McCain, Desperate to Win, Goes to the Right of Tom Tancredo

May 11, 2010

(ChattahBox)–Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), former maverick and opportunist politician, once held himself out as a man of principles and decency, but no more. Now, fighting for his political life to oust tea party primary opponent JD Hayworth, McCain has dispensed with his principles like unwanted pounds, shamelessly shifting his politics to the far, far right. Vile race-baiting nativist and birther conspiracy theorist Tom Tancredo, now looks almost sane next to McCain’s new extremism. And in a new campaign ad, McCain sinks even lower. An anti-immigration sheriff proclaims in the ad, “Senator, you’re one of us” now.

Who exactly is “us” isn’t spelled out, but the message is clear. Using angry populism and divisive “us vs. them” politics, McCain is telling his voters that he is now an extreme nativist, willing to play on their racial fears.

The ad shows McCain rambling along the border of the Arizona desert with Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, as Babeu rails against the “illegals.”

“Drug and human smuggling, home invasions, murder,” McCain says as the ad opens.

“We’re outmanned,” says Babeu. “Of all the illegals in America, more than half come through Arizona.” He tells McCain that the senator’s new border security plan is “perfect” because it brings together various law enforcement.

The ad ends with the former maverick uttering: “And complete the danged fence,” as appears onscreen.

“It’ll work this time,” Babeu says, adding: “Senator, you’re one of us.”

About that “danged fence,” McCain has voted against the funding to build a border fence. As explained by Steve Benen of the Political Animal:

“Possible subtexts notwithstanding, the ad is laughable for anyone who’s been following McCain’s work on immigration policy. While his new message emphasizes the need to “complete the danged fence,” the senator has consistently taken the exact opposite position. He’s voted against funding for building a border fence; he’s dismissed the same plan he touts in the ad as being little more than “public relations”; and he’s even been quite candid about why a fence wouldn’t be effective.”

Watch it:


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