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 FiveThirtyEight.com, 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?]