The House of Representatives is moving quickly to pass the legislation on military tribunals for terrorists which the president has requested. The Senate is moving less quickly because of differences of forward by Senators McCain and Graham.
The White House should not indulge these two senators, or Democratic obstruction either. Senator McCain tried to impose his vision of the world on immigration reform and his personal agenda blew up the entire process. Similarly, Senator Graham has wrongly refused to support the Judiciary Committee’s confirmation of DoD General Counsel Jim Haynes. Both undermined constitutional process with the Gang of 14 that has not delivered its promise of an end to Democratic obstruction, which will return in ’07-’08 if the GOP loses even couple of its solid votes as the “constitutional option” they derailed will have lost the votes it needed to pass.
The country supports the idea of military tribunals for unlawful combatants, and will rally behind any reasonable approach. A House bill embodying the Administration’s proposals with wide backing in the Senate should not be changed because of two GOP mavericks. If Senators McCain and Graham want to delay justice for the killers of 9/11, they should be willing to explain why to the American people and accept their judgement on the presidential primary trail and in the South Carolina in 2008.
(In hour two of yesterday’s program, Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona predicted confirmation for D.C. Circuit nominee Peter Keisler and two other recent nominees to the appeals court before the session ended. This will leave four nominees stalled, all of them shipwrecked because of the Gang of 14, a fact that will dog Senator McCain’s presidential bid and Senator Graham’s 2008 re-election.)
Speaking of the judgment of voters, Loopy Lincoln Chafee is on the ballot today in the Rhode Island Republican primary, and hopefully by this time tomorrow night the voters will have served him notice of his retirement. Vote for Steve Laffey.