Who's on the line?


It appears McCain might now supports warrant-less wiretaps on US citizens such as those undertaken by the Bush administration. This contrasts with previous comments he’s made on the subject, when he said that he would consider himself obligated to obey the 1978 statute that calls for court oversight of federal surveillance.

When McCain is called upon to clarify his position, who knows which side he will come down on. He has historically distanced himself from Bush’s stances on torture and interrogation. Yet since the primaries are over, it is hard to pass this off as a simple political move to get hawkish Republican supporters; if anything, he should be wooing independents, libertarians, and those on the right who have been increasingly disturbed by this kind of hubris from President Bush.

The idea that only “trial lawyers and the ACLU" oppose the idea of federal agents listening in on American citizens is absurd. The last thing America needs is a president who maintains or even furthers the unprecedented expansion of presidential power that has occurred in the last eight years in spite of explicit laws.

McCain’s economic positions have largely been very sensible so far, and his break with the Republican field on torture and interrogation methods was refreshing. Let’s hope he retracts this statement and that we’ll soon hear the limited-government candidate supporting limitations on his own power as president.