John Fund on the true-blue conservative and American Hero John McCain:
President Bush is making the Democratic Senate’s refusal to vote on many of his judicial nominees a major campaign issue this fall. Eminently qualified nominees such as Miguel Estrada and Mike McConnell were nominated 14 months ago and have yet to receive even a hearing. But a fellow Republican is undermining Mr. Bush’s effort to showcase vacancies that the Judicial Conference of the United States calls “judicial emergencies.” Sen. John McCain of Arizona is blocking action on even those few nominees the Democrats are willing to confirm.
Mr. McCain has placed a “personal privilege” hold on all Bush nominees–executive as well as judicial. He says he’ll lift his hold only if Mr. Bush appoints Ellen Weintraub, an election lawyer, to a Democratic vacancy on the bipartisan Federal Election Commission. Mr. McCain is furious at the FEC for a series of 4-2 votes that he feels improperly interpret the McCain-Feingold law by giving candidates more “flexibility.” Democrat Karl Sandstrom, whose term has expired, sided with the three Republican appointees against two Democratic commissioners. Ever since those votes Mr. McCain has joined Democrats in mau-mauing the commission, going so far as to threaten to introduce legislation abolishing it.
Self-centered, self-aggrandizing, immature, childish, back-stabbing, hot-tempered, ill-mannered, prick. My Words. Fund is more eloquent:
It’s understandable that Sen. McCain is protective of his campaign finance legislation. And it’s hardly surprising that he’d try to exert his influence on the FEC. But Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, says it is flat-out wrong for him to be “punishing the judicial branch of government for the sins of one FEC commissioner.” For him to hijack the presidential nominating process when several vacancies have been unfilled for over a year, and at a time when the federal government needs all hands on deck to fight a war on terrorism, carries traditional senatorial pique to new heights of self-aggrandizement.
Oops. Did I say self-aggrandizing yesterday and again today? So did Fund. I guess we agree.