Friday, May 07, 2004

My Bi-Partisan Streak

Let me take this time to state openly that, although I disagree with Senator John McCain, Republican-AZ, on many issues, he displays more integrity than most politicians in Washington (of course this is a relative statement). On many issues, such as global warming, campaign finance reform, the gay marriage amendment, the conduct of the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, gun control, and others, McCain has taken the principled stand, contrary to his party's dictates, and in some cases, contrary to public opinion.

Consider some bills that contain his legislative stamp: the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 1997, the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act (a bill to help curtail the emission of greenhouse gases as mentioned below), his work on a patients' bill of rights he sponsored with Democrats Edward Kennedy and John Edwards (in opposition to the White House's preferred version) and his teaming up with Democrats on legislation supporting drug-patent reform and background checks at gun shows.

No darling of the Christian conservative right, he displays the type of intellectual honesty and common sense that would tempt me to cast my first vote for a Republican should that opportunity ever arise. Of course, the Bush campaign of 2000 made that possibility a remote one with an unprecedented intra-party smear campaign that included accusations ranging from emotional and psychological instability to fathering an African American child out of wedlock. That last one, dreamt up by Karl Rove, played particularly well in the South Carolina primary.

It should come as no surprise that he was particularly tough with Donald Rumsfeld today during Rumsfeld's testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. McCain displayed little tolerance for Rumsfeld's typical evasiveness, demanding an answer regarding the chain of command for Abu Ghraib and which agency, in particular, was in charge of the interrogations. I was proud.

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