Jake Tapper argues that Obama’s Spanish-language radio ad linking John McCain to Rush Limbaugh is a distortion. He’s got a kernel of a point, but that point itself is distorted.
Tapper really goes into wingnut territory when he tries to exonerate Limbaugh from the charge of crude anti-Latino prejudice. His stronger argument is that Limbaugh hates McCain: to conflate the two, he says, is a cheap shot.
That’s wrong, for a simple reason. We do not just elect Presidents in a presidential election; we elect administrations.
McCain has been running perhaps the most right-wing campaign since Robert Taft. He has cozied up to the GOP’s Taliban wing for several months now. He has acknowledged that he would not vote for his own immigration bill if it came up for a vote. Whom do you think he will appoint to key positions that concern immigration?
We know that the one time he had to make an appointment–his running mate–he caved to the social conservative base. One might even call Palin a dittohead.
Tapper seems to acknowledge this, but nevertheless insists that all McCain is saying that the country “has to secure its borders” before embarking on a more comprehensive bill.
This is a cop-out: given the enormous push factors on immigration, to say that he will not move toward a comprehensive solution until illegal immigration is reduced to a trickle is saying that he will never do it.
Just as importantly, Tapper claims that Obama was wrong to say that “McCain is no friend of Latinos at all.” Look: political advertisements aren’t about psychoanalysis, and neither are elections. It just doesn’t matter what McCain might or might not believe in his heart of hearts: for myself, I suspect that any moderate impulses he might have on the issue are about agribusiness and political demographics. But it’s really irrelevant.
The point is: what will a McCain Administration do on the issues? McCain’s campaign has made that very clear. And no amount of parsing will change that.
By the way: I suspect any pushback on this won’t work well, especially because McCain now can’t afford to separate himself from Limbaugh, and because apparently he doesn’t know the difference between Spain and Latin America.