Whereas the Democrats have been mostly missing in action on the torture issue, John McCain continues to courageously fight off the Bush-Cheney torture lobby and push for a complete ban on torture. The debate is more appropriate to the 14th century than the 21st, but at least McCain has been on the right side. (And, of course, it is all a moot point because the president again assured us today: "We do not torture.")
That said, it is important to also note that McCain is, at least in his current political incarnation, a complete right wing thug when it comes to a wide range of other issues. He has given strong support to the bigots against gay marriage, he is anti-choice, he advocates including "intelligent design" in the high school biology curriculum, and he is a militant supporter of the war in Iraq.
Perhaps this is why the Democrats kept wooing him as a possible crossover Democratic presidential candidate in the last election, or failing that, attempting to morph into him. And an influential segment of the Democratic party leadership would apparently have little problem with his positions on abortion, the war, gay marriage or even intelligent design.
This weekend for example, despite what Jon Stewart referred to as the party's "newly grown pair of donkey testicles," Joe Biden already publicly backed away from the idea of filibustering the fascist supreme court nominee Scalito.
UPDATE 11/8: Well, well. It turns out McCain is even less progressive that I thought. His opposition to torture is rather selective. David Bloom has an important article in Counterpunch on McCain's whitewash of Israeli torture. He apparently looks to Israel as a model for combatting terrorism without resorting to torture. The problem of course is that, despite official denials, they still do use systematic torture.
UPDATE 11/9: If you need any more evidence of what a prevaricating, warmongering asshole McCain really is, just check out his latest interview with Jon Stewart. He continues to defend the war on Iraq, claims that all intelligence agencies before the war thought there were weapons of mass destruction [what about those UN inspectors??], holds up Israeli torture policy as a model, defends Dick Cheney, and plugs a putrid pandering book of inspirational stories. What a wanker.