Conservative icon Michelle Malkin is always worth listening to, and her Friday speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference was especially powerful. Controversial, too, thanks to one line in particular.
The subject was the top issue of Malkin’s work, illegal immigration, and a stirring call for the Right to fight for it against the open-borders lobby of both parties. You can watch the full speech below, or read the transcript here.
Here’s the passage that triggered half the internet this afternoon:
Michelle Malkin points skyward and mocks “the ghost of John McCain” from the main stage at CPAC. Gets a standing ovation from some in the crowd. pic.twitter.com/9mqpkhFcR6
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) March 1, 2019
Congress has repeatedly mandated a nationwide visa entry-exit system to track legal short-term visa holders. But one has yet to be built—even in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which were perpetrated in part by several illegal alien visa overstayers. E-verify has been stalled. Sanctuary cities metastasized. And BOTH parties are to blame – yeah I’m looking at you, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, the Bush family, Mitt Romney and the ghost of John McCain.
That unleashed a torrent of outrageous outrage from all the usual suspects:
Great column. Disgusting CPAC. HORRIBLE. Despicable. Why CPAC has become a sewer.
— Quin Hillyer (@QuinHillyer) March 1, 2019
Do you agree with Michelle Malkin?
If you want an example of how rancid large parts of the American right have become, watch Michelle Malkin at CPAC raging against the “ghost of John McCain.” This display of cruelty and moral sickness brings a standing ovation. What a freak show. https://t.co/ySNI3YXMCw
— Peter Wehner (@Peter_Wehner) March 1, 2019
CPAC was once a place to exchange conservative ideas. Now it’s just a place for agitprop and mean-spirited garbage. https://t.co/kodegGXNB7
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) March 1, 2019
No, I remember! Michelle Malkin endorsed racist Paul Nehlen over Paul Ryan.
I’m talking about the crowd, which changes year to year. Michelle Malkin was corrupted long before Trump.
— Jim Swift (@JimSwiftDC) March 1, 2019
(That last tweet from Swift, a Weekly Standard alum who now works for Bill Kristol’s swampy vanity project The Bulwark, is particularly sleazy; Malkin backed Nehlen in 2016 as a challenger to Paul Ryan’s failed leadership, but none of us knew he was a bigot until he started spewing anti-Semitism long afterward.)
Washington Examiner columnist Tom Rogan wrote that Malkin inflicted a “grave dishonor” on McCain, “an American patriot who gave everything for his nation in war and peace” whose immigration views were supposedly “honestly and morally held, whether you agreed or disagreed.”
True to form, Malkin isn’t backing down:
What a dumb, vacuous, clickbait-y post about my @cpac speech, @thehill – no wonder people want you to quit your day jobs and learn to code.https://t.co/fq07nZbgaG
Here’s the full speech:https://t.co/wDjaxPCIS1
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) March 1, 2019
Good for her. This time last year, almost nobody on the Right would deny that one of the defining aspects of McCain’s political career was his pro-amnesty zealotry, which was obviously valid grounds for criticism regardless of his heroism and sacrifice in Vietnam. More importantly, the legacy of open borders obviously remains a serious problem in the Republican Party.
Now, there’s also generally-accepted rule that after a public figure dies, there’s a grace period where speaking ill of him or her is frowned upon. That’s certainly valid…but McCain died more than six months ago. Since when did respect for the departed and their families morph into a gag order against ever again discussing historical figures’ negative impact on the country?
How many of the people attacking Malkin over this would argue that we can’t speak critically of the actions or legacies of other dead political actors, like Woodrow Wilson or Lyndon Johnson, Ted Kennedy or Margaret Sanger? (And just to make clear to any trolls who stumble upon this article, this is called making a point, not equating McCain with any of these people.)
Oh, and something tells me very few of Malkin’s fainting detractors will practice what they’re preaching today after Donald Trump shuffles off this mortal coil…
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