There are video clips floating about devoted entirely to showing the dramatic few seconds on the Senate floor when Sen. John McCain cast his no-vote to Obamacare repeal.
Pick one and watch it. They're good visuals of what betrayal looks like. Title it: Traitor takes the stage.
Now some will no doubt call that ridiculous - that McCain, who cast the vote that denied Republicans in the Senate their seven-year dream of Obamacare repeal, can't be guilty of betrayal because he's not, and never has been, a GOPer. So how could be betray something he's never been part of or represented, right?
Well, there is that. There is that point. But it's a potatoes-potahtoes argument.
The fact is, McCain still wears the Republican pin. And on that score, on Obamacare, he really showed his RINO roots, his leftist leanings.
This is how it played. Just feet from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, McCain stands, extends his arm. The chamber is silent. Suddenly, McCain cups his hand and with a quick flick, turns his thumb downward. Gasps echo and McConnell's mouth draws tight. McCain lumbers back to his seat, and Obamacare repeal fails, 49-51.
Game over. Drama done. And now, hours after the fact, voters are left picking through the news, trying to discern the reasons Republicans ceded this battle to the Democrats.
Well, here's a quick and simple thought.
What did McCain have to lose? What, politically speaking, did the Arizona senator known for his "maverick" ways of wheeling and dealing the Democratic cards, stand to lose by standing strong with his leftist friends, as he frequently does?
He's got brain cancer. He's not going to be in office much longer. He's not going to seek re-election.
Now consider that against his potential wins. Fact is, McCain's vote is no doubt a sigh of relief for him.
He can spend his dying days in open friendship with the Democrats he so loves.
No more hiding in the shadows. No more feigning Republican. No more pretending to support the conservative cause.
For McCain, his moment in the "No Obamacare Repeal" sun was freeing.
Conservatives, of course, have a different take.
For American voters expecting their Republican-dominated House, Senate and White House to honor their years of repeal promises and actually, well, repeal Obamacare, McCain's thumbs-down was a face-slap moment that will be remembered in history as a textbook classic case of political betrayal. McCain may feel liberated. But his name will go down in conservative history books as a traitor to the cause.