The sharp turn into crazy base land by John McCain, which even his traditional media base has not been able to ignore, has elicited plenty of howlers. For instance, in a mid-March town hall meeting in Nashua, NH (what the hell is he doing in New Hampshire? He doesn’t think he’s running for President again?), McCain told the crowd that no American troops have been killed or even wounded in Iraq in the last three months, which is simply false.

But this latest maneuver is even better. He called today for the National Guard to “seal the border” with Mexico, putting him in line with the far-right anti-immigrant Minuteman fringe.

In a letter sent to Napolitano’s office yesterday, McCain says that rising drug violence across the border in Mexico endangers the lives of American citizens. He says the situation now calls for troops to be sent to the “southern border region.”

“The people of Arizona and the United States demand and deserve secure borders,” he writes. “I hope that you will take a personal interest in ensuring that Arizonans can feel safe and protected on their own property and not live in fear of the increasing violence along the border.”

Aside from the fact that there’s no problem to McCain that can’t be solved by an influx of troops, the “seal the border” rhetoric is absolutely insane, especially at a time when border crossings have decreased amid a poor employment picture in the US.

Of course, there’s nobody more zealous than a convert, and since McCain wrote the initial immigration reform bill, he has to be even louder and ornerier than usual about the issue to prove that he’s simpatico with the xenophobes.

The opportunity for a Democrat to win this year in Arizona gets greater and greater by the day.

David Dayen

David Dayen

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