Oh my: McCain backs McConnell on the nuclear option

When you’ve lost Maverick … The man who engineered a 2005 compromise to break up a Senate logjam on judicial confirmations threw in the towel this afternoon. John McCain, the leader of the Gang of 14, says that there is no opening for a compromise with Democrats on the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, reports Bloomberg’s Laura Litvan.

Nuclearmas, here we come:

Reuters also reported the same thing:

Earlier today, McCain was lamenting the dead end and trying to explain how much he didn’t want to cast this vote:

The U.S. Senate could make history this week, but no one is feeling particularly good about it.

“It is depressing; I’m very depressed,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “We’re all arguing against it, but we don’t know any other option.”

The avalanche of Democratic commitments to the filibuster must have stripped McCain of any remaining hope. Not that there was much anyway; the declarations from red-state Democrats like Claire McCaskill and Jon Tester of support for Chuck Schumer’s filibuster over the weekend clearly showed the writing on the wall. With those at-risk Democrats joining La Resistance, how could Pat Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, and Chris Coons balk?

McCain’s support for the nuclear option will likely have the same impact on wavering Republicans. If the mastermind of the Gang of 14 says “game over, man,” who are Jeff Flake and Susan Collins to argue? If nothing else, McCain’s abandonment of the filibuster might give Schumer one last opportunity to call off the obstructionism if his intention was to bluff Senate Republicans into backing down on Gorsuch. Given the personal vitriol directed at Gorsuch by Schumer’s colleagues, however, Schumer now has no place to go. And Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump will have carte blanche on the next nominee.

Update: Reuters adds a little more to the report:

McCain, in remarks to reporters, said he had “no choice” but to go along with a change in rules ending a tradition of 60 votes in the 100-member Senate needed to advance Supreme Court nominees to a final vote. He said he would support the rule change “because we need to confirm Gorsuch.”

More accurately, it’s because they need to confirm anyone. And if Democrats obstruct Gorsuch, it’s clear that they will obstruct anyone not chosen by themselves.

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Jazz Shaw 10:01 PM on June 07, 2023