John McCain’s Internal Monologue While Voting Whether to Debate Repealing Obamacare

Brad Johnson
Jul 26, 2017 · 3 min read

I’m such a maverick.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The scene: The high-stakes drama that is the United States Senate awaits the final two Republican votes to begin debate on repealing Obamacare.

After Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski vote no, one more no will defeat the motion.

[Ron Johnson, who hasn’t voted, looks to be having a stern talk with Mitch McConnell. Twitter is abuzz.]

[Applause breaks out. John McCain has arrived.]

Beep beep! Straight Talk Express coming through.

I’m running on troubled and disturbed, ready to throw a wrench in this nontransparent process.

[John McCain looks around the chamber. The applause intensifies; everyone stands.]

Hell no I won’t stand for — oh, wow, friends. What a nice gesture.

[John McCain waves; places hand on heart.]

First I released a statement calling for regular order, now I’m going to vote no…

But I gotta be honest, this is making me a little emotional. Wait, why was I mad when I walked in?

[John Cornyn shakes John McCain’s hand.]

Oh, Cornyn. What a handshake. He’s a good guy. Maybe they have the right idea with this repeal process mumbo jumbo.

Agh! Don’t forget everything they’ve done to muddy the legislative process; all the lies; everything Trump said about me! It’s disturbing. I’m shook.

Stay shook.

[Jeff Flake shakes John McCain’s hand.]

Hi. I’m busy.

[Mitch McConnell half-embraces John McCain.]

Look me in the eyes, turtle. This White Tornado is about to fuck your agenda right up.

Ugh, but why do I have stand up to Trump? Can’t I be a maverick and well-liked in my party? The Senate can keep the President in check, if we want to.

[Ron Johnson pats John McCain on the back]

WTF? W-w-why hasn’t Johnson voted for this thing? This fucking guy.

Did he fly here 10 days after having a malignant brain tumor removed? That’s a negative.

I want to be the deciding vote. Let me be the fucking free-wheeling maverick here, cheesehead.

[Chuck Schumer hugs John McCain.]

Oh. Hugs are nice.

We’re being so bipartisan right now. That’s what we need! That’s how we can stand up to Trump.

No! Game time. Being home in Arizona gave me time to reflect. I was elected to make tough decisions.

Trail blazers are rarely popular. Own it.

[John McCain points at the clerks.]

Capture this, Donnie.

[John McCain gives a thumps up; voting aye.]


I just ayed! What am I doing? I flew all the way here to vote yes? After everything?

[Ron Johnson votes aye. The bill will pass with a tiebreaker from Vice President Mike Pence.]


Here’s an idea: I’ll give a stern speech about adhering to the ideals and rules of the Senate, and how I won’t vote for this bill in its current form.

Show them this old lion still roars.

[John McCain starts to speak, laying into Republicans and warning them he won’t vote for the current bill.]


[John McCain votes for the current bill, which fails.]

Brad Johnson

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I don’t know about this. Brooklyn. I write and direct things at @jadbronson