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The Ruinous Rant of John McCain

Posted on Jun 26, 2011

The decline of the Grand Old Party into an angry mob is gaining momentum, with crackpot rage displacing common sense on every major issue from public finance to marriage rights.

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An ominous signal of this transformation emanated last week from John McCain, who has been a sometime voice of rationality on such sensitive partisan matters as torture, climate change and immigration. Now he, too, has descended into demagoguery by falsely claiming that illegal immigrants are behind the spread of destructive wildfires in Arizona.

Insisting that there is “substantial evidence” to support his racially inflammatory accusation, the Arizona senator could produce none, and neither could his staff. Instead, there is, as The Washington Post noted, not even a shred of evidence that immigrants set those fires. Nobody knows yet why the borderlands blazed, but the U.S. Forest Service has blamed an “escaped campfire”—and indicated clearly that there is no reason to believe that illegal immigrants are to blame.

Stoking racial and ethnic hostility in the South and West is an old political tactic, yet what may be more harmful is the squandered opportunity symbolized by McCain’s ugly outburst. Not so many years ago, he had joined with the late Sen. Edward Kennedy in leading the nation toward a realistic compromise on immigration, coupling a path toward citizenship for undocumented workers and their families with strict border controls and visa enforcement.

During the years between his two presidential campaigns, McCain and his top aides even created a think tank, the Reform Institute, to advance sensible immigration policy, among other sane ideas. Supporters of the institute and its platform ranged from the usual Republican corporate donors to George Soros, an immigrant from Hungary who has long advocated humane treatment of immigrants and refugees, both here and abroad.


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Momentum toward a workable solution on immigration was lost amid polarizing rhetoric and presidential ambitions well before the 2008 campaign, when McCain finally surrendered to the worst elements in his own party on many issues. But the chances for change have improved lately, with a rapid fall in illegal border crossing and a sharp improvement in border enforcement.

There is no such thing as perfect immigration control, but federal agencies report that the Mexican border is more secure now than it has been for many years, thanks to increased patrol resources provided by the Bush and Obama administrations, as well as economic conditions. Over the past six years, illegal crossings are down by roughly 50 percent.

Or at least the chances for change should have improved with better security, since most Americans still support enforcement-plus-citizenship, as polls have long indicated they do. Yet while President Obama has continued to promote reform, there is nobody on the Republican side prepared to talk compromise, let alone negotiate a deal.

Now, the Republican politicians who once stood up for bipartisan progress, like McCain, prefer pandering to the xenophobic and hateful factions who increasingly dominate their party base.

The divisions and dislocations caused by illegal immigration present a real problem in American society, but it is a problem with a solution that has been well known for years. The much greater problem is that we no longer have two political parties with a will toward finding and implementing such solutions. We have a party of responsible government that seeks to preserve American institutions—and we have a party of feckless fakers who do nothing but exploit resentment.

The latest McCain misadventure is a troubling reflection not just on him, but on the future of his party—and perhaps the fate of his country. He helped to complete the intellectual ruin of the Republicans when he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. With their hostility to science, their appeals to bigotry and their economic quackery, exactly what makes the Republicans fit to govern a leading nation on a troubled, globalizing planet? That is the hidden question of the coming election.


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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, July 3, 2011 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

“With their hostility to science, their appeals to bigotry and their economic quackery, exactly what makes the Republicans fit to govern a leading nation on a troubled, globalizing planet?” article = Joe Conason

And just how have “Barack Hussein Obama” and the party of Democrats improved the lot of the U.S.of A. and the western world? 

Continuation of the policies and illegal legislation enacted by the George H.W. Bush Sr. entourage (republicans), further schrinking the rights of Americans, accelerating the “globalization” of the planet for the benefit of the owners of industry and the USMilitary, and pursuing quasi-genocide in the Middle-East via illegal wars, are the products of the current “Democrat” party leadership.  All of which is allegedly led by a man who uses a questionable name, born in Kenya, unqualified to be President of the U.S.A.  He and his “handlers” were already laughing at the naivete´ of Americans, in 2004.

That a judge opened “closed records” to a newspaper for public revelation, to benefit Obama and the Democrat party, is scandalous.  Yet, considering the history of Illinois judges (, perhaps sadly typical of the Illinois judicial & political system.

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By tropicgirl, June 30, 2011 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

Well, since the Camper decided to de-rail this blog, for what reason, I still don’t know, and then email me about it, I feel I must respond.

Its TOTALLY idiotic to expect a babysitter at a National Park. A National Park is NOT Disneyland. I believe you would have been much more comfortable there.

If we followed your idiotic point of view, no one would ever be able to climb mountainsides at Yosemite. We would not be able to be “allowed” in the desert at night. We can’t man our own watercrafts without being examined, and so on.

Most places in the great national wonder of California are unsupervised. You have only to visit these national parks to realize that it would be impossible to man them.

Heck, roads in northern California mountains can be easily departed from, given the fact that they are totally dangerous.

More nanny tit is not going to help anyone. Find another place your are comfortable in, or go to Disney, where you can pay for your nanny and call the cops whenever you want.

Otherwise, my friend, be a MAN. Especially in front of your family. How embarrassing it should have been to call a poor, probably underpaid, female to help you enforce something that YOU could have done by being a creative, nice person with a sense of humor.

Maybe you should take hormones.

In the meantime, don’t wreck our potential experience in our wonderful country by insisting that some beefy female cops accompany us on behalf of the government, everywhere we go in nature. Not fair for them, not good for us. Please.

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By drbhelthi, June 30, 2011 at 12:46 am Link to this comment

“Thank you for noticing our story.  Hopefully there won’t be any more wild fires, but seeing how responsive they are to other serious issues, I wouldn’t be surprised if some other catastrophe hits.” = National Parks Camper

Probably many others noticed your blog.  It might be useful to name the National Park in which you had the “lawlessness” experience. You mentioned the cross border traffic, which may have influenced the situation. The millions of illegal residents in the USA require consideration. 

The illegal suppression of U.S. immigration law by former governor Schwarzenegger in California, and the Obama regime at the national level, actively contribute to lawlessness. Current attempts by the U.S. Dept. of Justice to punish states that are enforcing U.S. immigration law are quite obvious. The DOJ and its “alleged entrapment” of Mexican drug dealers, via shipment of weapons into Mexico, is a current example of lawlessness at the U.S. Dept. of Justice level. 

Forest fires have been intentionally set in California, attempting to bankrupt specific insurance companies while removing forests for lawless “land-developers.”  Careless campers have been responsible for some, a few started by maladaptives enthralled by the fire and perception of power, and a few by lightening.  Considering these four sources of forest fires, we can be assured that they will continue. Especially, forest fires started by the maladaptives who practice lawlessness, and behave like hooligans at National Parks campsites.

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By National Parks Camper, June 28, 2011 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There was only 1 ranger on duty when we were there - for a very large family campground that was packed (and even moreso with this group that was supposed to be in a reserved group campground).  The ranger was your hearty thirty-something working mom type - and I figure she was either completely intimidated by the group herself, and scared to do anything without the police there or more back-up, or, they pay people off.  She was there giving a nature talk and getting ready to go. 

So it’s not hard for me to see how a forest fire could have started, or that they might have a lot of cross border traffic going through.

I don’t want to name locations on the internet, but it is a major, famous national site for camping and hiking.  Not one of the smaller ones.  And NO ONE, virtually, was on duty.  With all these people there in the woods together.

The only assurance we had, for our own safety, given the blatant disregard for rules and rights of others, was leaving the park.  So we did, in the middle of the night.  And the Park Service didn’t care.

Thank you for noticing our story.  Hopefully there won’t be any more wild fires, but seeing how responsive they are to other serious issues, I wouldn’t be surprised if some other catastrophe hits.

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By MThomas66, June 28, 2011 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As with many illnesses, we discuss, dissect the symptoms but never go deep to look at the causes.
McCain’s illness is seen in most of the GOP party.  They are mean-spirited, bigoted, short-sighted, demagoguery, bully, thin-skinned, hateful, my way only or the highway.
The question is - what’s causing this illness.  It can’t be power envy.  Their policies have been in place for over 30 yrs.  Most people say we live in a center right country, not left.  We got a president considers their stand and compromises with them.  A president who has instituted more policies conservatives advocated for in the past.
What is this illness and what are the causes.  We see the symptoms everyday, what’s the cause?

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By Sammy Truman, June 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

But there was a reason McCain chose Palin.  McCain is an egregious lifetime womanizer, but is now too old to actively chase, so the next best thing was to have Palin on hand to feed his imagination.

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By tropicgirl, June 28, 2011 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

I guess that makes his new best friend, John Kerry, a crackpot also. Thought so.

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By drbhelthi, June 28, 2011 at 12:32 am Link to this comment

“I was glad to see Obama promoting the National Parks,- -” = National Parks Camper

Dear former National Parks Camper,your naivete´ is incredible.
You were cheated out of your rightful camping place, harrassed by a
organization goon, were lied to by the Rangers and Police, received no response to your official letter to the Park Service.  Your naivete´is characteristic of Americans, who formerly thought: “our government wouldn´t do this to us.”  Time to wake up.

Obama is a puppet of the current USGOV, puts up a Hollywood front, while officially implementing the opposite.  And you haven´t noticed this?  Are you among the decreasing number of Americans who believe that Obama was born in Hawaii?  Take a look at this Kenyan newspaper article:

You are wise to adopt the saying of the original inhabitants of what is now North, Central and South America.  Roman Catholic imps of the Queen of Spain, initially, Christopher Columbus, initiated the genocide of the original indigenous of the “American” continents.  Their saying: “What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say,” was a rule by which they lived.  It is past time for all intelligent folk to adapt to this behavioral yardstick.  Especially Americans.

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By LocalHero, June 27, 2011 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

Really? You just figured out that John McCain is certifiably insane?

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By Night-Gaunt, June 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

Just look at Georgia, Wisconsin, Ohio, Texas and see the carnage wrought by the fanatics who wish to twist the USA into some kind of modern theonomic autocratic corporate state. It is an ugly thing what they have done and continue to do. By hook or crook they will do evil.

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By National Parks Camper, June 27, 2011 at 11:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There are probably issues here related to political allegiances within the National Park system, the state government, the governor’s office, immigration, all kinds of crap, including who polices where and why.

The National Parks are underfunded and understaffed, first of all, and I suspect this has led to problems of all kinds throughout the country.  We are big national park campers, and camped recently, traveling a great distance to do so, only to be essentially bullied out by a racous sports school group that wasn’t even supposed to be camping in a family oriented campground.  They even sent a guy around, from their group, trying to harass and intimidate people into leaving their first-come-first-served spots, prior to official arrival.

We contacted the rangers, the police, and were told action was to be forthcoming, but nothing was, and we had to leave in the middle of the night, after all that time, expense, planning, and traveling to get there.  I wrote to the Parks department and they never even bothered to answer my letter.  What was really going on?

I was glad to see Obama promoting the National Parks, but we need more than promotional visits.  The parks need a lot more money.  They are a national treasure and should be taken care of.  They are a wonderful way to put American citizens back to work.  And I’m not talking about INS jobs, but teaching, rangers, camp ground maintenance and care, so on.

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By drbhelthi, June 27, 2011 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

Add Mr. John McCain to the many millions of Americans
and all other nationalities whose personalities were
warped by their “war” experiences.

And, whose consciences have been seared to the extent
that they have minimal sensitivity for humane concerns,
and even less for altruism in the realm of societal

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By drbhelthi, June 27, 2011 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

Add Mr. John McCain to the many millions of Americans and all other nationalities whose personalities were warped by their “war” experiences. 

And, whose consciences have been seared to the extent that they have minimal sensitivity for humane concerns, and even less for altruism in the realm of societal behavior.

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By litlpeep, June 27, 2011 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

“Now he, too, has descended into demagoguery…”

You just noticed that?!?

Where have you been for the last few years?

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By Rodney, June 27, 2011 at 6:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

John McCain has decided to cater to racists in his party where he just served them up a cup of tea. He did it with Sarah Palin but it got out of hand and cost him the election. Every now and then he has to show his racist credentials to let people in Arizona know that he is still one of them. For every sensible thing he says returns to his racists roots when his base begins to complain. He really tries to have it both ways. Problems is the racists only want it their way.

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By Joe, June 26, 2011 at 11:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To be fair McCain is not the first person ever to point out that illegal immigrants do infact cause wildfires

They are after all the largest group of people camping in those parts. And yes campfires start wildefires in dry areas.

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By Yes I Am Human, June 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For the most part, I am very much with this article’s well crafted approach to
reintroducing comprehensive immigration reform .. via John McCain’s earlier
person .. that is, until we get to the part about what the two political parties
have become.  At least insofar as the Democrats are being characterized as “a
party of responsible government that seeks to preserve American institutions.” 
Unless my irony meter isn’t functioning, this leads us into why we have such a
problem with undocumented immigrants, to begin with, and which has to do
with both parties complicit in feckless fakery - passing trade agreements that
bring people over illegally while driving down wages and pushing Americans
out of jobs in entire industries - like construction or the hotel/restaurants in
some areas.  And as they refuse to grapple with the problems of corporations
also shipping jobs out.  While John McCain has been decrying illegal
immigration, he has also been part and parcel of a whole new trade new in
Columbia, when the trade agreements have been identified by people on all the
sides of the political debate as part of parcel of what has been creating this 12-
20 million population living as a second or third class in the shadows - without
a right to vote or participate equally in this society with others.  Sadly, the
campfire may indeed have been caused by a continuous flow of traffic through
various parts of the state, including government land.  Though of course it is
highly responsible of a politician to declare as much, as if established fact, and
in the face of statements by the Park Service itself.  There is also the issue of
the private prison industry which has been reported as having a powerful lobby
in Congress, particularly with the Republican Party—but, I wouldn’t be
surprised if the party for responsible government and preservation of American
institutions were just as involved themselves.

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By mrfreeze, June 26, 2011 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

correction: “why don’t they just PUT the names….”

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By mrfreeze, June 26, 2011 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

McCain’s problem is so transparent that everyone misses it:

McCain is a “military guy.” His solution to every problem is violence, war or coercion. He believes that his “class” of people are the ones who should be running the country: generals, swat teams, elite military forces…..He’s Rambo in Congress.

Why idiots vote for guys like McCain is beyond me. Why don’t they just the names of candidates + their respective personality disorder next to them on the ballot?

John McCain - Sociopath/Narcissist

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By gerard, June 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

It appears that money is the sad answer to the last question here.  Our country has sunk so low that money buys its government, lock, stock and barrel, and if “the people” protest, they are “surveilled,” harrassed and disposed of as quickly as possible. The media collaborate in this hoax, which makes the problem doubly difficult.  McCain is a victim of this combination of deadly factors as much as any of the rest of us, and it will take a massive recognition of the necessity to rebuild democratic integrity—at all levels and among all classes—to begin to cope with it intelligently.

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