Hugh Hewitt responds to Byron York’s claim that Senator McCain is well on his way to rehabilitating himself with his party’s conservative base. York acknowledges that many party loyalists were angry at McCain for joining the gang of 14, and thus helping to preserve the Democrats’ right to filibuster nominees whom they can’t defeat in an up-or-down vote. But York argues this compromise probably won’t hurt McCain because a number of conservative nominees were confirmed following the deal, and McCain reserved the right to break any future Democratic filibuster. Hugh responds, correctly, that several good nominees have been left twisting in the wind due to the actions of the gang of 14 — Brett Kavanaugh and William James Haynes, for example. However, my sense is that, as long as Judge Alito is confirmed, the gang of 14 escapade will not, in itself, hurt McCain among conservatives.
On the other hand, Hugh may well be right on his larger point — “GOP primary voters aren’t going to rally to a candidate who has spent his career undercutting the party at crucial moments.”