Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) picked up the most illustrious of the many trophies he’s been collecting for his RINO mantle over the weekend, receiving a formal censure by the Arizona Republican Party for a voting record that betrays conservative values.
The official condemnation represents the latest in a series of scoldings the Senator has received from Republicans in Arizona. Republicans in his home county of Maricopa formally censured McCain on for similar reasons earlier this month on an overwhelmingly lopsided vote. But Saturdays’ censure vote, coming via the State Republican Party, marks the broadest reprimand McCain has yet received.
The resolution describes McCain’s voting record as “disastrous and harmful” and castigates the Senator for his recent positions on immigration reform, the funding of Obamacare and 2nd Amendment issues, among other offenses. The resolution concludes that McCain’s brand of “conservatism” has forced the Arizona Republican Party to “no longer support, campaign for or endorse John McCain as our U.S. Senator.”
The censure, which passed on a voice vote, carries no repercussions other than to draw a public line between party conservatives and McCain. But that sort of bad publicity can become its own quite tangible form of punishment.
Establishment GOP lawmakers quickly closed ranks to protect McCain following the vote. Former Arizona Republican Senator John Kyl evoked McCain’s own Tea Party-bashing language by telling The Arizona Republic the censure was “wacky.”
“To say that John McCain doesn’t work with Republicans, doesn’t have a conservative voting record — that’s just baloney,” said Kyl. “I served with him in the Senate for 18 years, 26 years all together, and we didn’t always vote alike, but his record is very conservative. It’s just wacky to say otherwise.”