Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has finally turned his back on immigration reform. He told a press conference on Monday that his only priority now was to have federal troops try and seal the border.
It should come as no real surprise, as he faces a tough challenge in September in the Republican primary, but nonetheless there is something very sad about his utter capitulation.
No one spoke out more forcefully about what had to be done to stop the trafficking of illegals and especially the deaths of so many as they attempted to cross over from Mexico.
In an interview with our sister publication Irish America Magazine, McCain spoke movingly of finding bodies of babies, children and young adults, who were abandoned as they tried to cross over from Mexico desperately seeking a new life.
Sure, McCain wanted to put border security as a top priority but he gave equal weight to creating an equitable system that allowed an orderly way for people to emigrate and not depend on the horrific smuggling that was taking place on his doorstep.
Now he has thrown out all the positive steps he wanted to take with Senator Edward Kennedy and addressed only the enforcement issue.
"The lesson is clear: First we have to secure the border," McCain said in a press conference. "If you want to enact some other reforms, how can that be effective when you have a porous border?
He knows better than anyone that sealing the border is just one step that must happen if real and workable immigration reform has to happen.
But he will not say that anymore. Ever since he lost the race for the White House McCain has seemed a bitter and lonely man.
Now he is throwing away the one great attribute he once had -- the ability to work across party lines, to come up with real solutions not empty slogans, and create a better America for everyone.
It is a great tragedy at a time when America needs a bipartisan politician who can work across the aisle. Instead they are getting empty slogans.
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