Contrary to what we’re incessantly told by the Main Stream Media, it’s not in the least surprising that Senators Jeff Flake (R.-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R.-SC), John McCain, (R.-AZ), and Marco Rubio (R.-FL), became the Republican half of the amnesty-promoting “Gang of 8.” Rubio was only elected in 2010, but his record on immigration has long been terrible, as I noted when expressing relief that he Mitt Romney did not pick him for VP. The others have been among the most vocal supporters of amnesty in Congress. As Tom Tancredo recently pointed out in Townhall.com:
Indeed, of the 45 Republicans Senators, Flake, Graham and McCain, are the only ones with F Grades. It is fair to say, that these three men have the worst voting on amnesty in the entire US Senate. (Two other new Republicans, Rob Portman and Dan Coats, have F- grades, but that’s based on their votes for small amnesties in the House of Representatives more than a decade ago—both were out of federal politics during the Bush Amnesty Wars.)
What is particularly troubling about this: all of these RINOs faced primary challengers who ran as immigration patriots. Each time, they were able to pretend that they supported border security—and won.
While Flake was better known to conservatives for his fiscal conservatism, he had always been one of the leading supporters of amnesty in the House of Representatives. He co-sponsored the House version of the McCain amnesty with Luis Gutierrez, and was the only Arizona Republican in Congress to oppose SB 1070. Flake was challenged by self-funded Arizona businessman Wil Cardon, who ran tough ads against illegal immigration.
So Flake flip-flopped on SB 1070, and suddenly became a born-again amnesty opponent. His campaign statement on illegal immigration should be read in full to savor its brazen mendacity:
One of the primary functions of the federal government is to provide national security, which includes border security. With a southern border so porous, and increasingly dangerous, the federal government continues to fail in this most basic function.
In the past I have supported a broad approach to immigration reform – increased border security coupled with a temporary worker program. I no longer do. I’ve been down that road, and it is a dead end. The political realities in Washington are such that a comprehensive solution is not possible, or even desirable given the current leadership. Border security must be addressed before other reforms are tackled.
Most importantly, the situation along the border has changed significantly. In years past, groups of illegal aliens crossing the southern border tied to drug or smuggling cartels were the exception to the rule. Today, such ties are the rule. The lawless situation in northern Mexico largely driven by drug cartels is fueling lawlessness north of the border. Such a situation calls for an exclusive focus on border security.
(Emphasis added). With the help of the Arizona Establishment, Flake defeated Cardon in a landslide.
In 2007, Graham was the most fervent backer of amnesty in the US Senate, having sponsored and voted for the major “comprehensive reform bills” in 2006 and 2007. In May of 2007, he told La Raza “We’re gonna tell the bigots [i.e. patriots who oppose amnesty] to shut up.”
I believe illegal immigration is one of the gravest problems facing this country. Open borders cause crime, depress wages, compromise our sovereignty, swell our welfare state, jeopardize national security, overwhelm schools and hospitals, weaken our common culture and national identity, and is an affront to the rule of law. This is not a complicated issue. Illegal aliens broke our laws to come into this country and have absolutely no right to stay here.
But in late 2007, Graham voted against the DREAM Act, and introduced a bill to crack down on human smuggling and another to increase border security. In less than 6 months, Graham had transformed himself into a Secure-the-Border conservative.
Graham had a 4 million dollar war chest to Witherspoon’s quarter of a million and the support of every single major Republican in the state including Senator Jim DeMint and Governor Mark Sanford. Graham defeated Witherspoon in a landslide.
VDARE.com readers do not need to be reminded of just how bad McCain is on amnesty. He was the primary sponsor of the mass amnesty bills in 2006 and 2007.
In 2010, former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, who was one of the leading opponents of mass immigration in the House, challenged John McCain in the primary.
In April of 2010, Arizona passed SB 1070, which made the state the center of the national immigration debate. 55 % of Arizonans and an astonishing 88% of Arizona Republicans supported the measure. [Support or opposition to SB 1070 in Arizona depends on who you are, by Hugh Holub, July 25, 2010]
So John McCain shamelessly endorsed SB 1070, released a 10 point border security plan calling for troops on the border, and even toyed with abolishing birthright citizenship. McCain also appeared in an ad with Sheriff Paul Babeu, and demanded the government "complete the danged fence." Babeu responded, "Senator, you're one of us." (Given Babeu’s later revealed homosexual affair, this could take a different meaning today, but I digress.)
McCain should have been laughed out of the state for making such a hypocritical statement. In 2008, he had said that he would build a fence in exchange for amnesty, but that “I think the fence is least effective. But I’ll build the goddamned fence if they want it.”
However, McCain like Graham was able to significantly outraise Hayworth—20 million dollars to three million. The GOP and the Conservative Establishment, including Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin (!), Jan Brewer, the NRA, National Review, and every congressman in Arizona, all endorsed him. SB 1070 author Russell Pearce and Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsed Hayworth. JD Hayworth ran an excellent ad, showing McCain’s flip flops on immigration that concluded: “Campaign McCain talks tough. Senator McCain talks amnesty.”
Unfortunately, McCain fooled the voters and beat Hayworth in a landslide.
I could do Monday morning quarterbacking and criticize Cardon, Witherspoon, and Hayworth for campaign strategy. Yet, at the end of the day, they were principled opponents of amnesty with legitimate credentials. Graham, McCain, and Flake were well known mass-immigration enthusiasts.
Of course, these immigration patriots’ efforts were not in vain. They very economically forced these GOP proditors to spend enormous amounts of money and tell so many lies that even their liberal MSM enablers began to ridicule them. Obama Immigration Reform: GOP Hypocritical For Attacking DREAM Act, wrote Paul Anderson at PolicyMic seven months ago, naming Graham and McCain. This is not a posture that professional politicians want to be forced into.
Rubio is another story, and worth more analysis. I have warned voters against Rubio since before he even was elected to the Senate: he had been involved in surreptitious sabotaging of immigration patriot legislation in the Florida legislature. But he was never a flagrant supporter of amnesty in the way that the other three GOP members of the Gang of Eight were. Moreover, he ran to Florida governor Charlie Crist’s right on the issue—in the GOP primary and then in the general election.
Immigration patriots have a difficult, but in my opinion winnable, battle to defeat the Gang of Eight/Obama amnesty.
However, to achieve ultimate victory, American voters need to see through the millions of dollars in advertising, the promos by various Conservatism Inc. celebrities, and above all stop respecting the terminally corrupt Establishment GOP leadership—and vote in a new generation of immigration patriots.
"Washington Watcher" [email him] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway