Recently, Republican Senator and presidential candidate John McCain criticized Congress for taking a week off without passing a housing bill. McCain said:
“McCAIN: 80-some percent of the American people think the country’s on the wrong track. Approval ratings of Congress — I saw one poll, 12 percent, the lowest in 40 years they’ve been taking these polls.
And meanwhile, what’s the answer? Go out on a Fourth of July recess without passing a housing bill.
I mean, look, Americans are fed up, and I understand it.”
The problem is, McCain hasn’t been present for any of the votes on the bill in the past month. Moreover, he has missed nearly 62% of the votes cast in the current Senate. His number of votes missed even exceeds Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota who took time off to recover from a brain hemorrhage.
However, while this is a legitimate criticism of McCain, it has been used by some in the progressive and liberal blogosphere rather selectively. It makes sense to criticize McCain for missing votes, but the same scrutiny should also be applied to Democrats. Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama has missed 43.5% of the votes cast by the Senate. Back in the fall of 2007, Mediamouse.org noted that many of the Democratic presidential candidates were missing votes–often on highly controversial issues.