John McCain was quick to back Mitch McConnell’s obstructionist plan this week, and has earned a well-deserved rebuke from Arizona newspapers:
…The Senate will be shirking its responsibility unless that nominee gets a prompt and fair hearing.
…But the Constitution is clear. It is Obama’s job to name a replacement. In exercising that duty, Obama should send someone smart. He should also send someone who has more centrist views than his previous appointees. He should be sensitive to the concerns from the right.
The Constitution is also clear on what the Senate has to do. Slow-walking the nomination, stalling it or refusing to acknowledge the need for a ninth justice are not among the listed duties.
Whenever he’s up for reelection Sen. John McCain transforms himself into a political Mr. Hyde.
A dark, angry flipfloper.
…McCain has railed against the Senate’s stalling on the matter of judicial appointments.
He once told a television interviewer, “I strongly believe that the president’s nominees deserve an up- or-down vote and that there was an abuse of that power, and we need to fix that. And we need to do it with an agreement where we can all trust one another.”
(The slapping on the ground would be the second flipflop to drop.)
… If McCain and his Republican colleagues wanted to honor Scalia they should do what he professes to do — follow the Constitution.
The idea, as McCain has often said, was that elections have consequences, and that the president gets to have his nominees approved if they are qualified, regardless of whether senators like their politics. The gang of 14 eased the confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.
McCain still has an explanation for his bipartisan stance on his website…
But McCain declared Monday that he supported the plan of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to refuse to even consider filling Scalia’s seat.
…That came as a surprise to many observers familiar with McCain’s long-standing position that presidential nominees should receive a vote — even some he didn’t think were qualified.
“Arizonans are tired of Senator McCain’s election year conversions,” said Lauren Passalacqua, DSCC National Press Secretary. “It’s disappointing Senator McCain would ignore his basic duties, and Arizona voters will remember this blatant disregard for the constitutional process in November.”