First, my friends, a reminder of what was printed right here on January 23, 2008:
After spearheading a disastrous, security-undermining illegal alien amnesty bill last year with Teddy Kennedy, “straight-talking” GOP Sen. John McCain claims he has seen the light. In TV appearances, he vows to put immigration enforcement first. On the campaign trail, he offers a perfunctory promise to strengthen border security and emphasizes the need to restore Americans’ trust in their government’s ability to defend the homeland.
“I got the message,” he told voters in South Carolina. “We will secure the borders first.”
But how can McCain cure citizens’ distrust when his own credibility on the issue remains fatally damaged? He doesn’t believe his own election-year spin. And he knows we know it. This is cynicism on steroids with a speedball chaser.
Not all of us have forgotten how the short-fused Arizona senator cursed good-faith opponents in his own party (“F**k you!” and “Chickensh*t” were the choice words he had for Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn during a spat over enforcement provisions). Not all of us have forgotten that he voted against barring felons from receiving amnesty benefits under his plan. Not all of us have forgotten the underhanded, debate-sabotaging manner in which McCain/Kennedy/Graham/Harry Reid conspired to ram their package down voters’ throats.
His admission of the shamnesty failure is grudging and bitter. While he now tells conservative voters what they want to hear about the need to build the southern border fence, he takes a contemptuous tone toward physical barriers when talking to businessmen. “By the way, I think the fence is least effective,” he told executives in Milwaukee, according to a recent Vanity Fair profile. “But I’ll build the goddamned fence if they want it.” Straight talk? Try hate talk.
For all his supposed, newfound enlightenment about what most Americans want—protection against invasion, commitment to the rule of law, meaningful employer sanctions, an end to sanctuary cities, enforcement-by-attrition plus deportation reform, and an end to special illegal alien benefits that invite more law-breaking–The Maverick remains a Geraldo Rivera Republican. Like the ethnocentric cable TV host who can’t string a sentence about immigration together without drowning in emotional demagoguery, McCain naturally resorts to open-borders platitudes when pressed for enforcement specifics.
And, now, straight from the campaign trail with Arnold “Move Left” Schwarzenegger, McCain has shed every last pretense that he “got the message” from grass-roots immigration enforcement proponents and is back to his full, open-borders shamnesty push. No surprise to any of you. But his complete regression back to the “comprehensive immigration reform” euphemism is a notable milestone.
Also, you don’t need to guess anymore how he would have voted on the Feinstein/Craig illegal alien farmworker amnesty:
Republican presidential candidate John McCain joined Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in calling today for comprehensive immigration reform, including guest worker visas to bring employees to California’s Silicon Valley and the state’s vast agricultural fields.
The two men brought up the issue at McCain’s prompting during a global competitiveness roundtable featuring California technology executives and entrepreneurs.
Asked by Silicon Valley panelists on what he would do to grant more visa for skilled technology workers, McCain broadly advocated the comprehensive immigration reform plan he had backed with Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy in Congress.
The same issue brought McCain intense criticism during the Republican presidential primary from conservatives who assailed him as soft on illegal immigration and an advocate of amnesty.
But today McCain, the now presumptive GOP presidential nominee, said an immigration program is needed that protects America’s borders and national security. While he called for punishing employers who hire illegal immigrants, he also advocated a humane approach that treats illegal workers as “God’s children.”
McCain said they should be allowed to seek legal status in a “humane and comprehensive fashion” through a program “they can count on and trust.”
Responding to a question about so-called H1-B visas for Silicon Valley workers, McCain said: “We have to attract the best and brightest minds. It isn’t just H1-B visas. In our agricultural sector, they can’t find workers as well. We need a temporary agriculture (worker) program.”
Schwarzenegger echoed McCain’s remarks after the Arizona senator asked his opinion on the topic.
“We need to change the system. All this is part of a comprehensive immigration reform. You can’t piecemeal this thing,” Schwarzenegger said.
While the governor said, “securing the border is extremely important” to California he added: “You have to have the courage to do this kind of immigration reform so we can bring people into this country legally.”
Schwarzenegger said he supported a pathway to legal status so that more people can have “legal drivers licenses” and “everyone would have bank accounts…and there would be background checks so that there would be no criminal element in this country.”
Same old, same old about sham background checks.
They’ve learned nothing. Nada. Zippo. How about you?
More from the NYT:
“Senator Kennedy and I tried very hard to get immigration reform, a comprehensive plan, through the Congress of the United States,” he said. “It is a federal responsibility and because of our failure as a federal obligation, we’re seeing all these various conflicts and problems throughout our nation as different towns, cities, counties, whatever they are, implement different policies and different programs which makes things even worse and even more confusing.”
He added: “I believe we have to secure our borders, and I think most Americans agree with that, because it’s a matter of national security. But we must enact comprehensive immigration reform. We must make it a top agenda item if we don’t do it before, and we probably won’t, a little straight talk, as of January 2009.”