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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

McCain meets GOP base, discovers they’re still insane

Associated Press:

[On] Tuesday, McCain hosted two town hall meetings in Arizona, during which he defended his immigration plan to upset residents concerned about border security. A bipartisan group of senators — including Arizona Republicans McCain and Jeff Flake — want assurances on border security as Congress weighs what could be the biggest changes to immigration law in nearly 30 years. Arizona is the only state with both of its senators working on immigration reform in Congress, a sign of the state’s widely debated border security issues.


During a heated town hall gathering in the Phoenix suburb of Sun Lakes, McCain said the border near Yuma is largely secure, but he said smugglers are using the border near Tucson to pump drugs into Phoenix. He said immigration reform should be contingent on better border security that must rely largely on technology able to detect border crossings.

McCain said a tamper-proof Social Security card would help combat identity fraud, and noted any path to citizenship must require immigrants to learn English, cover back taxes and pay fines for breaking immigration laws.

“There are 11 million people living here illegally,” he said. “We are not going to get enough buses to deport them.”

This did not go well. AP reports that “Some audience members shouted out their disapproval.”

One man yelled that only guns would discourage illegal immigration. Another man complained that illegal immigrants should never be able to become citizens or vote. A third man said illegal immigrants were illiterate invaders who wanted free government benefits.

Of course, John McCain knows how crazy the GOP base has gotten over the years. If he didn’t, he never would’ve inflicted Sarah Palin on the nation. These people are a monster of the GOP’s own creation; the result of using Fox News, talk radio, and rightwing blogs to sway public opinion. Now, when Republicans speak to their base, they’re speaking to a crowd of ignorant, panicked, and intolerant dopes who repeat the unworkable wingnut media talking points back at them.

And this is what’s going to throw the Republicans’ big plan for a party makeover. They can’t change anything without pissing off the base and they can’t win over new voters without changing anything. In the end, self-interest kicks in, elected officials realize they need the base to be reelected, and all plans for change go out the window. Their own efforts to drive Americans crazy have now doomed them to further and deeper irrelevance.

Republicans are victims of their own success. Serves them right.

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