I had always admired Sen. John McCain. He seemed like a straight shooter, someone who could not be counted on to parrot the party line simply because it was the party line. But, facing a challenge from his right in the upcoming Arizona primary, he seems to have lost not only his reputation for independence but his decency.
First, he announced his support for the racist anti-immigrant law that passed the Arizona legislature. This from the man who once championed comprehensive immigration reform. He now is unconcerned that U.S. citizens of Latino descent might become the objects of racial profiling, asked if they “have their papers,” in the manner of communist regimes of old, about which McCain should know better.
Alas, now he has taken another step away from any decent respect for the Constitution. In an interview on the Imus Show this morning, he suggested that it would be a mistake to read Faisal Shahzad his Miranda rights. Shahzad is the man in custody who has evidently confessed to planting an SUV laden with explosives in Times Square. He is also a U.S. citizen. Under what possible understanding of the Constitution should a U.S. citizen, arrested on U.S. soil, be denied his rights? On the understanding of the GOP primary electorate in Arizona evidently.
There is something worse than losing an election, Sen. McCain. Losing your self-respect comes to mind. This is grim to watch.