Report: Senate leaders ask McCain's doctors if he can come back and vote on their mystery health-care bill

Unbelievable. They’re dragging an 80-year-old with brain cancer away from chemo for a vote and they still don’t know which bill they’re voting on.

And it’s not even a vote on a final bill. It’s a vote on a motion to proceed. But they’ve botched things so badly that they might not be able to get to 50 without him.

How bad is McConnell’s predicament right now? This bad. I thought “moral victories” were only for Democrats in special elections, son:

Senate Republicans are so pessimistic about their looming Tuesday vote to move to repeal Obamacare that some of them now believe that falling a vote or two short would count as a win.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his leadership team are urging the GOP caucus to cough up the 50 votes needed to begin debate on nixing the Democratic health care law — even though Republicans aren’t even sure what they’ll be voting on and no proposal has the votes to pass. If McConnell’s gambit fails by just one vote, Republicans hope they can take another shot if and when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) returns from cancer treatment…

“If Capito and Heller stay as no, it’s clear we are dead,” said a Republican familiar with internal deliberations. “If they flip to yes … there will be pressure to try again when McCain comes back.”

Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are considered almost sure no’s, meaning that if McCain doesn’t show up McConnell is doomed to finish at no better than 49. And that assumes Capito and Heller are voting yes. If they’re not, oh boy. Maybe the fact that Cornyn is eager to have McCain fly in is a sign that McConnell thinks he has 49 votes in the bag and only needs Maverick to get him over the top. Let’s hope that’s what it means, as it’s too horrible to contemplate that they’d drag an ailing octogenarian across the country only to cast a vote that proves to be meaningless. Possibly McConnell’s hoping for a “Willis Reed” effect from McCain’s appearance: He shows up to play despite his physical limitations, inspiring his RINO teammates to go out there, vote yes, and win the big game.

By the way, there are no fewer than five different bills that might be voted on tomorrow. There’s the House bill, the clean repeal bill that stands no chance of passing, and two different versions of McConnell’s BCRA. Or are there three versions?

If they do end up voting on a new, hastily assembled version of McConnell’s bill, it’ll mean that less than 24 hours elapsed between its introduction and a vote to proceed on it. To paraphrase Nancy Pelosi, we’ll need to advance the bill in order to find out what’s in it. This from a party that howled endlessly seven years ago that ObamaCare, which was subject to various committee hearings and months of public defenses from Obama himself, was written essentially in secret and filthy with shadowy backroom deals. It’s no exaggeration to say that the ObamaCare process is, to Republicans, the single most glaring example of “swamp”-produced legislation in decades. And yet here’s the GOP, now prepared to outdo Democrats on swampiness. They’re an utter disgrace. Via Peter Suderman, enjoy John Boehner’s closing statement before the House ObamaCare vote in 2010.