Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

McCain wins

The White House has finally agreed to accept wording banning torture. Last night the House endorsed McCain's wording overwhelmingly in a 308-122 vote. Could this be because of some silent European pressure? I think having to defend himself on TV is getting harder with the torture question still hanging. I also think that this poor poll numbers have had an effect. And I notice they have hid Cheney again. With midterm elections looming, Bush needs all the help he can get.

McCain has managed to make the administration take action to back up its rhetoric.


Anonymous said...

I think European pressure was strong and getting stronger. Rice's talking points tour did little I'm sure to alleviate European concerns. The preliminary findings by the Council of Europe's investigation said that not only was there reason to believe that the US had kept CIA prisoners in and and transported them through European territory but that when the story broke they were quickly moved to "undisclosed" North African countries implying a cover up effort. Also the preliminary announcement suggested that there was reason to believe all this was done illegally.

All that would make it very hard for European poltiicians to keep quiet about this. But I fear the Bush administration's agreement to this is another example of them scrolling down through various partial measures until they find one that will shut most of the critics up. They made a similar announcement about rebuilding levees in New Orleans today...perhaps this is cleaning day in the White House political office. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

This is really a stunning defeat. The White House just capitulated, in the face of representatives who could not defend the we-don't-torture-but-we-won't-outlaw-torture position. Wow. Very grateful today. 

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

I was very psyched as well! I am especially happy at the size of the margin in the House. It is proof that we are all very uncomfortable with what went on. And it is proof that there were no safeguards in place to prevent this. But I won’t be really happy until people- like Rumsfeld, Cheney, and the like are fired, investigated, and prosecuted.

I am also concerned. Are there loopholes? This isn't a law yet. It is a resolution at best. I will feel much better when there is a solid law that has to be followed. The military code is currently being re-written and it isn't out yet. Thanks to McCain's efforts (where were the democrats on this?), anti-torture language will be written into the code. But as I said, the proof will be in the pudding!

// posted by USwest

Anonymous said...

US West asks where the Democrats were. Well, first of all the huge margin supporting this represents all of the Democrats but only a portion of the Republicans.

Also, because of the anti-democratic tendencies lately, if a Democrat has proposed such a thing a) it would have been killed in committee because of the strangle hold the Republican leadership has on things (As a Republican McCain could go further) b) Any Democrat proposing this would have been accused of cowardice and/or treason. McCain nearly was and he's virtually untouchable on this issue. Imagine what the White House mud machine would have done if Kerry, Kennedy or Boxer had proposed such a bill!

I can sympathize with furstration about the absent Democratic opposition. However it is important to know that our system is a situation unanticipated by the founding fathers: a 50-50 split in the popular opinion resulting a single party's control of all branches of government. The Republicans are using their narrow majorities to shut out Democrats in official settings. That limits Democrats to empty symbolism which the Press tires quickly of covering. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Raised By Republicans said...

Of course, over all I'm cautiously happy about this. Like LTG, I think this is a major set back for the White House but like US West I'm suspicious that the White House has put some loopholes into this somehow.

I don't trust McCain that much. He's an important figure and but I lost a lot of respect for him after Bush savaged him and called him traitor/coward etc in the 2000 GOP primaries and the man then turned around and campaigned for Bush! McCain knows the quality (or lack of it) of Bush first hand and supports him anyway. So much for McCain the uncorruptable.

Anonymous said...

Like most people and politicians, McCain is deeply flawed character. But we must praise moral fortitude where we find it, and celebrate courage when it happens. Three cheers for Senator McCain! Torture is a far worse evil than terrorism, period. 

// posted by LTG

Dr. Strangelove said...

I am very pleased to see Congress explicitly ban torture. It is long overdue. Given his record--including today's NY Times revelations about secret spying--I don't expect Bush to actually obey the resolution, but it was a necessary step. We cannot hold any moral authority if we cannot even condemn torture.