It took many years for Senator John McCain to lose his unofficial RINO (conservative acronym for ‘Republican In Name Only’) status. And even though the Arizona senator has done his best to mollify conservatives that he backs a controversial new law which critics say will lead to racial profiling of Latinos, Republicans related to him in family and politics are taking the opposite point of view.
At Bloomberg News, Keven Hassett, an economist who “served as an economic adviser to the George W. Bush 2004 presidential campaign and as Senator John McCain’s chief economic adviser during the 2000 presidential primaries,” and “also served as a senior economic adviser to the McCain 2008 presidential campaign,” writes, “If Democratic majorities survive the backlash against big government in this election cycle, it will be because Republicans, the party of the right, became the Party of White.”
“A party that alienates racial minorities will justly be made a political minority, so the Republican response to whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s happening in Arizona will be a defining moment,” Hassett adds.
While there are many policies that undercut the support of minorities for Republicans — from opposition to affirmative action to regional support for the Confederate flag — immigration is clearly the brewing Republican problem among Hispanic Americans. Republicans like Arizona Governor Jan Brewer have too often appeared hostile to immigrants.
Republicans need to be against illegal immigration, in favor of legal immigration — and much more emphatic about the latter. Say what you will about the merits of ArizonaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new law: its timing was awful, politically, and its advocates have done a terrible job of distinguishing illegal immigration from immigration in general. Savvy Republicans would seek to reassure legal immigrants about their place in this country while exposing Democrats for advocating policies that make AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s welcome mat unsustainable.
Ronald Reagan said the U.S. was traditionally the land of opportunity, where Ã¢â‚¬Å“the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.Ã¢â‚¬Â Republicans need to rally around that view of America, fast. The November midterms are just around the corner.
“I do not want any discriminatory behavior, and I’ve talked to a group of lawmen,” McCain told CBS’ “The Early Show” last Tuesday. “They think they can implement this law without racial profiling.”
But Hassett has at least one McCain in his corner: the Republican senator’s daughter Meghan.
“Let me say up-front that I do not support the bill that was signed by Governor Jan Brewer,” Meghan McCain wrote in her Daily Beast blog last Wednesday. “I believe it gives the state police a license to discriminate, and also, in many ways, violates the civil rights of Arizona residents.”
Simply put, I think it is a bad law that is missing the bigger picture of what is really going on with illegal immigration. The concept that a law-enforcement official can stop an individual when Ã¢â‚¬Å“reasonable suspicion exists that a person is an alien, who is unlawfully present in the United StatesÃ¢â‚¬Â is essentially a license to pull someone over for being Hispanic.
In the end, the saddest part for me is that we are all losing with this immigration law. Arizona is being shown in a negative light in the media, and once again Hispanic voters in Arizona have yet another reason to distrust the Republican Party. And the issue of immigration has now become so politicized that I seriously wonder if anything can be done to combat the real issues.