The old, new, old, new McCain
I’ve been in Arizona this week and I have a some observations.
John McCain has a few commercials running in heavy rotation during news programs, and they all are strong anti-illegal immigration messages. (J.D. Hayworth is essentially invisible on TV.) The commercial that runs most frequently shows McCain walking the border with Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, a tall, athletic, charismatic fellow (who just happens to be completely bald, making McCain seem a little less old walking next to him). The commercial begins with McCain listing the problems—“Home invasions, drug and human trafficking … “, then Babeu notes that half of all illegal immigrants in the United States enter through Arizona.
Then McCain gives the bullet points of the McCain/Kyl plan, including bringing the National Guard to the border, 3,000 new Border Patrol agents, and a strong, complete border fence. Listing the solutions, McCain closes with ” … and build the dang fence!” making it sound as if he’s exasperated that it hasn’t been built yet. This is an interesting transformation of what I remember from the presidential campaign—from a town hall meeting where after being hounded on the illegal immigration question, he said something along the lines of “and we’ll build your damned fence.”
Another interesting thing: Even some liberal newscasters on Phoenix TV appear to be taken aback by the vituperative language about boycotts and fascism, reporting such attacks from other parts of the country in a bemused tone of voice. If you live in Arizona, you know illegal immigration is a crushing problem. That’s why McCain can take a completely un-nuanced, hard-line stance. At the end of the commercial I described above, Sheriff Babeu turns to McCain and says “John, you’re one of us.” And at least on this issue, at least for the duration of the senate campaign, he is.
Based on McCain’s record, I would amend your last sentence to “for the duration of the Senate campaign and ending the micro-instant the Senate campaign ends.”
Dale F. replies:
In substance, I agree. Though McCain could technically live up to this unlikely campaign promise by putting plenty of energy into fighting for a tough Federal solution that he knows will never pass the Senate.
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Van Wijk writes:
Dale F. wrote: “Then McCain gives the bullet points of the McCain/Kyl plan, including bringing the National Guard to the border, 3,000 new Border Patrol agents, and a strong, complete border fence.”
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 08, 2010 08:23 PM | Send
I’d like to dissect this if I could. The National Guard is a military, not a law enforcement, organization. In order for the deployment of National Guard troops to the southern border to be considered legal, the U.S. government would have to recognize Mexico as the hostile foreign nation that it is and the flow of immigrants northward an invasion of sovereign territory. Otherwise, placing troops on the border in a law enforcement capacity would be in violation of Posse Comitatus as I understand it.
While NG units technically belong to the individual states, the NG system is hopelessly wedded to the federal government; Guardsmen can be effortlessly federalized and sent abroad with regular Army units. They are federal troops in all but name.