Malkin, McCain, and Immigration

The conservative columnist took on the GOP establishment over immigration, but was she right?

Harold Hutchison · Mar. 5, 2019

Michelle Malkin’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference generated a lot of controversy — particularly when she fired a posthumous cheap shot at the late John McCain. “Sanctuary cities have metastasized and both parties are to blame,” Malkin said. “And yes, I’m looking at you, retired Paul Ryan. And yes, I’m looking at you, Mitch McConnell. And yes, I’m looking at you, Bush family.” Then she pointed upward adding, “And yes, I’m looking at you, the ghost of John McCain.”

Given McCain’s reputation as a thorn in the side of conservatives, it’s no surprise that Malkin, whose syndicated columns appear at The Patriot Post, generated applause from the audience with that line during her speech. As much as anything, it’s the hypocrisy that rankles. While she complained about the Left abusing the dead for political gain, she did just that in her CPAC speech.

Unfortunately, Malkin also has had a close relationship with VDARE.com, a site that is remarkably tolerant of white nationalists. That relationship with VDARE (including an interview with Faith Goldy) has not only made it easier for a dishonest mainstream media to paint all those who want a secure border as racists, but it hands Silicon Valley “evidence” to justify its censorship of conservative voices on this and other issues.

We are aware that broken promises on border security are a major reason that the MAGA wing of conservatism has a valid reason to distrust both the Republican and conservative establishments. We also want our borders secure (including our maritime borders), and we want illegal immigration stopped, but we vehemently reject white nationalism and racism.

All that being said, John McCain came in for his fair share of deserved criticism from our team when he was alive. All too often, he sought plaudits from the mainstream media at the expense of conservatives. He had a tendency to imply bad faith (or corruption) on the part of people who did not see things his way on issues that he was very passionate about (like campaign-finance “reform”), especially when it came to legislation.

That failing — an occasional blindness to the fact that Americans could disagree with him in good faith — was somewhat overlooked in the 2008 presidential campaign, largely due to his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. But even as he was being smeared by Democrats in that presidential race, he was simultaneously managing to annoy those whose enthusiastic support he needed to even have a prayer of winning the election in a very unfavorable political landscape.

Afterwards, McCain sincerely pursued a number of policies he felt were best for the country. We had disagreements with some of them, including the halt of F-22 production and putting incredibly foolish limits on interrogations. McCain also tended to push for bipartisanship, trying to address some of the most thorny issues America faced, but often undercut more conservative solutions.

One thing that we can say, though, is that there were never any grounds to doubt McCain’s love for the United States of America. That was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt during his involuntary stay at the Hanoi Hilton. In addition, it is also certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that America would have been better off if McCain had won the 2008 presidential election instead of Barack Obama.

When it comes down to it, McCain supported the cause of limited government more often than not. He was a man who sacrificed much for this country while serving in the United States Navy, and who then spent his retirement from military service by again serving the United States in Congress as opposed to potentially more lucrative civilian employment.

In the past, our team has noted that while Donald Trump has been an effective president in advancing conservative policies and goals, he is not exactly the best role model. With John McCain, we have to admit that in some ways, the opposite is true — he was often an outstanding role model who was, to put it mildly, probably not the best at advancing conservative policies and goal.

We wish that Malkin had kept that balance in mind.

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