It's not everyday that Senator John McCain's tendency to switch positions on important issues - even seminal McCain issues like torture - are greeted by the media with anything other than a swoon over the candidate's marvelous "maverick" style of policymaking. But on CNN today, Jack Cafferty did just that, unspooling a litany of McCain's inconsistencies and saying, "If John McCain doesn't stop changing his position on the issues, he threatens to make John Kerry look like an amateur."
CAFFERTY: If John McCain doesn't stop changing his position on the issues, he threatens to make John Kerry look like an amateur. In order for McCain to win in November, he has to appeal to both the traditional Republican base and to independents. Dana Milbank in the Washington Post says that's a delicate dance, and if McCain's not careful, "he's liable to break a hip." Of course, any doctor will tell you a broken hip can be very difficult to recover from.
On Iraq, the economy, guns, and God, McCain is to the right. On immigration, campaign finance reform, and global warming, McCain is to the left. Sort of reminiscent of John Kerry back in 2004. McCain went after Barack Obama yesterday for proposing a windfall tax on the oil companies. A month ago McCain said he was willing to consider a windfall tax on the oil companies. What about offshore drilling? During his run for president in 2000, McCain was against it. Now he's for it, saying the state should decide if they want to drill for oil off their coastlines. This could cost him big-time in states like California and Florida which are very environmentally conscious. Then there are the Bush tax cuts, McCain was against them - twice - now he's for them. McCain has also called for the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay to be closed down, and torture banned. But last week he criticized the Supreme Court's ruling that detainees there should have access to U.S. courts, calling the Supreme Court decision one of the worst decisions in the history of this country. So here's the question. How clear is it where John McCain stands on the issues?