Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

McCain - Veto the torture bil

Buckle up and get ready for the catcalls that he's flip-flopping. John McCain has called on President Bush to veto the ban on waterboarding:

Republican presidential candidate John McCain said President Bush should veto a measure that would bar the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects.

McCain voted against the bill, which would restrict the CIA to using only the 19 interrogation techniques listed in the Army field manual.

His vote was controversial because the manual prohibits waterboarding — a simulated drowning technique that McCain also opposes — yet McCain doesn't want the CIA bound by the manual and its prohibitions.

McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, is well-known for his opposition to waterboarding, which puts him at odds with the Bush administration.

"I knew I would be criticized for it," McCain told reporters Wednesday in Ohio. "I think I can show my record is clear. I said there should be additional techniques allowed to other agencies of government as long as they were not" torture.

"I was on the record as saying that they could use additional techniques as long as they were not cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment," McCain said. "So the vote was in keeping with my clear record of saying that they could have additional techniques, but those techniques could not violate" international rules against torture.

OK Republicans, line up and take your best whacks in acusing him of flip-flopping on this issue. You're going to do it because of what he has said about waterboarding in the past, that it's "torture" and it should be banned. BUT, read further in the story, and you'll see he's not flip-flopping at all:

President Bush has threatened to veto the legislation, which cleared the House in December and won Senate approval last week.

One supporter of the bill, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said last week that if Bush vetoes the measure, "he will be voting in favor of waterboarding."

If a president disagrees with legislation, he should veto it, McCain said. He said he disapproves that Bush sometimes signs legislation he dislikes, then issues critical "signing statements" outlining his objections.

McCain said he would never issue a critical signing statement: "If I disagree with a law that's passed, I'll veto it."

See, he's agreeing that the president has the right and the power to veto legislation that he disagrees with. That is what his support of the veto is about. He's telling the president that if he disagrees with it, he should veto it. People are going to jump on this and take it out of context that he's being hypocritical in his statements. He's not. And by reminding voters that he'll veto legislation that he'd disagree with, he's reminding voters that he will not swallow his veto pen the way President Bush did for the first five years of his administration.

Our largest complaint with President Bush is that he should have vetoed more legislation than he did. No Child Left Behind, and the Medicare/Medicaid reforms among them, but he didn't. "Compassionate conservatism," AKA big-government conservatism (a complete oxymoron) , was how the president handled domestic issues. Just throw more money at the problems; add more regulations; grow the bureaucracy bigger. These stood in stark contrast to the conservatism we believed in, espoused, and fought for for decades.

McCain is contrasting himself with President Bush when it comes to legislation from Congress. It also paints the Democrats in a bad light to boot. We know that if a Democrat gets in the White House, and they win wider margins in the Congress, there will be rubber-stamps galore from them. Every little pet project developed over a Democrat presidency will be enacted, and the best we can hope for is to mount and maintain filibuster after filibuster to block it. Problem is such a tactic won't last long without the numbers to maintain it.

(This applies to the Senate only, thanks to rules invoked in 1842 by the House limiting time for debate, and to break a filibuster, a supermajority -- 60 votes -- are needed for cloture to end debate. If the Democrats pick up 11 seats in the Senate, they have the sixty needed.)

So, no, Senator McCain hasn't flip-flopped. He clarified an opinion relating to the powers of the president, and that if the president disagrees with legislation, he should veto it.

Publius II


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home