Even California’s Senator Claire Engel, suffering from a similar brain tumor in the summer of 1964, managed to have himself wheeled onto the Senate floor to cast a dramatic vote in favor of the fiercely contested Civil Rights Act by pointing to his eye (for “Aye”) during the roll-call vote, because he was unable to speak. (Sen. Engel died just a couple weeks later.) By contrast, McCain is out in Arizona, and unable even to make an appearance for a crucial vote on anything, with no indication that a return to Washington is possible or likely.

McCain should resign, and allow Arizona’s Republican governor to appoint a replacement so that the Senate is back to full strength. This is especially appropriate given the narrow Republican majority in the Senate. His absence is causing majority leader Mitch McConnell significant difficulties on close votes. (By the way, Arizona’s current Republican governor, Doug Ducey, is up for re-election this November. What if he were to lose? Then McCain’s seat might be flipped to Democrats if he passes away after the first of next year.)

The cause of this is easy to see. McCain’s extreme vanity gets in the way of putting the public interest ahead of his towering ego.