McCain’s Absurd Excuse for Not Voting to Overturn ‘Worst Decision Ever’

The Citizens United Supreme Court ruling overturned a key section of the McCain-Feingold law, the campaign finance reform law that McCain helped write and push through. At the time of the ruling, McCain hammered as the worst decision the court had ever handed down. Yet he just voted not to pass a bill that would reverse that ruling.

A proposed constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s controversial 2010 Citizens United ruling and give lawmakers greater ability to prevent large donors from corrupting government failed in the United States Senate on Thursday on a party-line vote. Among the 42 Republicans voting no was Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who in the past had been a campaign finance reform advocate.

Citizens United decision found, for the first time, that the First Amendment’s free speech protections guaranteed corporations and unions the right to spend unlimited sums of money on political advertisements. McCain denounced the ruling as the Supreme Court’s “worst decision ever.”

In 2012, McCain promised that “there will be huge scandals… because there’s too much money washing around, too much of it… we don’t know who, who contributed it, and there is too much corruption associated with that kind of money.” He blasted the Supreme Court’s view that corporations are people and denounced the Roberts Court for demonstrating “a combination of arrogance, naivete, and stupidity, the likes of which I have never seen.”

And here’s his lame excuse:

Brian Rogers, communications director for Sen. McCain, told ThinkProgress: “Senator McCain is proud of his long record of fighting special interests in both parties to reform our broken campaign finance system, and doesn’t need to vote for a partisan, hypocritical, election-year stunt in order to prove it. At a time when the Senate has not passed a single appropriations bill, the Defense Authorization Act has not been brought to the floor, and during turbulent times for America’s national security, it is unfortunate that Majority Leader Reid has decided to spend the Senate’s short time in session on a bill everyone knows cannot pass the House and was introduced for purely political purposes.”

So he supports the bill, but refuses to vote for it at this time. But he’d totally support it another time. Makes perfect sense.

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  • John Pieret

    Gridlock is good enough reason not to do the right thing! American politics in action!

  • Michael Heath

    The article Ed links to here:

    [John McCain] blasted the Supreme Court’s view that corporations are people and denounced the Roberts Court for demonstrating “a combination of arrogance, naivete, and stupidity, the likes of which I have never seen.”

    Actually we have seen this combination and level of ‘arrogance, naivete and stupidity‘ from many politicians, not just the conservatives on the Roberts court. Sen. John McCain comes to mind. I.e., his nomination of Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate in 2008.

    I think Sen. McCain scores two of three with his vote here, those two being arrogance and stupidity.

    Somebody who grades out near the bottom of their class probably shouldn’t bring up the stupid factor.

  • dhall

    McCain’s take seems to be that he’s chosen to have a hissy fit and help defeat something that he claims is in line with his own philosophy, something he also insists would be better for the country. Wonderful. That kind of dedication to the best interests of the country as well as his own stated preferences is hard to find. Effing hypocrite, through and through.

  • vmanis1

    Expecting logic and consistency from Sen. McCain is foolish. This is, after all, the man who ducked out of a Benghazi briefing to hold a `media availability’ to lament that the Senate wasn’t being briefed on Benghazi.

    The only mystery about Sen. McCain is why anybody pays him attention.

  • Modusoperandi

    So why won’t it pass the House? Huh.

  • eddiejones

    Co-sponsored campaign finance bill: 2002… ran for president: 2008… no longer supports campaign finance reform: 2014… I believe understand perfectly….

  • steve84

    Ah, yes, as usual it’s always about war. McCain should be forced to retire. He is nothing but a senile idiot.

  • Gvlgeologist, FCD

    I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising, given that he’s a member of the party that is more committed to being against Dems than for the country, but he’s the one that always claims to be a maverick.

    If he runs again, this should be hammered at him.

  • Michael Heath

    steve84 writes:

    McCain should be forced to retire. He is nothing but a senile idiot.

    Who is this entity that you think has the power to force Sen. McCain to retire? That they can wield such power in spite of what Arizona’s voters decided?

    Your point on Sen. McCain’s supposed senility suggests that he was once more competent then he is now. I don’t see that. Instead I see him operating at the same level of incompetency he always has, going back to his college days and his service in the military.

  • busterggi

    Hell, he stills stands by Palin as a good choice.

  • eric

    So why won’t it pass the House? Huh.

    Requires 2/3 majority…and that just gets the amendment to the “proposed” stage. To get it ratified, 38 state legislatures would have to approve it (or we approve it in a convention).

    McCain is almost certainly right that this is DOA legislation, and the real purpose here is to make the proposing Senators look good. But that’s not a good excuse for voting against it, unless you’ve taken a principled stand earlier to vote against all such ‘symbolic’ legislation, which McCain has not. Second, even if you believe it to be symbolic, there are probably better ways to handle it in terms of PR than what he did.