Friday, April 23, 2010

John McCain Immigration Flip-Flop: Hypocrite of the Decade?

     Baptist, monogamous, cheating, remarried, future president, bi(partisan), moderate, Republican, Tea Party appeasing, maverick, Joe-the-Plumber loving, Sarah Palin touting, principled, Senator John McCain is running for election this year, for Hypocrite of the Decade.

     After his big fat gay flip-flop on the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and his inexplicable statement that he never considered himself a maverick, John, the Baptist, McCain is now campaigning against himself by calling for the passage of an Arizona law that requires police to detain anyone who looks like an illegal immigrant.

     He’s telling the world he’ll never support immigration reform until the border is sealed. Now he’s praising Arizona’s Legislature for passing a bill that makes every Latino — citizen or not — a potential criminal defendant. It obligates the police to stop people who look like illegal immigrants and arrest them if they don’t have papers on them. And here he is warning Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly that drivers of cars full of “illegals” are “intentionally causing accidents on the freeway.”
      During the 2008 presidential campaign, Mr. McCain did his share of contortions to win over a right-wing base that never trusted him. Now he is fighting for survival against a radio host endorsed by border vigilantes. But this pandering is tragic for a man who was one of the architects of the humane, comprehensive approach to immigration he has now disowned — threatening a filibuster to prevent its even coming to a vote.
     Mr. McCain has long said border control must be a prelude to larger reforms. But he always insisted on realistic solutions, on respecting immigrants’ humanity and giving them the chance to become legal. He never played the rancid, dangerous game of portraying Latinos as criminals, as Arizona’s new immigration bill does.   Mr. McCain used to be the anti-demagogue. Here he is defending his bill in the Senate on May 25, 2007, one of many times he said the same thing:
     “We need to come up with a humane, moral way to deal with those people who are here, most of whom are not going anywhere. No matter how much we improve border security, no matter the penalties we impose on their employers, no matter how seriously they are threatened with punishment, we will not find most of them, and we will not find most of their employers.”
     John McCain is desperate to stay in power and will do whatever it takes, including selling out principles that guided his political career for decades. 

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