Saturday, May 13, 2006

Fold, Bluff Or Raise?

What will he do? He wants to be president. I wonder what kind of internal polling he has been doing. That should give us a clue as to whether his principles mean anything. He has been very quiet about torture lately.
Maverick -- or panderer? | "If nothing else, the marriage amendment provides a test for the most politically ambitious Republican senators -- notably Majority Leader Bill Frist, who promised evangelical conservatives last winter that he would bring the amendment to a vote before the summer recess, and Sen. John McCain, whose principled opposition to the amendment is now an obstacle to any rapprochement with the religious right.

For McCain, the issue of the marriage amendment has risen again at a particularly inconvenient moment. As he moves toward a presidential campaign in 2008, his dilemma is whether to pander to the right, and thus destroy his centrist 'maverick' image, or uphold principle and damage his prospects in the Republican primaries."
Should he stay or should he go? I'll bet he loses sleep over the prospect.
That moment was among the Arizona senator's best in recent years, when he has since spent so much time debasing himself for a president whose henchmen once tried to drown him and his family in campaign filth. "The constitutional amendment we're debating today strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans," McCain said during the floor debate. "It usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them." He vowed to change his position only if federal judges invalidated state marriage laws, forcing the states to recognize gay nuptials.

Now Perkins and other religious-right leaders complain that McCain is ducking even that commitment. "Although Senator McCain holds claim to the 'Straight Talk Express,' we are confused about his commitment to protect marriage," Perkins said in a recent press release. "Two years ago, the Senator opposed a marriage amendment because he felt that state marriage amendments would survive federal court challenges. However, since then we've seen Nebraska's marriage amendment struck down and other state amendments tied up in court."

In other words, no more excuses: He must either vote the partisan line or be tarred as "anti-family." Of course, if McCain changes his vote next month, he will be pilloried as a flip-flopper, no matter what explanation he may offer. His critics will laughingly point out that he was against the amendment before he was for it. His status as a tolerant, moderate Republican maverick will fall.
I wouldn't vote for him now. His status has fallen already, I would have voted for him instead of Kerry if that had been the way the ballot worked out, but here in California we don't have much say in the elections lately. By the time we have our primary there really isn't a choice, we are just voting on local issues.

I want a national primary, followed 30 days later by the election. The only benefit I have seen in the voting process in the last six years has been that being in California I only had to watch local campaign commercials.

Did the Governor thing twice within two years though, that was weird. Didn't change anything either, except to make Gray Davis look more relaxed.

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