Implicit in the “torture” debate among Catholic intellectuals, and sometimes explicit, is the effort of the Left to find a “non-negotiable” equivalent to abortion with which to discredit Republican votes.
It’s taken for granted that “Republicans support torture”. Now, John McCain, having been tortured himself, is of course anti-torture, though he equivocated a bit on waterboarding. If anything, had I realized the import of this issue a year ago, I might have adjusted my views a bit as per McCain (i.e., a moderately good position on two pro-life issues better than a bad positoin on one and a good position on the other).
But the question arose, in the “I Told You So” department, “What does Mike Huckabee think?”
Well, according to this interview, he is opposed to waterboarding.
Here’s some Republican blogger from December 2007 calling Mike Huckabee “too moralistic”.
I can’t find that Sarah Palin has said anything one way or the other.
The main argument against McCain is that he voted against requiring the CIA to follow the Army Field Manual (which specifically condemns waterboarding), but said he still opposes waterboarding.
So, my hero in the election, Mike Huckabee, opposes torture. Ron Paul, who got the support of many pro-lifers in the primary, also opposes torture. McCain opposes torture, although most of the other Republican nomination candidates support it.
In the general election, each of the candidates supported by pro-lifers–McCain, Barr (why? I have no idea) and Baldwin–opposes torture. Can’t find anything on Palin.
While Abu Ghraib happened before the 2004 election, most of us thought it was an isolated incident. The realities of the Bush Torture Regime didn’t hit until after the 2004 election, and most of us are just now coming to terms with it. So it really shouldn’t effect questions of a vote 4 years ago.
There really is no reason a Catholic should be defending waterboarding politically, just to make a point. No matter who won the past election, there would have been action taken against waterboarding.
So, from the perspective of the Catholic vote ,it’s a non-issue.