As if we needed yet another reason to vote the Republican Party out of existence, John McCain says he intends to continue blocking the appointment of a ninth Supreme Court justice if Clinton wins

John McCain came out today and said that, despite his past statements, he has no intention, if Hillary Clinton is elected president, of considering the man or woman she selects to fill the seat on the Supreme Court left vacant after the February 2016 death of Antonin Scalia, continuing what has to be one of the most shameful chapters in U.S. Senate history.

Following, by way of my Facebook friend Timothy Drouhard, are three quotes from McCain which illustrate his progressively downward evolution on the subject. [I’ve added links to the source material, for those of you who might be interested.]

7/21/05: “So, if you have got a complaint — I’m talking about the left and the far left — then win the next presidential election, and then your guy can appoint Ruth Bader Ginsburg — or your woman— your man or woman — excuse me — can appoint Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Breyer and others that are to the left. That’s — that’s the way the system works.” [source]

2/15/16: “I believe that we should wait until after the next election and let the American people pick the next president, and we should consider who the next president of the United States nominates.” [source]

10/17/16: “I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up.” [source]

So, just so we’re clear, the 11 months Senate Republicans, in violation of their constitutional duty, have neglected to consider Obama’s appointee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, apparently wasn’t good enough. Now McCain is promising, without even knowing who Clinton might select to fill the vacant seat, that he has no intention of ever fulfilling his obligation as outlined in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, which states that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law.” No, he has made it clear that he, and his fellow Republicans, having learned nothing over the past eight years, will continue their unprecedented obstructionism, putting their own desperate need to retain some semblance of control over the health of our democracy.

Thankfully, as of right now, according to, Democrats have a 73.8% chance of retaking the Senate. So, if all goes well, we won’t need McCain and his fellow Republicans to provide their advice and consent.

As for why McCain chose to make this announcement today, some think it’s a desperate appeal to his base, now that the Democrats are starting to invest more heavily in Arizona, where Hillary is projected to win. As of right now, McCain is polling at 53%, but the momentum seems to be with his challenger, Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, who has climbed to 43% in the polls. So this may very well be a desperation play on the part of McCain.

[If you’d like to donate to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee you can do so here. Or, better yet, why not send John McCain a message by investing a few dollars in the campaign of Ann Kilpatrick?]

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  1. Posted October 18, 2016 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Very odd, indeed.

    In the robot future where Americans no longer need to work more than 10 hours a week, judicial issues will no longer be relevant.

    Perhaps we should whittle down the Supreme Court to zero. Perhaps McCain wishes to phase it out gradually but not confirming any appointments.

  2. Posted October 18, 2016 at 1:10 am | Permalink


  3. Jcp2
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    I also find it extremely odd that a politician would change his political statements when the views of his political supporters change.

  4. Posted October 18, 2016 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    Very strange, indeed.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    If the Dems retake the Senate, Bernie Sanders also becomes chair of the Budget Committee.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    JCP2, are you suggesting that McCain’s position is defensible because his constituents don’t understand the role of the Senate when it comes to the appointment of justices?

  7. Jcp2
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    I’m suggesting that as it is likely that John McCain know it’s likely that the Republicans will lose the Senate, that his words are general posturing to his electorate.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    I suspect you’re right about that. The last poll I saw from Arizona showed it going toward Hillary.

    It’s so sad an pathetic watching the Republican old guard, like McCain, try to stay afloat in this see of insanity that they’ve unleashed.

  9. jean henry
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    If Sanders ability to manage his campaign budget (or file necessary documentation) or create sound fiscal planning for his policy proposals is any indication of his capacity as budget committee chair, we are all in big trouble. Maybe his wife Jane can help. She only bankrupted an entire college to the point if dissolution via loan fraud.

  10. Gillian
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Hopefully it won’t matter because dems will probably control the Senate. This is all McCain is looking at. He knows there are a lot of R’s that hate Trump but are voting for him because of the Supreme Court. Now that Trump has no chance, they’re offering this as a last ditch effort to salvage voters further down the ticket. I personally don’t think that disavowing the Constitution and Rule Of Law are great ways to go about it, but there you have it.

  11. Gillian
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I think after choosing Palin as his running mate he just decided he could never earn back the respect of decent people and decided to go whole hog in the other direction.

  12. kjc
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    “In the robot future where Americans no longer need to work more than 10 hours a week, judicial issues will no longer be relevant.”

    no thread is safe.

  13. Dirtgrain
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Will Republicans put to rest that canard that they follow the true intent of the Constitution?

  14. Beth Bashert
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    It is so clear that obstructionism has not worked for the Republicans. It has pushed them to the point of Trump, a vacuum of leadership, and a divided ‘base’. Why they do they continue down this path? It makes no sense. They are clinging to a fatal strategy.

  15. Joe M.
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Did you really think things are going to get better after November 8th?

    Things have been trending this way for nearly 8 years and the flow isn’t going to change – unless the Dems can take control of both houses.

    I think many liberals/Dems were naive enough to think that race was the sole reason for all this logjam and division in Washington and the country. It was just the window dressing. For Hillary, if elected, the talking point will be that she’s a woman or unlikable (to put it kindly), but the institutional rift will still be there regardless of the candidate and the excuse.

  16. Kevin
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, since we do not live in an actual democracy, even if the Democrats win the senate, that in no way guarantees Clinton’s nominees (RBG will retire eventually) will get confirmed. Republicans can filibuster and the only way to bypass is the so-called nuclear option, which, let’s face it, saves us when the republicans have the power. We are essentially hoping that the handful of “moderate” republicans will get the 60 votes needed to confirm.

  17. Meta
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    “Newt Gingrich: Clinton’s Supreme Court Could Censor The Lord’s Prayer”

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich joined a teleconference last night hosted by the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) to discuss the presidential election, warning the group that if Hillary Clinton is allowed to nominate Supreme Court justices, she could pick “fanatics who want to impose a secular America on the rest of us” and who might even go so far as to require churches to remove the words “our Father” from the Lord’s Prayer.

    Read more:

  18. M
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Kevin, maybe I’m being too optimistic, but I’ve got to think that, if the Democrats retake the Senate, the Republicans will be more amenable to compromise.

  19. Lynne
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I am hoping that will be the case, M.

  20. iRobert
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Hillary should announce that, if she were to win the presidency, her nominee to the Supreme Court will be John McCain.

  21. iRobert
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Then, when John McCain accepts her nomination, she should clarify that she meant a different John McCain. I’m sure almost any other guy named John McCain would make a better Supreme Court Justice.

  22. Brainless
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    “Oops, I meant John McClain, the guy from Die Hard.”

  23. Posted October 20, 2016 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    Last night’s debate was a powerful display.

  24. Lynne
    Posted October 20, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    My favorite part of the debate was actually not part of the debate at all. It was when a ton of my friend kind of simultaneously and without any kind of coordination posted a link to this song:

    I was not going to watch it because I caught myself seriously considering stealing some of my dog’s xanax first. Then I decided that if I was going to need to drug myself to deal with my anxiety about it, I could safely ignore my civic responsibility to watch it. Ugh. That man sure pushes my buttons. In the end, I did one of those breathing exercises and was able to watch the debate without medicating myself.

    I can’t evaluation the debate impartially but my impression was that Trump kind of was holding it together at first which terrified me but then he lost it. I was ready for him to go full on “Not a puppet, you are the puppet, I know you are, but what am I? na na na na boo boo”

  25. 734
    Posted October 22, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    The Atlantic on the decline of John McCain.

  26. Posted October 23, 2016 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    In the robot future where people only have to work 10 hours a week, get free money newly printed by the democratically managed central bank with information from the government run central media service (as private media sources will be made illegal), we will no longer have a need for John McCain.

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