A Democrat explains his detainee vote: I just follow McCain's lead

Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson says the senator from Arizona represents the views of people in his state.

Published September 29, 2006 1:06PM (EDT)

There's sad and then there's pathetic. In the course of voting for the Bush administration's detainee bill Thursday, Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson crossed that line.

How could a Democrat -- let alone 12 of them -- vote for legislation that denies people we hold in custody even the basic right of challenging their custody in federal court? Nelson, who's running for reelection in a red state but still leads his Republican challenger by 23 percentage points, said he just follows the lead of John McCain:

"I think people respect Sen. McCain on these issues," Nelson tells the New York Times, "and I think he probably represents the views of a lot of people in Nebraska."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

War Room