Senate votes to limit interrogation techniques, Obama and Hillary can’t be bothered to show up

Gateway Pundit has the details on the Senate vote that narrowly passed Wednesday on a bill that bans an interrogation technique called “waterboarding” – a technique that, as GP notes, has saved lives.

The President is expected to veto the bill.

The roll call on this one is interesting. As we all know, Sen. McCain has been a vocal opponent against waterboarding, yet yesterday he voted against the bill. I presume it’s because he’s trying to make amends with conservatives. Whatever. The bigger deal I noted with the roll call is the fact that both of the Democrat candidates for the nomination for president couldn’t be bothered to show up to vote one way or the other. Hillary, of course, has been all over the map on the issue, so I expected no less from her yesterday. But Obama’s a different story. He’s made criticism of “torture” one of the hallmarks of his campaign. Let’s take a look at what the O-man has asserted previously about alleged “torture” tactics:

“The secret authorization of brutal interrogations is an outrageous betrayal of our core values, and a grave danger to our security. We must do whatever it takes to track down and capture or kill terrorists, but torture is not a part of the answer – it is a fundamental part of the problem with this administration’s approach. Torture is how you create enemies, not how you defeat them. Torture is how you get bad information, not good intelligence. Torture is how you set back America’s standing in the world, not how you strengthen it. It’s time to tell the world that America rejects torture without exception or equivocation. It’s time to stop telling the American people one thing in public while doing something else in the shadows. No more secret authorization of methods like simulated drowning. When I am president America will once again be the country that stands up to these deplorable tactics. When I am president we won’t work in secret to avoid honoring our laws and Constitution, we will be straight with the American people and true to our values.”

“Obama: Torture and Secrecy Betray Core American Values,” Press Release, Oct. 4, 2007

Sounded good, didn’t it? Forceful, passionate, dedicated, presidential. But when push came to shove, where was Senator Obama when it came to “protecting” those “core American values” yesterday? On the campaign trail, holding townhall meetings in delegate-rich Wisconsin, which will hold its primary next Tuesday the 19th.

It’s all about the priorities, you know.

What a politically boneheaded move. Assuming for the sake of discussion that Obama does get the nomination, when the issue of waterboarding pops up in the debates, if the O-man tries to call McCain on his flip-flopping on the issue, McCain will just be able to turn around and smoothly assert that if it was so important to Barack Obama, he would have bothered to show up for the vote in the first place. Advantage: McCain.

Psst! Obama – Remember, if you get elected president, you won’t be able to skip out on “protecting core American values” by voting “present” like you did in the Illinois state Senate or just not showing up like you’ve done in the US Senate. And heaven help if you happen to hit the “wrong button” …

Related reading: Jules Crittenden sounds off on an op/ed on “American war crimes” by Nicholas Kristof. And James Joyner blogs about the curious story of the McCain adviser who will not stay on with the McCain campaign if the eventual nominee for the Dems is Obama.

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