaCare. Typing those words doesn’t even make sense. There must be a glitch in the matrix.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report