Lessons From The Betrayal Of J. D. Hayworth
A number of immigration patriots
won on Tuesday`s primaries—bright
spots included the victories of immigration patriots
Jesse Kelly over McCain-backed Jonathan Paton in
Arizona; Sandy Adams over pro-amnesty establishment
favorite Craig Miller in Florida; and Joel Miller over
But a close inspection of this race
reveals a few silver linings—as well as insights as to
how the patriotic immigration reform movement should
“Conservative Movement” and the Republican
First and foremost, we cannot blame
J. D. Hayworth or his campaign for this failure.
J. D. is by no means a perfect
candidate. He had some
Abramoff issues. He appeared in an infomercial to
help people get free money from the government.
Nor did his campaign and record
satisfy purist immigration patriots. He made a silly
$PLC-like attack on one of McCain`s supporters for
appearing on a
politically incorrect program. Hayworth`s
Congressional record had some serious blemishes when it
importing foreign workers.
And I`m sure his campaign made many
other mistakes as well.
But so what? The fact of the matter
Hayworth was the only person with enough courage to run.
If he was such a bad candidate—which I don`t think he
was—then someone else of some greater stature should
have stepped up to the plate.
Moreover, whatever Hayworth`s
personal or political flaws may be, they
pale in comparison to John McCain. The simple fact
that J. D. Hayworth was one of the most vocal opponents
of illegal immigration during his tenure in Congress,
while John McCain was one of
the most vocal supporters of amnesty in and of
itself, should have been enough for the entire
conservative movement and any Republicans who claim to
amnesty and hate
"RINOs" support him without hesitation.
no-one came to his aid. The only sitting congressman
endorse J. D.
Dana Rohrabacher. Within the state,
Sheriff Joe Arpaio and SB 1070 author Sen. Russell
Pearce bravely stood by Hayworth. But everyone else
stayed out or even endorsed McCain out of fear of
Outside of patriotic immigration
reform organizations such as Team America, and Bill
Gheen`s ALIPAC (to whom
credit when credit is due), and some of the more
conservative outfits such as Gun Owners of America, no
Beltway groups endorsed him.
Mark Levin and
Michelle Malkin supported J.D., but few other
prominent conservative personalities supported him. This
is despite Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, etc. repeatedly
stating how important it is for us to support
“true” conservatives over liberal Republicans.
Without any major conservative
help, the fact that Hayworth raised 3 million dollars
was an accomplishment. But that cannot fight McCain`s
Not only did most conservatives
fail support Hayworth, many went to bat for John McCain.
The NRA, Arizona Right to Life and,
(in an unusual but all-too-typical move),
National Review, all endorsed him.
Most effectively for McCain, the
two most significant people for the Arizona Republican
Sarah Palin and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (benefitting,
arguably undeservedly, from signing SB 1070)
actively campaigned for him.
Nevertheless, despite all these
setbacks, Hayworth came within striking distance. On
April 16, as the border violence increased and the state
debated SB 1070, a
Rasmussen Poll found him trailing McCain by just
five percentage points.
This was the point at which the
conservative movement, and all the other people who used
the excuse that Hayworth wasn`t worth supporting because
he was destined to lose, had no reason not to support
became the center of a national debate over immigration
with over three quarters of Republicans in the state
supporting SB 1070, Hayworth ratings should have soared.
Hayworth had lobbied for the bill from the beginning. He
had the support of its author Russell Pearce.
amazingly, McCain managed to use SB 1070 and the support
of Jan Brewer to turn himself into a champion of border
The ad concludes with Babeu saying:
one of us."
The Hayworth campaign responded
brilliant ad splicing McCain`s tough statements
about immigration with contradictory statements
But this was not enough to counter
Brewer and all of McCain`s money. By June, McCain was up
over 20 percent.
Hayworth supporters became
discouraged and his campaign fizzled.
hardcore Open Borders Lobby is doing the usual
bait-and-switch tactic, where pro-amnesty politicians
pretend to support the Border Patrol during the
election, and then try to turn their ability to trick
the voters into proof that the public supports amnesty.
"Elected officials should take note of Hayworth`s and other extremists`
failures: Americans don`t want demagoguery; they want
practical, lasting solutions. A campaign built on
demonizing immigrants does not pay off electorally,"
But this lie is impossible to
believe. After all, the whole point of McCain`s campaign
was that he pretended to be tough (=
In fact, of course, Democrats do
not want to give McCain any credit, so the DNC is now
"The complete takeover of the
Republican Party by the Tea Party has included taking
over the soul of a senator who was once the face of
comprehensive immigration reform and who now would just
build the `danged fence,`" [McCain
shift on immigration, David Eldridge,
Washington Times, August 24, 2010]
But, incredibly, conservatives
are triumphantly trying the same spin. Richard
Viguerie, one of the relatively principled DC
conservatives, sent his e-mail list this message:
"The Senator owes his victory to the pressure he received from
conservatives and Tea Partiers.
“To receive that support, he had to give up his
maverick positions that have sometimes
given aid and comfort to the liberals. I`m sure
Senator McCain knows very well that he would not have
won if he had continued his reputation as the
Democrats` favorite Republican.
“McCain ran an aggressive, hard-hitting campaign against former
Congressman J. D. Hayworth. If he had taken this same
kind of principled conservative and `take no prisoners`
campaign against Barack Obama in 2008, he`d now be in
the second year of his presidency.
“The strength of the
Tea Party cause is being felt in various ways:
sometimes by pressuring incumbents into retirement;
other times by beating an establishment Republican in a
convention or primary; or, in Senator McCain`s case, by
applying so much heat, they see the virtue of small
government, constitutional conservatism.
“Conservatives and Tea Party activists look forward to welcoming Senator
McCain and other lost conservatives back from their
flirtations with big government."
Hayworth, Senator McCain, Richard Viguerie,
Conservative HQ, August 25, 2010]
Viguerie is being tongue in cheek. But as it stands,
every single one of his statement is wrong:
McCain never received Tea Party support. Hayworth`s
staff told me that virtually the entire Tea Party
crowd in the State was with them, while it was the
established Conservative Movement groups that
opposed JD. The real lesson: there is a gulf between
Establishment conservatives and the Tea Parties—and
the Tea Parties, without some national backing,
cannot (yet) topple Establishment Republicans.
The only way for the Tea Parties to pressure McCain
into pretending to be a conservative was to support
J. D. Hayworth. Obviously if he hadn`t been running,
McCain would have had no reason for his charade.
How can lying about your liberal record and smearing
a genuine conservative be considered a
By believing John McCain has converted back to
conservatism during the election, the voters sent
McCain and others like him, the message that voters
have short memories and they can easily turn their
back on them. It is unlikely that McCain will run
for another term. So he has even more reason to
ignore his constituents.
Viguerie`s prediction would be
slightly more believable had McCain not made the exact
same flip-flop less than two years earlier—when he began
First" rhetoric after
amnesty failed in 2007.
But as soon as McCain won the
Republican nomination, he crawled back to La Raza to
suggested…that I turned my back on comprehensive reform
out of political necessity. I feel I must, as they say,
correct the record. At a moment of great difficulty in
my campaign, when my critics said it would be political
suicide for me to do so, I helped author with Senator
Kennedy comprehensive immigration reform, and fought for
its passage…I did so not just because I believed it was
the right thing to do for Hispanic Americans. It was the
right thing to do for all Americans… I do ask for your
trust that when I say, I remain committed to fair,
practical and comprehensive immigration reform, I mean
it. I think I have earned that trust."
McCain Obama Immigration Wars, ABC News, July
McCain went on to run Spanish language ads blaming
to the guest workers program; `no` to a path to
Spanish, McCain Criticizes Obama on Immigration,
by Jim Rutenburg,
New York Times, September 15, 2008]
Moreover, McCain`s new-found opposition to amnesty in
the 2010 Arizona primary race included these weasel
designed to fix the broken immigration system must deal
with the undocumented population, and as we all know,
this is very difficult challenge that attracts a wide
range of diverse views and opinions. We need a practical
solution for dealing with undocumented immigrants
currently living and working in our country and that
solution must be carried out in a manner that fosters
the social, economic, and security interest of the
an essential component of any comprehensive reform to
America`s immigration policy must include the
implementation of temporary worker programs that reflect
the labor needs of Arizona and the United States." [Protecting
Our Borders and Our Homeland, McCain for Senate]
don`t worry! When John McCain starts pandering once
again, he will be able to say, as he did in his
disastrous Presidential campaign, that he never
turned his “back on comprehensive reform out of political necessity."
I don`t want to be too downbeat.
There is one big silver lining to this campaign:
J. D. Hayworth may
have defeated amnesty.
Lindsey Graham were the go-to Republicans for
immigration reform." McCain knew not to touch it
until after his election. which left Graham as the point
Yet in April, Graham publicly
backed off his collaboration. Open Borders lobby leader
Frank Sharry explained why,
"Here`s my theory: Senator Graham wanted to do immigration reform, but
it became clear this spring that his friend, Senator
John McCain, was in a fight for his political life. In a
state where the Republican Party has become consumed by
nativism, McCain is in a close primary battle against
anti-immigrant fire-breather J.D. Hayworth. With the
primary scheduled for late August, Graham does not want
to subject his friend to a `tough vote` this summer.
“So he decided to blame the President, slow walk the immigration bill,
and gear up on climate change. Now that the `perfect
crime` isn`t working out the way he wanted, Graham is
threatening to take his marbles and go home – refusing
to work with Democrats on either issue. Meanwhile,
Senators McCain and Kyl, both of whom fought for
comprehensive immigration reform in the past, are
threatening to filibuster a bill if it is brought
“They, too, seem determined to head off an immigration reform debate,
even though their state is ground zero for the issue.
Senator McCain went so far as to embrace the Arizona
state law that is eerily similar to a 2005 Congressional
bill he once denounced as `anti-Hispanic.`"
Graham and the real `Cynical Political Ploy`,
Frank Sharry, Huffington Post, April 26, 2010]
I usually disagree with Sharry. But
here he is spot on.
In March, Lindsey Graham had
written (= signed) a
Op-Ed with New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer
promoting the latest drive for
immigration reform”. [The
right way to mend immigration, by Charles E.
Schumer and Lindsey O. Graham, March 19, 2010]
When McCain appeared to be in
trouble in April, Graham dropped out. Schumer ended up
releasing an outline of a bill with Harry Reid and
Robert Menendez, but he couldn`t find a single
Republican. By July, Graham was calling for the
abolishing birthright citizenship.
Despite this sugar coating, the
pill of another six years of John McCain is very tough
But rather than get discouraged, we
should learn a few lessons to help us in the future.
Establishment Conservative Movement:
This cannot be said enough. They might say they
support immigration control when it helps them raise
money. But they don`t mean it. We should always
encourage them to do the right thing—but for
patriotic immigration reformers, it is important to
support PACs and institutions outside of the
Do not Trust
Sarah Palin or Jan Brewer: None of these
women did anything good on immigration before SB
1070. They are both happy to be the respective
queens of the Tea Party Movement and the
Anti-Amnesty Movement. But their commitment is thin.
Politics is Our Enemy: Conservatives somehow
campaign finance reform will somehow destroy
conservatism. Regardless of the other pros and cons
of the policy, we need to remember
corporations and the wealthy are almost always
wrong side of the immigration question.
cannot be the litmus test: McCain actually
admitted in the campaign that he wanted more
workers”, and he did not completely run away
from amnesty. What he essentially did was push
first." It would have been harder for him to do
this 180 if the issues of
legal immigration and opposition to any sort of
legalization were seen (correctly) to be as
important as border security.
short memories: This is really the toughest
problem to fix. No matter what McCain and his MSM
allies say, I still find it really hard to believe
that anyone in Arizona who even read the newspaper
twice a year wouldn`t remember him as the Number One
promoter of amnesty. They all oppose amnesty and
rate it as a top issue. I still cannot understand
why they would vote for McCain. My only guess is
that the general lull in immigration discussion from
the General election in 2008 through SB 1070 was
enough to make people forget. We need to continue to
pound this issue, and the politicians, even when it
is not in the public debate.
McCain is just one out of 100
senators. We should not fret any more about having him
for another six years. He has a
notoriously bad temper—who knows, maybe he will
continue to be angry at Hispanics. He`s a
Instead, the cause of patriotic
immigration reform depends on electing the scores of
real immigration patriots up for election in 2010.
"Washington Watcher" [email
him] is an anonymous source Inside The