Cranky but befuddled hothead Senator John McCain has created a new firestorm within civil rights groups and throughout the Hispanic community with his charge that some of the firestorms ravaging Arizona were started by illegal immigrants.
"There is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally," McCain claimed Saturday at a press conference which was apparently called for the sole purpose of airing his claim. The former Republican presidential nominee has been feeling rather left out with the start of the 2012 campaign season and said he just wanted a chance to refresh his memory as to what the heat in the kitchen felt like. At the conclusion of his short remarks, he thanked the press for allowing him the opportunity to say something outrageous.
Many do-gooders were quick to point out that the senior senator had not submitted a shred of his substantial evidence, although if he had thought of it at the time he would have surely pointed out that it was intuitively true. It must have galled him terribly that it was already too late to get himself booked on any Sunday shows, but being no slacker, McCain appeared this morning bright and early on the Don Imus show to defend his claim.
"I said some of the fires, S, O, M, E, some," McCain told the largely irrelevant talk jockey, who protested that he had mastered at least elementary spelling. "I was briefed by the Forest Service, which is an official United States government agency, about the fact that illegal immigrants sometimes start these fires. Sometimes. And there has been testimony by service officials - note the word official - that large numbers of warming and cooking fires built are abandoned by cross-border violators and have caused wildfires that have destroyed cultural and natural resources."
"Harumph," replied Imus.
"Now I myself am not claiming these were warming fires. God knows that it's been warm enough lately. Some might even call it hot, but it's nice here in Arizona when you're not engulfed in flame, it's a dry heat. Cooking fires, that's another story. How else are you going to make a burrito when you're out there in the woods? And I would submit to you that anyone who would blatantly violate our immigration laws would have no qualms about not properly putting out their fires before they leave their campsites. One more thing to consider - when the border patrol is closing in on you, is there any better diversionary tactic than a blazing inferno? I think you've got to admit I've got an open and shut prima facie case."
"Harumph," agreed Imus, "time for a commercial break."
"I think my strong argument shows that I'm still as relevant within the Republican caucus as I ever was," said the triumphant senator later in the day as he strutted into the Capitol. "With any luck at all, I've shaved another five points off our Hispanic vote tally."
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