After traveling nearly across the country while recuperating from brain surgery to vote to proceed with debate on a health care bill --- his vote was needed, with Vice President Pence casting the tie-breaker --- Sen. John McCain took to the podium to praise the Senate but to chastise it, too.
He advised his fellow Senators to avoid listening to the “bombastic loudmouths” of the media. “To hell with them,” he said to applause. “Our incapacity is their livelihood,” he said. And stop trying to win, he added, without help from across the aisle. (Personally, though, I have to wonder how bipartisanship is possible with Democrats who define “compromise” as “the other guy giving in to what we want.”)
McCain said that other than confirming Justice Gorsuch, “We are getting nothing done, my friends, we are getting nothing done.” Not many would argue with that assessment.
He stressed that the bill under debate is really just a “shell” of a bill, one that he will not support in its current form. He accused the Democrats of putting Obamacare together behind closed doors and forcing it on America (which they did) but warned that Republicans must avoid operating the same way (which they have). Instead, hold hearings, he said, and get the bill out of committee the old-fashioned way with contributions from both sides.
He went on to praise America and our role in the world in ways that many of those media “loudmouths” would find painfully un-PC, and to express appreciation for all the kind words he’s received in recent days. “It is an honor to serve the American people in your company.”
Here’s the full speech. As Sen. McCain fights a particularly aggressive cancer now, perhaps more attention will placed on this speech than on any other he has given. Sen. McCain knows how to frustrate to no end, but here on the floor of the Senate today, he obviously knew how to say just the right thing.