THE PLANK JULY 14, 2008
Speaking to the La Raza conference today, John McCain touts his courage on immigration reform:
At a moment of great difficulty in my campaign, when my critics said it would be political suicide for me to do so, I helped author with Senator Kennedy comprehensive immigration reform, and fought for its passage. I cast a lot of hard votes, as did the other Republicans and Democrats who joined our bipartisan effort. So did Senator Kennedy. I took my lumps for it without complaint. I did so not just because I believed it was the right thing to do for Hispanic Americans. It was the right thing to do for all Americans.
This is absurdly misleading. First, McCain co-sponsored immigration legislation in early 2005, before the conservative revolt against immigration had erupted, and at a time when doing so helped endear him to the Bush administration and the business lobby. Second, after his position became unpopular, McCain repeatedly declared that he "got the message" and refused to support his own legislation. How McCain can get away with portraying himself as the candidate in the race who refuses to trim his sails for political expediency continues to mystify me.