John McCain Goes From Immigration Reform Advocate To Border Cop
The latest example of the extent to which John McCain has abandoned previous positions in the face of a strong primary challenge from J.D. Hayworth can be seen in this ad, which started running in Arizona this weekend:
McCain asks, “Have we got the right plan?” referring to a “McCain/Kyl Border Security Action Plan” that flashes on the screen.
Babeu: “Plan’s perfect. You bring troops, state and local law enforcement together.”
McCain: “And complete the danged fence.”
And then this from Babeu: “It’ll work this time. Senator, you’re one of us.”
(Then McCain stares into the camera in a freeze frame for five seconds.)
As Domenico Montanaro reminds us, this is very different from the John McCain we used to know:
From a March 30, 2006 statement:
“There are over 11 million people in this country illegally. They harvest our crops, tend our gardens, work in our restaurants, care for our children, clean our homes. They came as others before them came, to grasp the lowest rung of the American ladder of opportunity, to work the jobs others won’t, and by virtue of their own industry and desire, to rise and build better lives for their families and a better America. That is our history, Mr. President. We are not a tribe. We are not an ethnic conclave. We are a nation of immigrants, and that distinction has been essential to our greatness.”
From a Jan. 3, 2004 New York Times op-ed:
“A simple crackdown aimed at sending all illegal immigrants back to where they came from would not work. It would simply drive people without proper documentation deeper into the shadows, where they would continue to be at the mercy of unscrupulous employers and would be afraid to report crimes, send their children to school or seek treatment when they had infectious diseases.”
Allahpundit sums it up best, I think:
Pandering is one thing, shameless careerist pandering is something else, and then there’s John “Goddamned Fence” McCain marching along the border in a badass Navy baseball cap looking like he could choke out a coyote with his bare hands.
I really don’t know what else there is to say. In the face of a stronger-than-expected challenge from the right from a candidate who has flirted with the birther movement and made rather bizarre comments about gay marriage, McCain has effectively abandoned any semblance of the politician he claimed to be in the past, even to the extent of denying that he had ever called himself a maverick.
It’s really rather pathetic.