As I noted in my previous post, Senator Barack Obama, who has made it a point in speech after speech – and at numerous Dem debates – to expressly condemn the practice of “waterboarding,” could not be bothered to show up to vote against it yesterday. He was too busy with bigger priorities, like campaigning for president.
Blogger/columnist/author Andrew Sullivan, who was a strong supporter of President Bush up until he threatened to push for a constitutional amendment defining marriage several years ago, has written fondly of Barack Obama in post after post – including in this frequently cited piece, and will be eagerly supporting him in the general election, should he become the nominee. Sullivan, too, is passionate on the issue of the US’ alleged use of “torture” on terrorist suspects, which makes him a natural fit for the Cult Of Barack Obama.
Today, Sullivan made the final leap over to the COBO in his post about yesterday’s vote on interrogation tactics. Instead of criticizing his own candidate for failing to register his vote on an issue he’s made a central part of his platform, Sullivan chose to slam …. John McCain:
I’m heartbroken. Torture is illegal and immoral whether it is conducted by the military or the CIA. That was McCain’s original position.
So McCain reveals himself as a positioner even on the subject on which he has gained a reputation for unimpeachable integrity. It’s worth reading Jon Chait’s illuminating new piece in this context. I repeat that I am heartbroken. McCain has indeed been a leader in preventing the military from torturing terror suspects, and in banning waterboarding. But by leaving this lacuna in the law, he gives this president the space he wants. As president himself, of course, McCain would surely instruct the CIA to uphold the American way of interrogation, and not to adopt techniques once used by the Gestapo and prosecuted by the US as war crimes.
Ah, if only there was a way to email a box of Kleenex …
Here’s the kicker:
But we now know that there will be one difference between Obama and McCain in November. One will never tolerate torture; the other just did.
Uh … but one failed to appear on the floor of the Senate Wednesday to vote on this issue, a issue that is “core” to our “American values.” Who was that man?
Check the roll call, Andrew. In fact, here, I’ll help:
Not Voting – 4
Now, maybe I just missed it, but in scanning Sullivan’s blog today, as of this writing I am not finding anything where he issues a condemnation of Barry O. for failing to cast his vote on the interrogation bill. I did, however, spot a follow-up post from Andrew where he, after posting a provactive photo of an Abu Ghraib prisoner, linked up to several liberal bloggers speculating on how McCain’s “flip-flop” on waterboarding might not help him with the conservative base after all. I’m sure McCain appreciates the “concern.”
Like a true Barack Obama supporter, Andrew Sullivan has just demonstrated perfectly that eloquent speeches and impassioned rhetoric from the “messiah” will do just fine, thank you very much.