During the 2008 presidential primaries for the Republican nomination, I resolved that I would possibly be able to stomach voting for any candidate of that party in the general—except for those named Rudy Giuliani or John McCain.
I understand the "lesser of two evils" argument. But when voters stick with the philosophy unconditionally, the less evil has a license to act pretty badly. If you won't draw the line at the Republican who has been the Number One champion of amnesty for illegal aliens, you won't draw it anywhere.
I thought that the election of an un-American radical like Barack Obama might energize the American Right. But I didn't think the opposition to his agenda would come so soon or be so vehement. As of December, the president's approval rating was down to 37 percent amongst whites. Just a year after Obama took office with a once-in-a-generation majority in both houses of Congress, one-time Obama toady David Brooks of the New York Times states flatly that "federal activism will not mark the next three years". [What's Next, Mr. President? February 11, 2010]
Amnesty won't mark those years either. As recently as April of last year Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was said to be gearing up for "possible action" in 2010 on the issue. But after Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts, that seems unthinkable.
Not only are the socialist dreams of the Democrats dead, but there may be enough anger to knock off the main symbol of everything wrong with the Republican Party: John McCain. On Monday, February 15, former congressman and radio talk show host J.D. Hayworth officially began his campaign against the liberal media's favorite maverick. Two years after McCain was the Republican Party's candidate for president, we might see him forcibly retired from the Senate.
Now it's certainly a long road ahead for Hayworth. The incumbent has raised $5 million compared to the challenger's $500,000. And McCain still leads 53-31, although a couple of months ago he was even and the McCain bounce might reflect Sara Palin's controversial endorsement.
But McCain's approval rating is at the lowest it's been since the early nineties. And things can change very quickly in a local election or primary, especially when there is passion on one side. In New York's 23rd district's 2009 Democratic-Republican-Conservative Party three way race the Republican nominee was 11 points ahead of the Conservative in early September. Less than two months later there was an almost 50 point turn around between the two.
On the day of Hayworth's announcement, co-founder of the Minutemen movement Chris Simcox, running at about 4 percent, dropped out of the Senate race and threw his support behind the former congressman. This should prevent a splitting of the patriot vote.
McCain is so spooked by his conservative challenger that he was running ads against him before Hayworth was even a candidate.
On Wednesday, The Politico reported on the hammering McCain has received from talk radio hosts Mark Levin, Michael Savage and Glenn Beck.
Beck worries that a "progressive like John McCain" will help push through health care reform. Savage has called the Senator "dunce, a dummy and a walking schmuck", thinks that he threw the 2008 election and is supporting Hayworth. Levin calls the race one between "a conservative and a phony".
So who is J.D. Hayworth? He worked as a broadcaster in Arizona before getting swept into Congress on the 1994 Republican wave. He was voted out in the 2006 Democratic tsunami. Between those twelve years Hayworth developed a reputation as an ardent conservative. The year he was voted out of office he wrote Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration, Border Security, and the War on Terror, in which the congressman took President Bush to task for being close to business interests which were welcoming Third World immigration and pushing down the wages of native-born workers. More importantly, Hayworth argues that the courts have misinterpreted the 14th Amendment in granting citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants. In Congress, he walked the walked. OntheIssues.org lists Hayworth's record on immigration.
Hayworth seems as committed to stopping illegal immigration as McCain is to rewarding it. The challenger has made it clear that this issue is one of the most important differences between himself and the incumbent. He recently told a local reporter, "Washington views the border and illegal immigration as a political problem to be managed instead of what it really is, an invasion to be stopped."
It's no wonder that immigration hawk and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has launched a national fundraising campaign on Hayworth's behalf.
A few months ago The Politico reported on the long-time tension between Arizona's senior Senator and its most famous sheriff.
"[In early 2009] a TV reporter in Arizona coaxed Sen. John McCain into a quick on-air game of word association. The reporter would say a word or two, McCain would offer a short response and it all went along well until the reporter said the following words: 'Joe Arpaio.'
"The 2008 Republican presidential nominee, seldom at a loss for words, momentarily went blank.
"Arpaio — the bombastic Maricopa County sheriff who's immensely popular with the right but widely reviled by Hispanics for his anti-immigration sweeps — has a long and turbulent history with Arizona's most famous politician...
"'Arpaio's been a real thorn in McCain's side, and he's causing him trouble again next year', said Jennifer Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Democratic Party... 'McCain's really trying to position himself to fend off an attack from Hayworth on the right.' "
The senator's recent flip-flops on climate change and gays in the military have been widely interpreted as trying to position himself well for the August primary. McCain now downplays his earlier support for amnesty and says he favors an "enforcement first" policy.
But immigration reform patriots mustn't let the former Republican presidential nominee rewrite history. In 2004, McCain campaigned against his state's successful Proposition 200, which denied welfare benefits to illegal immigrants and forced state agencies to report them to the federal government. A year later, he worked with Ted Kennedy to try and expand the H1-B visa program. Over the next two years McCain would push for amnesty in the Senate. He and his collaborators were only beaten back by the people's outrage.
Despite McCain's reputation as a man of integrity, immigration is only one of several issues the Senator has shifted on for pragmatic political purposes. In 1998 he opposed Ward Connerly's ballot initiative to ban affirmative action in Arizona, calling the measure "divisive." While running for president ten years later, the Republican nominee refused to take a position on racial preferences before eventually endorsing initiatives similar to the one he had previously condemned.
Hayworth, on the other hand, voted for ending racial preferences in college admissions in 1998. There's no reason to believe he's changed his mind on the issue.
It's hard to determine how much McCain is a calculating politician and how much he's just emotional, swept up with whatever changes are in the political wind. In 1983 he voted against the Martin Luther King holiday. But during the 2008 presidential campaign he would produce this cringe inducing quote.
"We can be slow as well to give greatness its due, a mistake I made myself long ago when I voted against a federal holiday in memory of Dr. King. [Boos] I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support for a state holiday in Arizona.''[Speech at Temple Church of God in Christ, Memphis, Tennessee]
In the same speech McCain denounced those who had called King an "agitator, trouble maker, malcontent and disturber of the peace". Seems as if he doesn't mind "divisive" politics if those seeking justice aren't white.
The video [April 4, 2008] reveals McCain's masochistic enjoyment in begging for forgiveness from the largely black audience. The church-lady catcalls continue as an auditory backdrop even after McCain has copped to his crimes.
Similarly, while running for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination McCain came out against flying the Confederate flag on the South Carolina State House dome, after previously saying it was a state issue.
For all his acceptance of civil rights orthodoxy McCain earned a derisory five percent of the black vote in 2008. Since we can rule out political calculation, I tend to believe that the Senator simply takes pleasure in getting psychologically flogged.
Mark Halperin's book Game Change revealed how strongly McCain believes in illegal immigration and the extent to which he dislikes those of us who oppose it. While running for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination,
"[McCain's advisors] begged [him] to ease up. He was already the face of the Iraq surge. Now he was becoming the face of what opponents called "amnesty." Just tone down the rhetoric, his advisors pleaded.
McCain refused. He was disgusted by Republicans in Congress and talk radio gasbags such as Rush Limbaugh who bashed immigrants. 'They're going to destroy the [expletive deleted by VDARE.COM] party,' he would say.
As McCain's town hall meetings devolved into shouting matches over immigration, the candidate let his frustration show through. He called Lindsey Graham in despair. Listen to these people, McCain said. Why would I want to be the leader of a party of such [There goes another expletive]?"
This August 24, all Arizona conservatives and immigration reform patriots will have a chance to show McCain that the disgust is mutual.
Richard Hoste (email him) writes prolifically on race, immigration, political correctness and modern conservatism. His articles have appeared at The Occidental Observer, The Occidental Quarterly and TakiMag among other places. His blog is HBD Books, where he regularly reviews classic and modern works on these topics.