Is this the return of the one-directional maverick?

“Republicans Obstruct Holder’s Path to Justice Dept.” That’s the headline of a Washington Post story about the “request” (binding under the rules) by Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for a one-week delay in the committee vote on Eric Holder’s nomination.

The story, by Shailagh Murray and Carrie Johnson, is as slanted as the headline. For example, the authors fail to mention the fact, emphasized by Arlen Specter in announcing the decision to insist on the delay, that Chaiman Leahy allowed less time for Republicans to question Holder than Democrats were given to question Bush administration nominees. The authors also fail to acknowledge Specter’s demands for more time when President Bush was trying to push some of his nominees through the Judiciary Committee.

The most interesting part of the story, though, concerns John McCain’s reaction to the very brief delay that occurred before Hillary Clinton was confirmed as Secretary of State. After John Cornyn delayed the vote for one day, McCain declared that “we shouldn’t delay. . .we’re in two wars; there’s a very fragile cease fire in Gaza. . .the situation in North Korea seems to have deteriorated again.”

Cornyn delayed action on Clinton’s nomination because of her failure satisfactorily to deal with potential conflict of interest issues arising from her husband’s Foundation. The notion that the delay will adversely affect our position in the two wars, Gaza, or North Korea is ludicrous.

But McCain was only getting started:

We had an election and, and we also had a remarkable and historic time yesterday morning and this nation came together as it had not for some time. I pay attention to the president’s approval ratings. Very high.

Are “mavericks” supposed to get swept away like this by the tide of public opinion following a festival? I wonder whether McCain is about to revert to what seems to make him happiest — sticking it to conservative Republicans and assisting liberal Democrats.

UPDATE: This, of course, is not the first time Senator McCain has expressed frustration with Senator Cornyn for not being helpful enough with the Democrat’s agenda.

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