Friday, July 28, 2017

Thumbs down

Why did he do it?  Because he came face to face with his own mortality?  I think that happened long ago in Vietnam.  Because it's a terrible bill, scribbled during lunch and barely read, much less debated?  Wishful thinking.  Because, as the Washington Post suggests, "revenge is a dish best served cold," and he has never forgotten or forgiven "I like people who weren't captured"?  I want to believe that.  Because he wanted to take the pressure off Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski?  They can take it.  Because he just doesn't like Mitch McConnell's face?  Who does?

It's not important why John McCain voted against repeal of the Affordable Care Act in the early hours of July 28, 2017, turning the Senate chamber into what Charlie Pierce called "a goddamned Frank Capra movie."  For now, Planned Parenthood will be funded, the Centers for Disease Control will not lose a giant chunk of its budget, and millions of Americans who are in less than perfect health can forget about obtaining fake ID and driving to Canada.  For now. 

The news spread through Blogenheim like a rumor of peace.  Even Lee Papa, the Rude Pundit, took the unprecedented (I believe) step of removing a "Fuck John McCain" post from earlier this week.  Pierce's classic account can be read at his shebeen, while Trump's sputtering rage can be read all over (I'm glad I'm not in charge of managing his blood pressure).  Nobody believes this is the end, but as Churchill said, it may be the end of the beginning.  Both houses passed bills continuing and strengthening the sanctions on Russia that Trumputin loathes, and the risible Scaramucci promised a veto, perhaps unaware that 98-2 is the fuckin' definition of fuckin' veto-proof.  (No idea why Bernie Sanders was one of the two, but perhaps his diehard bros can explain.)  They may even manage a budget this year, avoiding the chaos that Steve "Self-service" Bannon yearns for.  Senators are tired of being tweet-shamed and abused by a clown who doesn't know how this thing works and doesn't care; who buses them to the White House for a dining room harangue instead of driving down the street for a respectful conversation; and who talks about Democrats as if they were something he found on his shoe. 

If Hillary Clinton were president, do you think McCain (and Murkowski and Collins) would have bucked their party?  Neither do I.

"It's easy to stand up to your opponents.  It's much harder to stand up to your friends."  (Sen. Angus King, I-ME)  Susan Collins, John McCain and Lisa Murkowski did a hard thing, and we owe them.


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