Back Stepping their Way to Election Day

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            John McCain has been involved in politics for a long time (over twenty years); Barack Obama is, as most everyone knows, newer on the scene.  But both men have taken positions in the past that aren’t doing them many favors now.

            Part of McCain’s plan for combating our out of whack energy situation is to drill for oil in Alaska.  It’s a popular plan with Republicans, and with a majority of Americans, but not so popular with Senators who defeated a drilling plan in 2002—a group that included John McCain.  You can appreciate a man who changes his mind when circumstances change.  Of course an ideal President might be more proactive than reactive.  If we had started drilling six years ago, our current situation would be different today (at least to some degree).  One imagines that Senator McCain’s supporters would take the position of better late than never. 

            Barack Obama’s position on this issue has been consistent—he opposes drilling in Alaska.

            The CBS News website on July 2 featured a story about Obama’s past votes in the Illinois senate.  There was a bill introduced two years in a row that dealt with babies that had survived abortion procedures.  The bill would have required medical care for them instead of just letting them die, a process that sometimes takes hours.  Obama voted “present” in 2001.  When the issue next came up, Obama voted against the legislation.  Commenting on this in March 2001, Obama said, “It would essentially bar abortions because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this was a child then this would be an anti-abortion statute.”  So Senator Obama was arguing that even surviving outside the womb for hours did not qualify the fetus for status as a baby.  He did say that he would have supported a federal version of the bill that came up because it had sufficient language in it to safeguard abortion rights.

            John McCain has been about as consistent on the general issue of abortion as Obama has been on drilling in Alaska.  McCain has voted against abortion-related legislation whenever it has appeared in the Senate.

            Both men have shown a capacity for consistency and a capacity for letting their views evolve.  November will reveal which man came up with the winning formula.