Thursday, September 14, 2006

You bet your (political) life!

Senator John McCain has finally found an issue that pushed him to the edge:
John McCain, the Republican frontrunner for the 2008 presidential election, has dramatically raised the stakes in a fight with the White House over interrogation techniques permitted for use at secret Central Intelligence Agency prisons by saying he is unwilling to back down on the issue even if it ruins his chance of becoming president.
Since I'm currently reading "Running Alone: Presidential Leadership JFK to Bush II", it's pretty clear to me that this is simply another iteration of McCain's textbook JFK-style political campaigning. Independence -- above all else, independence -- is the name of the game. So it's clear that, instead of seriously believing his future presidency at risk, McCain really sees this issue as a key to winning in 2008. Whether this strategy makes McCain electable in 2008 is questionable. Although, despite the obvious drawbacks, running for president as the "Republican JFK" against a Democrat at least has the virtue of having never been tried.

Speaking of people who have blown their presidential chances, Colin Powell's comment in the article is quite ridiculous:
“The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. To redefine Common Article 3 [of the Geneva conventions] would add to those doubts. Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk,” Mr Powell wrote in a letter to Mr McCain released yesterday.
Yes, I'm sure that the terrorists, who have absolultely no regard for the Geneva conventions, will be so outraged by President Bush's policies that they will retaliate against the United States by disregarding the Geneva conventions.


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