What? No, no, he’s … learned his lesson. He gets it now. He’s an enforcer. He wouldn’t let us down again, not after those very sincere compliments he paid us at CPAC.

Would he?

U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler says he believes Republican presidential candidate John McCain blocked his immigration bill from getting a vote on the U.S. House floor. McCain’s staff denies it.

The Waynesville Democrat spoke to the Rotary Club of Hendersonville on Tuesday. He said the Republican leadership tried to bring the Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement Act to the House floor. They used a provision of House rules called a discharge petition, in which a simple majority can bring to the floor a bill that is stuck in committee.

The petition had 181 of the 217 signatures needed to force a vote on the bill…

McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona, called Republicans in Congress and asked them not to sign the petition, Shuler said. He said after McCain’s intervention, Republicans in the House were less willing to sign onto the bill.

Team Maverick denies it. Whom to believe here, Captain Amnesty or a guy from the other side who could very well have ginned this up as a way of kneecapping the GOP nominee among his base on an issue in which he already has zero credibility? If Shuler’s telling the truth, how come none of the border enforcers among the House GOP who surely would have gotten wind of McCain’s meddling have leaked this anonymously to the media? Granted, it’s an election season and party discipline is higher than normal, but loyalty to the nominee for some of these guys will come second to loyalty to the cause.

On the other hand, the last thing McCain wants is to have to vote on this himself. If he votes yes, he alienates the Latinos he’s counting on in purple states to beat Obama; if he votes no, SECOND LOOK AT STAYING HOME! He can’t skip the vote either as it’ll look too weaselly so the natural thing to do is to try to kill it in the House before it squeaks through and becomes his problem. Exit question one: Isn’t the likeliest scenario that some other power player called around on McCain’s behalf, semi-secretly to keep his fingerprints off of it? Exit question two: What would Juan Hernandez say?