Flip-Flopping John McCain Is No Political Profile in Courage

It wouldn't be a John McCain town hall without occasional off-color humor.

"There was a poll, a poll that had to do with favorability," the 76-year-old U.S. senator tells the crowd of about 300 in Oro Valley, a mostly white enclave just north of Tucson.

"Members of Congress ranked in this poll — on favorability — just below colonoscopy," comes the Henny Youngman-esque punchline.

Jesse Lenz
McCain at Chase Field on June 5, 2010, with Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu (to the right of McCain), PCSO Deputy Louie Puroll (first on the left), and other law enforcement officials.
McCain at Chase Field on June 5, 2010, with Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu (to the right of McCain), PCSO Deputy Louie Puroll (first on the left), and other law enforcement officials.

Some adults chortle. A few groan. The high school kids of Basis Charter School, where the town hall is taking place on a weekday afternoon, look nonplussed.


COMMENTARY


The McCain Show: Arizona Senator John McCain Hits the Road (slideshow)

Welcome to the McCain show, which Arizona's senior senator's been on the road with lately in the Grand Canyon State, at places like Oro Valley and Sun Lakes, where the old outnumber the young.

Step right up and ask the irascible "straight shooter" anything at all. Whether it has to do with Syria, sequestration, gay marriage, or gun control, McCain has an answer, a quip, a comeback.

But in Oro Valley, the meat of the hour-long meeting is McCain's pitch for comprehensive immigration reform as envisioned by the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" senators, of which he's one.

Actually, McCain isn't so much selling as telling his constituents this is the way things will be, assuming the 844-page bill he and the others have produced can make it out of the Senate and then emerge triumphant from the U.S. House of Representatives, where the extremist Tea Party faction remains a force to be reckoned with.

With the aid of charts, he notes that the number of apprehensions in the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson sector is down and that the number of Border Patrol Agents is up, as is the amount of spending meant to secure the border.

The new bill would throw even more federal dollars at border militarization.

"Two and a half billion dollars will be spent on fencing and surveillance," McCain intones. "Another billion and a half will be spent on technology."

There would be drones and sensors, just like in Iraq and Afghanistan, he tells them. The goal: 90 percent of all illegal crossers apprehended.

Moreover, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would be required to assure Congress that new border-security measures are working.

For the undocumented already in the United States, there would be a 13-year wait before they could apply for citizenship. During that time, they would have to jump through hoops: background checks, fines, payment of back taxes.

E-verify, the federal system that can check an employee's eligibility to work, would become mandatory for all employers in the United States. Unless someone has "a tamper-proof document," according to the senator, one showing eligibility, then he or she won't be able to get a job.

"The magnet that draws people to this country is jobs from the [southern border]," McCain states. "If the word gets out that if you come to this country [illegally], and you can't get a job because you don't have the right documentation, that will have a strong effect."

Unlike in other McCain town halls, the questions from the Oro Valley crowd on the Gang of Eight's immigration fix are mixed. Some express nativist sentiments, others a pro-immigrant mentality.

One elderly woman asks about the "anchor-baby problem," then regales McCain with a weird story about a drug lord coming to America for a day so his girlfriend can give birth to a U.S. citizen.

McCain acknowledges her concerns, despite her bigoted language.

He reminds her that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says if you're born on U.S. soil, then you are an American — so the issue would have to be addressed from "a constitutional standpoint."

Good answer for a guy born on a naval base in Panama.

On this day, the senator is less forgiving of questions from the pro-immigrant side.

One woman asks McCain to consider reunification of families in the new plan. Currently, families often are separated during the deportation process, indefinitely.

"I'd be glad to examine it," he says. "But I have no sympathy for repeat crossers of our border."

State Senator Steve Gallardo drove down from Phoenix to ask McCain about shortening the 13-year wait to apply for citizenship. Gallardo also expresses concern that further border militarization would lead to additional deaths in the desert, as migrants take even more rugged and forsaken routes to avoid detection.

McCain is dismissive. Cutting down the 13-year wait is "not something I can sell to the Congress of the United States."

As for those crossing the Sonoran Desert, McCain says he doesn't want anyone to die, but neither does he want them coming across to begin with.

"I want them to know that if they go through that, there's not going to be a job for them here," he tells Gallardo.

And yet, occasionally during the meeting, McCain lauds the America of Lady Liberty.

"Every group of immigrants that has come to this country has grasped the bottom rung," he states at one point, "the least attractive jobs and the hardest work, and then they have moved up the ladder. That's what America's all about."

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38 comments
azwi
azwi

John McCain will says anything or does anything as long as it's beneficial to John McCain and John McCain only 

DNichols
DNichols

Memorial Day 2013 Mc Shameless didn't Honor our Fallen Heroes, he went to Syria to Hob Knob with Syrian Rebel/Terrorists?!

Mc Stain exploited Memorial Day to Shamelessly "War Monger" for Defense Dollars!

Mc Stain is a Disgrace to America.

andy440
andy440

Not the  best answer to make our boarders a war like zone. This should be about allowing the raw power of immigration to spread into our country in a way that makes our nation stronger.  Fences are always penetrable if you want it bad enough.


sarum
sarum

What's in a name?  CAIN says all you need to know.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

John McShame ... war-mongering coward known as "song bird" by the North Vietnamese for his willingness to snitch and inform on his fellow troops.


royalphoenix
royalphoenix

McCain won't run for reelection. This immigration "reform" is nothing but garbage. Wal-Mart can't keep employees, and what labor unions there are left in this country need to be broken. Nothing in this article is news, McCain has been lying and flip-flopping since day one. peace

chucklereader1
chucklereader1

fuk  immigration,you can't stop them, you old geezer. concentrate on what has really irritated you over the years and that is cable bundling.help us get an ala carte menu, fuk'n geez

chucklereader1
chucklereader1

fuk  immigration,you can't stop them, you old geezer. concentrate on what has really irritated you over the years and that is cable bundling.help us get an ala carte menu, fuk'n geez

chucklereader1
chucklereader1

fuk  immigration,you can't stop them, you old geezer. concentrate on what has really irritated you over the years and that is cable bundling.help us get an ala carte menu, fuk'n geez

salmo60
salmo60

It is way past the time for Senator Flip Flop to retire. Retire to Cindy's beach front Mansion in Cali and spend her dad's Mafia money.  

robert_graham
robert_graham

Just in: Judge lets no DL policy stand!! I told you there would be no drivers licenses for DREAMERS and I was right (again).

eeecuzin
eeecuzin

With republicans like him the left has nothing to worry about. People should look up songbird and put this in context with toda.

robert_graham
robert_graham

Screw John McCain. He is a loser and he will be the next politician to be recalled as well as Raul Grijalva and Mary Rose Wilcox.

brinvinn
brinvinn

lol, that McSame dude really cracks me up man.


www.Secure-Web.tk

Reggievv
Reggievv

But you have to blame Arizona voters. They were suckered by his POW story, in that the party looked for which State would vote for him blindly for Congress. It was Arizona. And he has been suckering the voters ever since.

Reggievv
Reggievv

Two faced senile old coot. Been on every side of every issue. Been a warmonger. Fly on both Charles Keating's plane and in Duke Tully's squadron. His years of captivity have been cheapened by his own political expediency.

Mary Doe
Mary Doe

Disagree. His statement about Prince Harry being a very handsome young man was courageous. See The Daily Show for Tuesday.

azwi
azwi

John McCain is a pathological and compulsive liar that tells one blatant lie after another. McCain too, is certainly the leader when it comes to flip flopping. John McCain will say or do anything as long as it's beneficial to John McCain and John McCain only. McCain is a perfect example of an politician that lack character, credibility and integrity. Wacko Birds like John McCain should be kept away from our children. We want to teach our children to be truthful and faithful, two things that McCain isn't! John McCain is a war hungry warmonger that wants to send our children off too foreign wars for his own lust. 

http://exposingreligionblog.tumblr.com/post/30496848783

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9688222

http://pol.moveon.org/mccain10/thanks.html?id=-17340335-0gXtorx

http://rt.com/news/prime-time/vietnamese-dispute-mccain-torture-claim/


MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

I'm surprised Mitt Romney didn't ask McCain for political advice.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

Yeah McCain has a quip or comeback for everything... I would love to see what he has to say when asked about the aircraft carrier he almost sunk, the US carrier and the number of planes he destroyed on that same carrier, being a fool.

This old fool has spent enough time in govt. service sucking off the tit of the American taxpayer. All we ever seem to get from him is partisan BS, rhetoric and personal witch hunts not based on facts. 

"I want them to know that if they go through that, there's not going to be a job for them here," - Great idea John, so why don't you tell the different prosecutors and LEO's around the state to start going after the EMPLOYERS who give them the jobs??? Tell your buddy Arpaio to actually do his job, all of it, instead of just cherry picking

"McCain is dismissive. Cutting down the 13-year wait is "not something I can sell to the Congress of the United States."" - gee.. according to the polls, that we know are correct thanks to the recent election you LOST McCain and the one after that, Americans do want that cut down to a more reasonable time... but then again, since when do you or the rest of congress listen to the American voters.... I notice McCain that you have no problem cutting that 13 years down for agricultural workers, housekeepers, etc... So in other words, truer words, you have no problem them coming here if they serve you or the lobbies you get bribes from but who cares what the majority of the America people want, even though THOSE are the people you are supposed to be working for.

Time we get the old farts out of congress, put in term limits on all elected positions and start over.

sarum
sarum

@andy440

Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution

"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence."

and shall protect each of them against invasion;
and shall protect each of them against invasion;

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967

@JoeArpaioFan 

Actually, the judge denied the preliminary injunction but ruled that immigrant activists were LIKELY TO SUCCEED in their argument that the State unfairly denies driver's licenses to DACA immigrants.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@JoeArpaioFan  

Just IN!!!! YOU ARE STILL A LYING IDIOT!!!

The only thing that was done today was the temporary injunction was denied, but the Trial over this is still ongoing and the judge has not ruled in it.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@JoeArpaioFan  

Wow, you were right about something no one was wanting or seriously thought would happen... hooray for you.. 

That's like saying the sky is blue, everyone knows it so it's not really an accomplishment for you. (again)

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967

@JoeArpaioFan 

Um, McCain is a federal employee. As is Grijalva.

Wilcox's recall hasn't gone anywhere. Neither has Campbell's.

So, you're back to square one.

DNichols
DNichols

@Arpaio's Butt Monkey: Isn't it time for you to change Arpaio's Diaper?!

sarum
sarum

@Reggievv I can't blame voters anymore.  Working parents really don't have the time to separate fact from spin.  I blame the media for failing to remain independent free press.

azwi
azwi

@Mary Doe The Princess shouldn't associate himself with McCain. The Princess is noted for humanitarianism and McCain is noted for racism, warmongering, bombings invasions, wars and killings.  

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967

@Flyer9753 

"Great idea John. So why don't you tell the different prosecutors and LEO's around the state to start going after the EMPLOYERS who give them the jobs???"

McCain gets massive campaign contributions from employers. He knows he can't afford to tell them what to do. His ass is owned by the corporate world. Notice how corporations pay little to no tax (business tax included) but the average citizen pays a shitload in tax...

The majority of people want the extreme deficit reduced (what happened to the billion dollars/month we were spending in Iraq?) jobs, immigration (nothing has happened since IRCA, which I suspect was the cause of our current immigration problem) etc.

Doesn't Congress have a job to do? Instead of grilling Holder over the AP scandal (I personally think Holder knew what was up and should be fired at this point, as well as letting AP sue the feds), the IRS scandal (who knows why those groups were targeted. I doubt it was politics, since the IRS is an independent agency) and Benghazi (which McCain himself claims is a massive cover-up) Congress should be doing what the PEOPLE sent them there for.

I completely agree that we need term limits for Congress. I think we should do it via a Constitutional amendment. It would include the ability to recall ANY Cabinet member, Congressman/woman, Senator, etc. and places 2 4-year term limits (similar to what the president gets) on ALL government officials.

DNichols
DNichols

@HermanBernstein:

JoeArpaioFan?

This "Bum" seems to blog about Fourteen hours a day, except for a couple of days that Arpaio was in the Hospital?

Question, Who is JoeArpaioFan?

Answer:  Who is Arpaio.

After all Arpaio's Sheriff Duties are being done by others for him now that he is to Old to walk with out getting hurt.

He is probably the highest paid blogger in the U.S.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967

@azwi @MaskedMagician1967 

Dumb & Dumber was actually funny. Unlike McCain and Romney.

Romney was a disastrous MA governor. McCain has been in government for more than 30 years.

McCain needs to retire. Just like a certain elderly local sheriff...

 
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