Not so fast. Once you let the inmates run the asylum, they less interested in winning elections and more interested in controlling the asylum, it turns out. The same rabid wingbats who forced McCain's election-year makeover in 2008 and forced him to retain that stand in 2010 are now ready to chew him up. McCain is holding townhalls, and the angry white Teabaggers are out for blood:
Arizona took center stage in the national immigration debate Tuesday as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano toured the state's border with Mexico and Sen. John McCain defended his proposed immigration overhaul to an angry crowd in suburban Phoenix. [...]This is what happens, Sen. McCain when you sacrifice all reason and allow a fringe in your party to take over and control the message. This is what happens when your party shamelessly campaigns on the message of "self-deportation" and "dang fences." This is what happens when your party's nominee and its other luminaries as well as its media darlings go around the country and gin up the hatred in your bigoted base by telling them how immigrants and minorities are moochers who just want free stuff. This is what you get when you have a party completely bereft of ideas filled trying to win elections by appealing to people's hatred, fears and extremism.
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.
This is what happens when the chickens come home. Enjoy, senator.
I would feel sorry for Sen. McCain, but I don't. This is his own making. When it was his moment to shine, his moment to represent his party, instead of building an inclusive message, he picked a bigoted half-term governor from Alaska who held rallies accusing their opponent of being a terrorist. When it was his moment to give his party direction, John McCain chose instead to pander to the Joe-the-Plumbers more interested in branding Barack Obama a socialist than solving any of the country's problems. When it was his time to finally mold his own party, McCain failed miserably to stop racist, angry white male extremist element from taking over.
What John McCain faced today was much his own making. It was the result of him losing the courage to put his country first. It was the result of John McCain putting his electoral interests - both in the 2008 presidential primaries and the 2010 senate race, to mention nothing of McCain's naked advocacy of Romney's policies in 2012 - and his personal vendettas over the interests of the country that he once so heroically served.
Sad. But I have to say, it serves him right.