Saturday, May 01, 2010

John McCain swings right in desperate bid for political survival.

There is simply no end to the myriad of ways in which John McCain can reinvent himself.

In 2007, McCain proposed a joint immigration bill with Ted Kennedy that would have opened the path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million to 20 million illegal immigrants in the US. Other Republicans branded it an amnesty and killed it off.

This time, McCain has taken a hard line. He has described the new Arizona legislation, which requires police to stop all people they suspect of being illegal immigrants, as a necessary tool. The border has to be secured first, before immigration reform is tackled, he says; he proposes a six-point plan which includes sending 3,000 National Guard members to the border, a move not so different from the Arizona Cattlemen's Association's 10-point plan.

On the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox News this week, contrary to his previous habit of not demonising illegal immigrants, McCain claimed that "the drivers of cars with illegals in it … are intentionally causing accidents on the freeway".

His U-turn prompted a New York Times editorial, entitled Come Back, John McCain, that argued that no election was worth winning "if you have to abandon what you believe". Columnist Michelle Malkin made much the same point in the National Review, saying: "I need a Dramamine to cover Senator John McCain's re-election bid. With his desperate lurch to the right he's inducing more motion sickness than a Disneyland teacup."

McCain likes being a Senator. That title is clearly very important to his sense of self esteem. But what's disturbing is that he will now, apparently, abandon everything he has previously believed in order to keep it.

And the thing that is pushing McCain ever further to the right is the Tea Party movement.

McCain's main opponent for the Republican nomination is JD Hayworth, a radio host and former Congressman who has so far raised $1m. Even though Hayworth is a far from formidable candidate – he recently said expansion of same-sex marriage would allow people to marry their horses – and had a poor Congress record, a Rasmussen poll shows McCain on only 47% to Hayworth's 42%, a significant narrowing over the last few months.

The influential conservative website Red State is referring to McCain as Good and Bad. "Maybe Bad John has given way to Good John in the wake of a strong primary challenge from JD Hayworth? Amazing what a little competition will do."

Hayworth's strength is that he is backed by the Tea Party, the conservative grassroots movement. The Tea Party is steadily shifting the Republican party to the right by supporting candidates of a similar persuasion.

The Republican Party could only have gone one of two ways after their recent presidential defeat. They could have moved towards the centre or towards the far right. They have chosen the worst possible route.

The journey which John McCain has embarked on, where he now sells out everything that he once believed in - in the hope of pleasing these lunatics - is an indication of just how far to the right the Tea Party movement are dragging the Republicans.

Nothing good will come from this madness.

They are now seeking to please the most radical in their midst.

It's insanity.

Click here for full article.

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