Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rebuilding his reputation?

Much of the public attention paid Tuesday toward immigration reform was on the comments made by President Barack Obama during his appearance in Las Vegas.
McCAIN: Back to his senses?

The president took his own gamble that speaking about the issue in general terms (he's not offering up his own reform proposal) would not infuriate the ideologues to the point where they will pledge "death" to any attempt to revamp the current bureaucratic mess that is our federal immigration policy.

BUT MY THOUGHTS went to the eight-member committee of Congress that is trying to come up with the specific bill that would get approval both in the Senate and House of Representatives, then from the president himself.

For one of the eight (including one of the four Republican members) is Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

The former Obama presidential opponent whose own campaign for re-election in 2010 turned to the right to the point where he virtually renounced all the work he had previously done to try to reform immigration policy.

McCain made a public choice -- a growing Latino population that took this issue as evidence of how much respect one was willing to pay us. Instead, he chose to back the ideologues.

HE WANTED THEIR voter support to the point that he was willing to turn his back toward our growing numbers.

That is why Obama got the solid Latino support in 2008 (it was an anti-McCain vote). And it is why McCain was lucky not to be defeated by those elements who view his early involvement with the issue as evidence enough to dump him.

Although it seems that McCain has once again come to his political senses. He wants to be a part of the effort that he tried to get enacted into law by working with now-late Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts -- only to run into opposition from those ideologues who got all upset when their then-idol, George W. Bush, tried to advance the idea.

Bush's support was a significant part of the reason why his approval ratings languished in the 20's (of percent) when he left office in January 2009.

"THE REPUBLICAN PARTY is losing support of our Hispanic citizens," McCain told the Reuters wire service.

Which, on a certain level, is disappointing. McCain isn't having some political epiphany. He's merely being pragmatic. He doesn't want to lose, or be part of a losing political party.

He's realizing the need to stuff a sock down the throats of those ideologues who want to view immigration "reform" as solely a need to increase the number of deportations from this country -- along with construction of that money-wasting barricade along the U.S./Mexico border.

Because they're harmful on Election Day, which hurts the GOP efforts to be relevant on other days throughout the year.

BUT I'M ALSO realistic enough to know that politics isn't about the moral high-ground all that often. Political people do what they think will benefit their re-elections.

I have long thought (and written) that political people will start doing right by Latinos when we turn out in numbers that convince them that we can cost them their posts with our votes for the opposition.

So sure, McCain is now back on board with trying to make sense of our immigration policy -- which literally does create families where some are "legal" and others are not.

Personally, I'm not going to consider him some sort of political saint. Then again, if his actions of now go a long way toward actually getting a revamped policy into law, his vote will have been worth something after all.


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