Today, The Washington Times has a headline declaring, “McCain refuses to pander“:
Perhaps The Washington Times missed yesterday’s Senate floor action, when the straight talk express voted against a ban on waterboarding. McCain, a former prisoner of war, has spoken out strongly in favor of establishing a single interrogation standard as articulated in the Army Field Manual, which bans waterboarding. But yesterday, he joined his fellow hardline conservatives and voted “no.”
That vote wasn’t the only time McCain has put politics over principles in an effort appease the right wing. Some other examples from recent weeks:
— Pander On Tax Cuts: In 2001, McCain was one of just two GOP senators to vote against Bush’s destructive tax cuts. Now, however, McCain makes a point of touting his support for making Bush’s tax cuts permanent.
— Pander On Stimulus: For the past few months, McCain has been declaring that passing an economic stimulus package is at the very top of his agenda. Yet when the Senate voted earlier this month on a generous bill providing increased assistance to seniors and veterans, McCain skipped the vote. The bill fell just one vote short of passage, a victory for the far right.
— Pander To Karl Rove: In the 2000 presidential campaign, Karl Rove launched vicious smear tactics against McCain on behalf of Bush’s campaign. Recently, however, McCain has embraced the right-wing political operative. He said that he has “always respected Karl Rove as one of the smart great political minds I think in American politics” and specifically refused to condemn Rove’s partisan smears.
Pander is increasingly what McCain does best.
UPDATE: Climate Progress has more.