He may have fallen in line with President Bush on other issues, but when it comes to government intrusion on citizens' lives, John McCain is going to take a firm, unequivocal, unchangeable stand.
In a December interview with the Boston Globe, he even spoke out against Bush's use of unauthorized wiretaps…
Q: Does the president have inherent powers under the Constitution to conduct surveillance for national security purposes without judicial warrants, regardless of federal statutes?
McCain: There are some areas where the statutes don't apply, such as in the surveillance of overseas communications. Where they do apply, however, I think that presidents have the obligation to obey and enforce laws that are passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, no matter what the situation is. [...] I don't think the president has the right to disobey any law.
That's right! You tell 'em, maverick. A war hero knows how to stand by his principles, come what may…
In a letter posted online by National Review this week, [McCain senior adviser] Douglas Holtz-Eakin said Mr. McCain believed that the Constitution gave Mr. Bush the power to authorize the National Security Agency to monitor Americans' international phone calls and e-mail without warrants, despite a 1978 federal statute that required court oversight of surveillance.
[...] David Golove, a New York University law professor who specializes in executive power issues, said that while the language used by Mr. McCain in his answers six months ago was imprecise, the recent statement by Mr. Holtz-Eakin "seems to contradict precisely what he said earlier."
Somehow I have a feeling McCain isn't going to agree with Prof. Golove, who should probably think about changing his phone number and email address as soon as possible.
Tucker Bounds, a McCain campaign spokesman, said Mr. McCain's position on surveillance laws and executive power "has not changed."
"John McCain has been an unequivocal advocate of pursuing the radicals and extremists who seek to attack Americans," Mr. Bounds wrote in an e-mail message, adding that Mr. McCain's "votes and positions have been completely consistent and any suggestion otherwise is a distortion of his clear record."
See? There you go. McCain has a clear record of pursuing radicals who seek to attack Americans, Americans such as himself, perhaps by using verbal weapons of mass destruction like "contradict" and "flip-flop."
He's also taken the consistent position that inconsistency is his Constitutional right, as long as he's consistently inconsistent, which he totally is, because of his principles.
Tags: John McCain