Sen. John McCain has a new book coming out called “The Restless Wave,” and in it, he lets loose with his unvarnished thoughts on the current administration and the direction of the Republican Party. It will come as no surprise to anyone that he’s, to put it mildly, not a fan.
In excerpts printed by the UK’s Guardian newspaper this week, McCain says that the Republican Party is dead wrong when it comes to the immigration debate, undermining the beacon of liberty that this country has always stood for. While Donald Trump and his supporters want to crack down on illegal entries, McCain says that immigration is an important pillar of American exceptionalism and a mark of progress.
“Right now,” he writes, “Republicans are on the wrong side of that progress. And if we want to retain our competitiveness in the fastest-growing communities in the country we’ll stop letting the zealots drive the debate, and fix the problems that [give] them their soapbox.”
McCain goes on to say that Republicans should reject politicians who want to prevent the United States from being “contaminated by the customs of non-European immigrants.”
“They’re still a small fraction in the Republican Party,” he writes. “But they’re the ones getting all the attention right now. They need to be confronted, not ignored or winked at or quietly dismissed as kooks. They need to be confronted before their noxious views spread further and damage for generations the reputation of the Republican party.”
McCain’s stance on immigration isn’t the only way the Arizona senator is making waves this week. His admission that he was the one that gave the dossier to James Comey captured headlines, as did his public opposition to CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel. The through line in all three of these stories (and in the earlier one where we learned that McCain doesn’t want the president at his funeral) is, of course, a gut-level opposition to everything Trump. McCain has plainly despised Trump from the moment the billionaire questioned his status as a war hero, and he has done everything since then – including his infamous down vote on Obamacare repeal – as a form of revenge against the president.
Trump’s line on McCain was not particularly our favorite from the campaign trail, but damn, it’s time to let bygones be bygones.
We’re still pulling for McCain to catch a miracle in his battle with cancer, but his days as a thought leader in the Republican Party need to be over.