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Another McCain Sympathizer Turns

Joining WAPO's Richard Cohen this week, Elizabeth Drew, author of a sympathetic book on the Senator, Citizen McCain, explains where and how John McCain lost her support.

When Bush, issued a "signing statement" in 2006 on McCain's hard-fought legislation placing prohibitions on torture, saying he would interpret the measure as he chose, McCain barely uttered a peep. And then, in 2006, in one of his most disheartening acts, McCain supported a "compromise" with the administration on trials of Guantanamo detainees, yielding too much of what the administration wanted, and accepted provisions he had originally opposed on principle. Among other things, the bill sharply limited the rights of detainees in military trials, stripped habeas corpus rights from a broad swath of people "suspected" of cooperating with terrorists, and loosened restrictions on the administration's use of torture. (The Supreme Court later ruled portions of this measure unconstitutional.)

McCain's caving in to this "compromise" did it for me. This was further evidence that the former free-spirited, supposedly principled, maverick was morphing into just another panderer – to Bush and the Republican Party's conservative base.

A maverick is exposed.



Isn't this a bit like the conservatives who "discovered" Bush was not really one of them 7 years into his presidency? Or people who think Lieberman should be tarred and feathered because he didn't switch his views on the Iraq War--even though he's still as liberal as ever on virtually every other issue?

If you're a liberal who's been bamboozled into thinking John McCain was, too, just because he's accessible, open-minded and personable, that tells me more about you than it does about McCain.

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