Maverick Badge Unlocked

Even in the golden age of television, there have been few moments more riveting than C-Span’s near-silent, single-camera feed of the Senate floor during (what could be) the last effort to undo Obamacare. Each expression and gesture from the chamber was analyzed and re-analyzed by journalists on Twitter as it became increasingly clear that the fate of millions of peoples’ health care could come down to some middle of the night arm twisting. In the end, John McCain — who days earlier had flown to DC after receiving a brain cancer diagnosis and will now return to Arizona for radiation and chemo — turned a single thumb down and joined GOP Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski in dooming the Skinny Repeal. From WaPo: The night John McCain killed the GOP’s health-care fight.

+ “It cracked open a new divide in the Senate, which seems to be split not so much between Republicans and Democrats, but by those senators who want to work together versus those stuck in hardened partisan tribes.” LA Times: Did McCain open the door for Senate bipartisanship? If he did that, he really is a maverick.

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