It begins: McCain breaks with GOP on birthright citizenship amendment

posted at 8:05 pm on August 13, 2010 by Allahpundit

The primary’s 10 days away, he’s sitting on a 20-point lead and outspending Hayworth three to one, and he should win the general comfortably. He’s finally out of danger, in other words.

Which means, for the first time in a long time … it’s Maverick time.

McCain told The Associated Press that, despite a statement he made last week that was widely interpreted as meaning he supported hearings on the 14th Amendment, he remains unconvinced that a change in the Constitution is needed. Instead, he argued that fully securing the border would help to solve the problem.

“When I was asked … I said ‘Look, if senators want to have hearings then senators have hearings, that’s how the Senate works, but I’m not requesting hearings,'” McCain said in an interview Thursday. “I’m devoting all my efforts to getting the borders secure, and if you get the border secure than the difficulties and challenges with this issue of people coming across our border illegally to have children is dramatically reduced.”…

When asked directly if would support such an amendment, McCain said: “No. I mean, first of all we’d have to have hearings, we’d have to find out what the argument would be, but I certainly don’t at this time.”

I wonder if Lindsey Graham will be doing any “clarifying” of his position too or if he’ll keep pushing in the interests of retaining a bargaining chip for the big amnesty push. In fairness to McCain, even enforcement advocates as stalwart as Mark Krikorian don’t regard birthright citizenship as a priority. It’s not citizenship for their kids that’s the chief incentive for illegals, it’s jobs, so if deterrence is the name of the game, punishing businesses for hiring “the undocumented” will put a bigger dent in the inflow of illegals than anything else. It’s better politics too, of course — tinkering with the Fourteenth Amendment makes for bad headlines no matter the context — and it’ll spare us any further lectures from Bush’s former aides about what terrible people we are. Exit question: Keep it going for bargaining chip purposes, a la Graham, or go the McCain route?

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Comment pages: 1 2

“I chose lying.”

echosyst on August 14, 2010 at 12:48 AM

Nnyah-nnyah, fooled you.

Speakup on August 14, 2010 at 12:51 AM

Again, he’s following the path to victory. He can read polls.

RBMN on August 14, 2010 at 1:02 AM

I’m with Oxrock, I don’t think this breaking with the GOP. Everyone knows it’s just a bargaining chip that Gramnesty has thrown out there to make himself look tough. The word tough and Graham in the same sentence has got to be the biggest oxymoron in the world.

Cindy Munford on August 13, 2010 at 8:17 PM

I’m getting really tired of saying this, but I’ll do it again. This is the beginning.

DFCtomm on August 14, 2010 at 1:32 AM


During the almost 11 yr tenure as Gov. of Arkansas, the state grew a lot which caused much more spending and a larger staff. Arkansas is a very poor state and when Gov. Huckabee took office, he inherited a $200M deficit and the state schools and infrastructure was in terrible condition. The people in Arkansas voted that they wanted their taxes increased to improve these things. I have a lot of information which showed that Gov. Huckabee decreased taxes by a lot and also increased taxes because he improved the state and he had to balance the budget each year. Their was a law on the books that made him responsible for checking quarterly that the state was operating within their budget. He had the most Democratic legislature (even more Democrats than MA at that time) which means he had to work with the Democrats to get anything done. This Legislature wanted to raise some taxes, Gov. Huckabee vetoed it, but they overrode his veto.

He fixed their school system from being rated 49th in the country to being rated 6th in the U.S. At that time, the roads were some of the best in the country according to truckers who came through Arkansas. Mike Huckabee left that state with approx. $850M surplus and with a 65% approval rating from the people. Gov. Huckabee was only the 3rd Republican ever voted in as Gov. of Arkansas. They didn’t have extra programs they could cut because the state was very poor. The people thought he did a great job.

So much for your Club for Growth information to smear Huckabee during the 2008 primary. BTW, Romney and his surrogates “donated” over $500,000 to Club for Growth before the Iowa primary. You know the group who spent over $1M in negative ads against Gov. Huckabee during the 2008 primary. So, don’t believe everything you read…you need to hear the other side of the story. You can’t compare a very poor state like Arkansas with a much wealthier one where the Gov. has to do different things for their state.

I live in Indiana, where Gov. Mitch Daniels is my Gov. Everybody in the Republican Establishment thinks he is sooo great. He is a good Governor, but even he raised 2-3 taxes in our state because he was doing it for the good of our state. Nobody thinks this is bad for Gov. Daniels.

VFT on August 14, 2010 at 2:03 AM

Arizona will re-elect McCain because Hayworth is worse.
I am not in AZ this election but I would have voted for McCain over Hayworth.

JD is a cartoon character of all the bad stereotypes of politicians. You can picture him tying a girl to the railroad tracks while twirling his mustache. He just gives off a villain vibe.

If you care about fiscal responsibility you don’t vote for JD. That’s is what is boils down to.

And all this 14th amendment talk is a distraction from step one, top priority of stopping the flow of illegals across the border.

It is a distraction just like “comprehensive immigration reform” is a distraction. Reinterpreting the 14th Amendment might happen as part of the reform at some point… but now is not the time!

Here and now we need to get the fence built and we need to get the man power down there because Mexico is nearly in a civil war and we don’t have a General Pershing to go across the border and defend our interests like we did in about 1916 or so when there was a similar violent situation with Pancho Villa coming into the US and raiding American ranches.

In Mexico the Drug war is bloody. Nothing else we do will matter at all if we don’t have control of our own borders.

petunia on August 14, 2010 at 2:49 AM

When John McCain casts himself in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt he has told you all you need to know: Teddy Roosevelt was a Progressive who detested conservatives. From his autobiography in Chapter X:

This had, regrettably but perhaps inevitably, tended to throw the party into the hands not merely of the conservatives but of the reactionaries; of men who, sometimes for personal and improper reasons, but more often with entire sincerity and uprightness of purpose, distrusted anything that was progressive and dreaded radicalism. These men still from force of habit applauded what Lincoln had done in the way of radical dealing with the abuses of his day; but they did not apply the spirit in which Lincoln worked to the abuses of their own day. Both houses of Congress were controlled by these men.

Lincoln, to be reminded, had the Civil War ongoing when he was dealing with said ‘abuses’. It would be very hard to apply that spirit of Lincoln during peacetime… something conservatives pointed out then and now.

We like to think of the National Parks as the legacy of TR, but another passage tends to tell the actual legacy of Progressivism in our elected officials:

The most important factor in getting the right spirit in my Administration, next to the insistence upon courage, honesty, and a genuine democracy of desire to serve the plain people, was my insistence upon the theory that the executive power was limited only by specific restrictions and prohibitions appearing in the Constitution or imposed by the Congress under its Constitutional powers. My view was that every executive officer, and above all every executive officer in high position, was a steward of the people bound actively and affirmatively to do all he could for the people, and not to content himself with the negative merit of keeping his talents undamaged in a napkin. I declined to adopt the view that what was imperatively necessary for the Nation could not be done by the President unless he could find some specific authorization to do it. My belief was that it was not only his right but his duty to do anything that the needs of the Nation demanded unless such action was forbidden by the Constitution or by the laws. Under this interpretation of executive power I did and caused to be done many things not previously done by the President and the heads of the departments. I did not usurp power, but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power. In other words, I acted for the public welfare, I acted for the common well-being of all our people, whenever and in whatever manner was necessary, unless prevented by direct constitutional or legislative prohibition. I did not care a rap for the mere form and show of power; I cared immensely for the use that could be made of the substance. The Senate at one time objected to my communicating with them in printing, preferring the expensive, foolish, and laborious practice of writing out the messages by hand. It was not possible to return to the outworn archaism of hand writing; but we endeavored to have the printing made as pretty as possible. Whether I communicated with the Congress in writing or by word of mouth, and whether the writing was by a machine, or a pen, were equally, and absolutely, unimportant matters. The importance lay in what I said and in the heed paid to what I said. So as to my meeting and consulting Senators, Congressmen, politicians, financiers, and labor men. I consulted all who wished to see me; and if I wished to see any one, I sent for him; and where the consultation took place was a matter of supreme unimportance. I consulted every man with the sincere hope that I could profit by and follow his advice; I consulted every member of Congress who wished to be consulted, hoping to be able to come to an agreement of action with him; and I always finally acted as my conscience and common sense bade me act.

And that sums up much of the way our political elite see us to this day, as well as their ascendancy to government powers. If they aren’t allowed to have it, they just exercise it anyway for your own good.

I do not trust Progressive Republicans.

I do not trust Progressive Democrats.

I do not trust Progressives and their constant name changing to white-wash their negative impact on our Nation, government and society. They can claim they have changed their stripes to spots, but their odor remains the same.

ajacksonian on August 14, 2010 at 5:10 AM

And…this is why Hayworth was always going to be a losing proposition? What?

Cylor on August 14, 2010 at 5:27 AM

“I’ll build the Dang Goddamned Fence to keep all of God’s Children out of The U.S. if they want it” – The Mavericky Maverick, My Friends

Note To Self, Write-In Chris Simcox In November!

Teddy on August 14, 2010 at 6:10 AM

It’s not citizenship for their kids that’s the chief incentive for illegals, it’s jobs,

It IS US citizenship that is a chief incentive for illegals. Jobs or no jobs, illegal aliens are on the US taxpayer funded dole.

It seems that being a single guy, pro-abortion, avoiding marriage and children leaves Allahpundit blind to the idea that Mexicans regularly cross the border in taxis to birth babies in US Hospitals. Ann Coulter broadcast that Sacramento CA, no where near the Mexican border, has 30% births from illegal aliens who get $500/mo. per child from the US govt. who coerced the money from US citizen taxpayers.

maverick muse on August 14, 2010 at 7:31 AM

Vote on agenda.

McCain’s agenda is self righteous bipartisan whoring.

maverick muse on August 14, 2010 at 7:37 AM

Mc is part of the problem not the solution.


donabernathy on August 14, 2010 at 7:58 AM

John, it’s time to go.

drunyan8315 on August 14, 2010 at 8:17 AM

I sincerely wish McCain would just go away! Quietly or kicking and screaming, I don’t care! Just as long he just goes away!

And while he’s at it, he can take his loudmouth daughter Meghan ThunderThighs with him!

pilamaye on August 14, 2010 at 8:41 AM

John, my friend, how can we miss you if you don’t go away? Is anyone surprised that McCain still wants anchor babies in the US? All this secure the border BS was because of this election.

Wills on August 14, 2010 at 8:51 AM

If you want a great explanation of the 14th Amendment, and why a Statute would be better and more likely to actually get done, go to and listen to the opening half hour of Friday, Aug 13th.

He goes into this subject thoroughly and explains what the intent of the 14th Amendment was, and why it doesn’t confer automatic citizenship to the children of illegal aliens born inside the United States.

McCain is right in a way, and Grahamnesty is wrong.

Brian1972 on August 14, 2010 at 10:08 AM

ajacksonian on August 14, 2010 at 5:10 AM

Some of the original ideas attributed to ‘Progressivism’ are not all bad.
TR had some bad ideas, but not all them were.
Wilson, however, I don’t think was very effective, but damaging.
And FDR-yikes.
But TR did have some good qualities.

Badger40 on August 14, 2010 at 10:48 AM

“Breaks with the GOP?” Seriously? McCain broke with the crazies of the party who are taking the party into oblivion in the southwest of the United States. Here in Texas, 10-15 years from now there be problems if the ghettofication of the GOP continues.

conservador on August 14, 2010 at 11:17 AM

conservador on August 14, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Don’t you mean “barrioization”?

Really Right on August 14, 2010 at 11:47 AM

When John McCain casts himself in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt he has told you all you need to know: Teddy Roosevelt was a Progressive who detested conservatives. From his autobiography in Chapter X:….

I can give McCain a pass on this, I suggest it’s simply ignorance of history. McCain likes TR simply because he has an image as a man’s man, a military hero, a great hunter, etc. Until Glenn Beck’s history lessons began, TR was much like Woodrow Wilson, a blank slate to all but history buffs.

No pass on the topic of this thread though.

slickwillie2001 on August 14, 2010 at 1:03 PM

“Breaks with the GOP?” Seriously? McCain broke with the crazies of the party who are taking the party into oblivion in the southwest of the United States. Here in Texas, 10-15 years from now there be problems if the ghettofication of the GOP continues.

conservador on August 14, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Agree. I think it’s typical that phonies like Graham and Boehner are picking up this issue. It’s damn stupid.

This idea has to be on the George Soros’ Birthday Wish List. It will keep a large socially conservative constituency angry with the conservative party for YEARS as the bill marches state to state.

McCain’s completely correct. All these a-holes have to do is ENFORCE THE LAW and the problem goes away. They’re posing as problem solvers instead of just doing their job.

Note how the Party of Doh! puts forward this suicidal idea just as Gallup reports large losses by BHO and the Dems in hispanic support!

rcl on August 14, 2010 at 1:22 PM

…a blank slate to all but history buffs.

This is an example of “Projection”. You’re excusing your own ignorance of history (pre-Glenn Beck) by asserting that only “History Buffs” really know TR.

Yeah, sure. That’s why his head is on Mt. Rushmore, because no one was paying attention!

Here Read This and then apologize for comparing Teddy to Woodrow Wilson.

rcl on August 14, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Exit question: Keep it going for bargaining chip purposes, a la Graham, or go the McCain route?

I thought it was bait and switch, not a bargaining chip

I don’t see McCain changed. He is still all for amnesty. Border and crime are diversionary tactics to get folk off topic.

The fence was voted on in the last session. It never got built and I didn’t hear McCain complaining.

The last thing McCain will go after is hiring. He is using the same line as the Left, bust criminal illegals only, deport criminal illegals only, criticize criminal illegals only. Keep the borders open to non felons, and continue the invasion with whatever lies will get you re elected

McCain’s old amnesty bill even offered amnesty to former gang members. Hypocrite

entagor on August 14, 2010 at 1:45 PM

It’s demonstrably true that enforcing existing border laws will work. You’re interpreting what McCain intends to do not judging what he says. You could be right. Or maybe not.

I don’t think that changes the fact that the drive for this amendment is a pointless exercise with only bad consequences for conservative political ambitions.

rcl on August 14, 2010 at 3:06 PM

“if you get the border secure than the difficulties and challenges with this issue of people coming across our border illegally to have children is dramatically reduced.”

And if you fix the law to address the birthright citizenship loophole that was created out of thin air, you will eliminate it altogether.

According to Medved the clown, we can’t do that, because then the Hispanics won’t vote Republican. Using his logic, I guess we better start supporting Obama too, otherwise Blacks won’t vote for us either.

What’s interesting is his opinion is, frankly, racist. Basically he’s saying that because they are Hispanic, they have no concept of right and wrong, or law and order.

xblade on August 14, 2010 at 3:18 PM

If one polled hispanics on ending ‘birthright citizenship’ for Chinese only, I wonder what the numbers would be?

slickwillie2001 on August 14, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Politicians punish businesses? That’s hilarious – aren’t they the crowd that greases the pols palms in a million different ways -and you expect them to attack the source of much of their funding?

Don L on August 14, 2010 at 5:58 PM

petunia on August 14, 2010 at 2:49 AM

I can’t believe I missed this. You are arguing for border security and arguing against Hayworth. You clearly weren’t in Arizona long enough to know the facts (or you spent your time there as a child). Your silly (actually, stupid) fantasy about Hayworth doesn’t address reality, where there are some reasonable arguments against him. Fantasy isn’t among them, neither is border security.

Shay on August 17, 2010 at 11:04 AM

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