Republicans and the McCain Amendment
Here is the RedState thread about the vote. The split seems to divide along those who feel loyalty to the military and those who feel loyalty to the executive/party/Bush personally. Steve LA in this comment seems to embody the former, while Gamecock, in this comment, seems to embody the latter. Other commentors seem to be reserving judgment while trending one way or another.
Many trend toward trusting the executive war powers, which makes me very worried about what will happen if Bush and Rove decide to go to the mat on this one. Frankly, as above commentors have noted, I do not see that Bush will need to veto this, even if he intends to continue the very practices that this bill intends to outlaw.
But if he decides to insist on the executive privilege to override military injunctions against maltreatment of detainees, he will have to unleash a storm of PR to make that decision palatable. I wouldn't say that the PR wouldn't work, but then again, I would also say that this administration is fighting brushfires on dozens of fronts.
I think it very probable that the Republicans will lose their overwhelming majority in 2006. The ridiculous choice of Miers--an assured vote--seems almost to concede that in the future the majority will weaken. Had the administration really believed in the permanent Republican majority, Bush would have appointed Janice R. Brown, damn the consequences.
Yet as the scandals grow in power, the idea that this particular executive should gain additional privileges is starting to stick in the craw of its supporters. One institution after another is being compromised. I am hoping that the integrity of the military would be a last line of defense for the true Republicans. While I find the domestic policies of, say, Lindsay Graham, absolutely abhorrent, I respect entirely the position he's taken as a former JAG attorney, and on this issue, he's been an important swing vote.