a bird and a bottle

One More Time: John McCain is Not a Moderate
November 19, 2006, 12:35 pm
Filed under: news, politics

Update: Amanda at Pandagon has lots more on McCain, including detailed talk of McCain’s hypocrisy on reproductive rights, which was apparent in his interview yesterday w/George Stephanapoulous (discussed below).

Though he has long appealed to moderate Republicans and even some moderate Democrats, John McCains is no moderate (do you know a moderate who would speak at Bob Jones University?).

He gave further proof of his far right ways today on ABC, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos in which he not only reversed a 1999 statement in which he said that he supported Roe v. Wade, but also contradicted his own statement from earlier in the same interview.

Think Progress has the relevant portion of the transcript, which I am copying here in full:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask one question about abortion. Then I want to turn to Iraq. You’re for a constitutional amendment banning abortion, with some exceptions for life and rape and incest.

MCCAIN: Rape, incest and the life of the mother. Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So is President Bush, yet that hasn’t advanced in the six years he’s been in office. What are you going to do to advance a constitutional amendment that President Bush hasn’t done?

MCCAIN: I don’t think a constitutional amendment is probably going to take place, but I do believe that it’s very likely or possible that the Supreme Court should — could overturn Roe v. Wade, which would then return these decisions to the states, which I support.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you’d be for that?

MCCAIN: Yes, because I’m a federalist. Just as I believe that the issue of gay marriage should be decided by the states, so do I believe that we would be better off by having Roe v. Wade return to the states. And I don’t believe the Supreme Court should be legislating in the way that they did on Roe v. Wade.

Ok, let’s discuss what’s wrong with this (besides everything). First, McCain says he would support a constitutional amendment to ban abortion. Then, later in the interview, he says that he is a federalist and so believes that Roe was wrongly decided because the issue of abortion rights, like, he says, the issue of same sex marriage, should be left to the states. Seems like a pretty direct contradiction to me. No? An amendment would have to be approved by the states, it’s true. But it still seems as if McCain is talking out of both sides of his mouth. It’s like he knows he has to come out against abortion to please Jerry Falwell and the other leaders of the religious right whom he has been courting since spring, but he is trying to do so that will also appease neocons who may actually believe that abortion’s fine if a state deicdes it is. In doing so, McCain exposes how far he has come from being a principled and independent politican.


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