As the Wallow wildfire charbroils more than 500,000 acres of Arizona, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is blaming illegal immigrants. "There is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally," McCain said Saturday, while declining to offer any such evidence. (Watch the video below.) Meanwhile, Randy Parraz, McCain's 2010 Democratic rival, accused McCain of recklessly fanning "the flames of intolerance" and U.S. Forest Service spokesman Tom Berglund insisted there's "absolutely" no evidence the fire was started by illegal immigrants. So what is McCain going on about?
McCain has hit a new "outrageous" low: Blaming undocumented Latinos for the fire, especially without any proof, isn't just the "most disgusting, reprehensible, and irresponsible" thing McCain has done in his career, says Stephen Lemons in the Phoenix New Times. It's also "patently racist." Just replace illegal immigrants with "'the Jews' or 'blacks,' and see how far that gets you before you receive a much-deserved smack in the jaw."
"John McCain's racist statements on wildfires"
Don't dismiss the possibility of "illegal alien arsonists": McCain may not have produced proof, but it can't just be coincidence that "wildfires often occur along the invaders’ favorite routes," says Brenda Walker at VDARE. It's time we offered some rare kudos to the one-time immigration softie McCain for saying what the squeamish media is loath to admit.
"Senator McCain notes illegal alien arsonists"
Forget evidence. Where's the logic? McCain's "blame the Mexicans" explanation doesn't even make sense, says David Abiel Morales in the Tucson Citizen. First, "I'm not exactly sure how having a huge forest fire will help you smuggle drugs or humans through it." But also, if you were a Mexican immigrant trying to sneak into America, would you really go out of your way to start a massive fire that would draw the attention of cops, firefighters, and arson investigators? Me neither.
"John McCain pulls a 'Huppenthal' against Mexicans"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 11 weeknight dinners you can make without a recipe
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- America is doomed! (And other thoughts on our gloomy historical moment.)
- Your 2-year-old doesn't need to go to school
Subscribe to the Week