Friday, September 29, 2006

My John McCain Crush Post #25

RCP interviews McCain. My favorite parts:

"By the way, I don't mean to stray from the subject but a really entertaining thing happened day before yesterday. The Democrats had this hearing with two generals and a colonel, and it was a Rumsfeld-as-pinata encounter. But the interesting thing is that at the very end they made a terrible, cardinal error: they asked the generals and the colonel what we should do and they answered "stay the course," "more troops," "can't afford to lose." Oops. Hearing over. I thought it was wonderful. I'm sure they weren't pleased to hear the generals say we need more troops and we have to stay the course and we can't afford to lose. I'm sure some staffer probably got reprimanded or fired for allowing such a question to be asked."

He get's what the American people are feeling about the war:

"But I want to mention this about the war. Americans are frustrated, they're saddened, and they want to get out. But they don't want to get out according to a calendar. They want to get out according to conditions on the ground. And still, significant majorities, although frustrated and may think that we shouldn't have gotten in there in the first place, still don't agree with this set a date with for withdrawal. Thank God."

On Immigration:

"Here's how I think the compromise comes out. We set up a framework that all of the necessary measures to secure our border - not seal, by the way, the Israelis found out you can't seal a border - to secure our borders have been taken. In other words, authorize increased number of border patrol, facilities that need to be built, a fence, and the money appropriated so that we can go to our constituents and say "look, here's what every expert says is necessary to secure our borders, and these are the measures we've taken. " And that's going to take us a couple of years - to build the fence, install the sensors, build the towers and hire the border patrol, etc- and now we're going to try to address a temporary worker program and somehow dispose of the 11 or 12 million people who are already here. Just, for example, the temporary worker program. Suppose tomorrow we said "ok, anybody who works here as a temporary worker is going to have to have a biometric tamper proof visa." It would take us a year and half or two years anyway to set up such a program, starting from scratch. So our proposal is: take the steps necessary to secure the border, have it in place, but also start trying to address these other two issues, because the great fear of our base, and it's understandable and legitimate, is that we do what we did in the 1980s: promise to secure the borders, give amnesty, and yet the flow continues."


"So this is a bridgeable gap. But again, the fear of our Republican base, and it's legitimate, because of what happened in the 80's is we say: OK, now we're going to give these people a path to citizenship and we're going to have a temporary worker program, but we don't secure the border so 10 years from there are 12 million more who've come across the border. They want a commitment to make the border secure. I understand that."

He gets why we are angry about spending:

"But there's one other aspect of this that doesn't get discussed and should be. Every time I talk to the party faithful about spending, they get angry. They are angry. They don't get angry, they are angry. The part of our base that has to do with fiscal discipline is angry at us - and they should be. There's no reason why they shouldn't be. When I mention the Bridge to Nowhere, they know it. They know it. And so, one of my major concerns is that - they won't vote Democrat, that doesn't bother me - but they might stay home. That's a concern that I have in talking to all these Republican audiences."