John McCain’s litmus test

John Fund reports on John McCain’s opportunity to make peace with conservatives and wonders whether McCain will take advantage of it. Fund’s column includes this tidbit:

Mr. McCain has told conservatives he would be happy to appoint the likes of Chief Justice John Roberts to the Supreme Court. But he indicated he might draw the line on a Samuel Alito, because “he wore his conservatism on his sleeve.”

No one will ever accuse McCain of that “offense.”
UPDATE: McCain tells Byron York that he supported Alito without reservation, that he drew no distinction between Alito and Roberts, and that he’s proud of judges who wear their conservatism on the sleave.
As to the conservative judges who were not confirmed following the Gang of 14 deal that McCain helped broker, McCain asserts: “The ones who were left aside, I continued to fight for. We just ran out of time and lost an election.” But one of those “left aside” was Jim Haynes, and McCain didn’t fight for him. In fact, he and his side-kick Lindsey Graham saw to it that Haynes couldn’t get the 50 votes he needed for confirmation.
Moreover, Lindsey Graham said flat out during a press conference on the day the Gang of 14 deal was reached that some of Bush’s pending nominees wouldn’t be confirmed (I assume Haynes was one of those he had in mind, since Graham was on a mission to stop him). Thus, McCain and Graham entered into the Gang of 14 deal knowing that some nominees would be “left aside” and it is disingenous for McCain to assert that this occurred only because the Republicans “ran out of time and lost an election.”
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