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April 23, 2010

Michelle Malkin: It's Time For Maverick McCain To Go

McCain fetishizes his "integrity." And, while it generally seems that "integrity" consists of whatever temper tantrum McCain is having this day or that, there was something a little appealing about his often self-delusional idea of principle. Even though his integrity chiefly consisted of his whims and caprices, snits and piques, there was little doubt that McCain couldn't actually be bought.

That's not really true anymore. McCain, facing a tough election, is now talking like the people he used to accuse on a daily basis of racism. For some, that might be a welcome development.

Not for me. For one thing, I don't believe a word of it, and I think McCain's principled liberalism will come back the moment he's got a new six-year lease on political life.

For another thing, his most recent contortions demonstrate that he's not, in fact, McCain the Incorruptible at all, but merely McCain Who's Pretty Much Had A Lot of Easy Elections And Who Thus Has Never Been Really Tested As Regards His Incorruptibility But Who It Turns Out Is Pretty Easily Corruptible The Moment He Needs a Bit of Corrupting.

"Virtue untested is no virtue at all." -- Jack Donaghy.

McCain did have his uses in the past. Although on any truly important vote, there was a one in three chance he'd not only vote against you but do so with relish, hurling insults like "racist" at you, when he actually took your side -- a majority of the time -- he had a certain cache with the liberal press and with some independents that made him an effective advocate. That is to say, by screwing us with such vigor one third of the time, he was uniquely posed to carry our message as an independent, no-nonsense truth-teller when he was actually on the team.

But now that he's contorting himself to out-conservative JD Hayworth, he's lost a lot of that, and will lose a lot more when he reverts to his immoderation moderation.

McCain's a good spokesman, when he's on our side, but he's not on our side enough, and we've got better spokesmen waiting in the wings. Frankly, if we're to have a moderate wing, I'd rather it be lead by Scott Brown than John McCain.

Right now it's more important we have a reliable vote than a mercurial leader.

With veteran tough-on-illegal-immigration GOP challenger J.D. Hayworth (whom I support) just five points behind McCain in the latest Rasmussen poll, Not-Maverick has now abandoned (or rather re-abandoned) his notoriously long-held open borders stance. Just a few short years ago, Not-Maverick was attacking Rush Limbaugh as a "nativist" for opposing the Bush-Kennedy-McCain amnesty plan. When GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions introduced an amendment to bar illegal aliens from receiving the earned income tax credit, McCain likened it to Jim Crow laws.

Sessions: "…I do not believe we should award people who have entered our country illegally, submitted a false Social Security number, worked illegally… I do not believe we should reward them with $29 billion of the taxpayers' money. That is a lot of money."

McCain: "What's next -- are we going to say work-authorized immigrants are going to have to ride in the back of the bus?"

When Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico called for a cap on the number of visas for legal permanent residents at 650,000, McCain called it un-American and accused Bingaman of "discriminating" against poor foreigners (never mind that the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill itself had a visa cap of 290,000). Like the true progressive he is, McCain never lets the facts get in the way of playing the race card. Unless it's an election year, that is.


Actions speak louder than the pro-enforcement, strong-borders rhetoric McCain adopted for his failed 2008 presidential run -- and which he has now resurrected to save his seat in his border violence-plagued state of Arizona.

I think, on the whole, McCain's a good man. Just not as good as he thinks.

But in the end this isn't about good men or rewarding men for prior service. I think nominating him as our standard-bearer in 2008 was a pretty good recognition of his past service. We can't endlessly reelect a man who doesn't represent our interests and aspirations to repay him for his steel in Vietnam.

It's time for him to go.

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posted by Ace at 03:28 PM

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