In an editorial this morning, the Wall Street Journal stretches the limits of credibility and audaciously claims that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is the candidate running for “George Bush’s third term.” To support their claim, the WSJ editors point to Obama’s recent position on warrantless surveillance:
Take the surveillance of foreign terrorists. Last October, while running with the Democratic pack, the Illinois Senator vowed to “support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies” that assisted in such eavesdropping after 9/11. […]
Two weeks ago, however, the House passed a bill that is essentially the same as that Senate version, and Mr. Obama now says he supports it. Apparently legal immunity for the telcos is vital for U.S. national security, just as Mr. Bush has claimed.
Though Obama has stepped back from his promise to filibuster, he has come no where close to saying that “legal immunity for the telcos is vital for U.S. national security.” In fact, he has said that he will “work in the Senate to remove this provision.”
More importantly, it is Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who is fully in lockstep with President Bush on retroactive immunity for telecoms:
After Wired magazine wrote about Mr. Fish’s remarks on its blog, raising the question of whether Mr. McCain’s position had become more skeptical about immunity, the McCain campaign put out a statement saying that Mr. Fish was mistaken. Mr. McCain supported ending the lawsuits without conditions and his position had not changed, the campaign said.
The Wall Street Journal editorial also cites Obama’s recent positions on free trade and the Supreme Court, but once again, it is McCain who actually mimics President Bush’s policy preferences in these areas.
With two-thirds of Americans concerned that John McCain will continue President Bush’s policies, it’s understandable that his allies are trying to muddy the waters. But just as when McCain economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin attempted to push the same argument, the result is to just remind Americans that McCain will continue Bush’s policies for a third term.