Is McCain having second thoughts? Does he deserve a second look?

Maybe, despite my and others’ skepticism, Sen. McCain really has changed on immigration. According to Powerline, he told an audience in New Hampshire over the weekend:

In response to the immigration question, McCain cracks, “this meeting is adjourned.” Then, he explains that, though he still favors comprehensive reform, we need to secure the borders first. Since people don’t trust the federal government on this, he’ll leave it to the governors of border states to determine whether their border is safe. Only when all parts of the borders are certified as secure would reform occur.

For McCain to admit that the federal government and the amnesty supporters (including himself) have so little credibility on immigration, that the job of certifying the successful execution of border security measures prior to going ahead with amnesty must be transferred to the states, shows that McCain was truly shaken by the defeat of the comprehensive immigration reform bill last spring and by the ruinous effect that his fanatical support for that measure had on his presidential candidacy. Out of a vestigial impulse of fairness toward McCain, who has been a more arrogant proponent of undoing the American nation than even President Bush, I’m tempted to say I’m impressed that he would change even this much But I’m not. The fact remains that this ideologue, this man who last May obnoxiously professed his intent to force open borders on America without a debate and against the will of the American people, has zero credibility on the issue and will never have credibility on it.

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James S. writes:

I agree. McCain’s life won’t be long enough for him to regain the credibility he’s lost.

Sage McLaughlin writes:

We hear that, “[McCain] explains that, though he still favors comprehensive reform, we need to secure the borders first. Since people don’t trust the federal government on this, he’ll leave it to the governors of border states to determine whether their border is safe.”

Am I the only one who finds this screamingly outrageous? McCain is simply affirming here that if he were elected he would continue to deny any responsibility on the part of the Federal Government to enforce immigration laws and to secure the border ! Rather than saying, “The people don’t trust the government, and here’s what the government can do to establish credibility on this issue,” he instead says that the people can damn well secure the border themselves, if they think they can do it. Furthermore, since the federal government is actively undermining the border states’ attempts to get control of the Mexican invasion—through executive dereliction of duty, positive judicial interference and obstruction, and legislative inaction—this amounts to nothing more than a promise to let the situation worsen until the people finally despair of a solution and cry uncle.

A promise NOT to secure the border? A cynical game of chicken with the undermanned and underfunded states’ governors? You have to give McCain one thing—it takes a genuinely skilled politician to convince anybody that this is a reversal of his position, rather than a hoisted middle finger directed at conservatives.

LA replies:

I don’t know. I’m obviously no fan of McCain’s, but I don’t see in his statement the things Sage sees. I think he simply means that the federal government will proceed to put the new border security blah blah in place, and that it will then be the states, not the federal government (because, as McCain admits, the feds can’t be trusted) that will certify that as a result of the increased federal enforcement, illegal immigration really has stopped.

James P. writes:

In my view, what McCain is aying is just another cop-out. He wants to continue playing the charade in which the Feds say, “we’ll leave it to the local authorities,” and the local authorities say, “immigration enforcement is a Federal job,” and the net result—which is the deliberate intent of all concerned despite the clear desire of the American people for secure borders—is that the borders remain open. Not to mention, one can easily envisage liberal governors in the border states “certifying” that the border is “secure” after they had done nothing to secure it, thus allowing President McCain to say, “OK, problem solved, let’s bring on the immigration reform” (i.e. the borders remain open and everyone here gets a free pass). Since his goal has always been open borders, he’s not going to set the bar very high at all when it comes to certifying that the border is secure.

What kind of would-be President abdicates a Presidential responsibility? Only a man who does not take that responsibility seriously. We’ve already had eight years of a man who panders to the conservatives when he needs their votes, then governs as a liberal once elected, we don’t need any more of that.

Sage M. replies:

If McCain’s plan includes assurances to take positive steps to secure the border and to allow the states to certify that the federal government is doing its bit, then I am simply wrong in my assessment of his remarks and duly retract my remarks.

But of course, even if that is the case, McCain can never gain my trust on this issue because of his previous statements. I rather doubt that he has had a change of heart regarding what America is all about, and unless he could convince me that he no longer believes a “proposition nation” is superior to one bound by blood and history, then he’ll never dispel my doubt. After smearing conservatives in the most vituperative terms, he can’t expect us to buy into his self-serving born again routine.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 12, 2007 06:23 PM | Send

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