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Hullabaloo


Saturday, February 09, 2008

 
Moderate Maverick

by digby

I keep hearing that John McCain is a great hero on the issue of torture. One would certainly think he would be, seeing as he was himself a victim of it. But it's nonsense.

Here's Julia at FDL giving St McCain some advice on how to appeal to the most bloodthirsty wingnuts:

Also he should point out as often as possible that his stance on the hot-button issue of torture is much more nuanced than he's given credit for. After all, without Senator McCain's intervention, if the United States violated the Geneva Convention and practiced torture on the president's say so there was a clear and present danger that somebody might get into trouble over it ...

As the talking dog points out, the McCain/Warner/Graham "compromise" with the White House means that the US reaffirms its commitment to the Geneva Conventions while doing away with the possibility that anyone can be prosecuted for violating them (more from Digby and Legal Fiction).

His great appeal to independents and some Democrats is going to be on things like this (as well as his so-called "authenticity.") He's pro-life, but also pro-stem cell research. He's for staying in Iraq forever ("just like Korea --- and nobody minds that!") but he wants to close Gitmo and denounces torture. It's exactly the type of thing the villagers rhapsodise about as "moderation" and "bipartisanship."

Democrats will stick together in this election, I believe, no matter who wins because, despite the fulminations of the gasbags, they aren't in total self-destruct mode having been out of power for quite some time. And they will likely win, in my opinion, no matter which candidate they finally settle upon. Many Republicans actually want to lose, for a variety of rational reasons, one of which is to preserve the "conservative" brand. The last thing they want is an unorthodox Republican to win. They'll stay home if that's what it takes.

But his campaign will shape the debate anyway, particularly when the press really focuses on what great "bipartisan" conciliator he is, what with his skillfully splitting the baby on all these contentious issues. The playing field will remain as slanted to the right as they can possibly make it, keeping many right wing ideas firmly in the mainstream, with slight deviations allowed on certain issues the plutocrats know they need to deal with (like global warming and Iraq) if they want to keep their snouts in the government trough.

The damage from all this is less the risk of losing the election than the damage that will be done to the liberal agenda along the way. They know how to win even when they lose. Democrats need to start making them just lose.


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