McCain Fiddles While Arizona Burns

McCain Fiddles While Arizona Burns

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Just as Roman Emperor Nero blamed Christians for burning Rome, Senator John McCain thinks he has found “substantial evidence” that undocumented immigrants are to blame for the Wallow Fire, the biggest blaze in the history of Arizona.

The likeness between Nero and McCain on falsely placing blame for large-scale fires goes even further, reflecting the nature and evolution of some politicians.

The first coincidence is that of profiting from catastrophes. In order to divert the masses from what they believed to be the true origin of the burning of Rome, Nero charged the Christians with it.

Nero cleverly singled out the Christian belief in the destruction of the world by fire, concluding that "logically," those very unpopular Christians must have set Rome on fire. Similarly, Sen. McCain liberally used the determination by Forest Service authorities that the cause of the fire was “human,” and originated from a campfire. In the Arizona senator’s mind, the equation went something like this: human plus campfire equals undocumented immigrants.

U.S. Forest Service official Tom Berglund did not endorse Sen. McCain’s logic; when asked whether there was evidence that some fires were caused by undocumented immigrants, Berglund said, “Absolutely not. There is no evidence that I’m aware, no evidence that’s been public, indicating such a thing.”

Defending his wildfire comments in a live interview with ABC News, Sen. McCain literally restated his "logic" formula, saying that the Monument Fire was started “when the forest was closed, so, anyone who is in there was illegal.”

So anyone inside a closed park, according to Sen. McCain, must be an undocumented immigrant? That is truly unfortunate.

Decrying the controversy that ensued, Sen. McCain accused his detractors, saying, “it’s unfortunate that some are inserting their political agenda into this tragedy.” 

Sen. McCain, it was you who inserted your political agenda into this tragedy when in the most opportunistic fashion possible you stated that since some of the fires “are started by illegal immigrants, the answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border.”

Isn't Sen. McCain the one taking advantage of the biggest blaze in the history of Arizona in order to sell "securing the border"?

Is this the same Sen. McCain who was formerly known for his bipartisanship and strong sense of balance and fairness? Is this the same Sen. McCain who, along with the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, promoted fair immigration reform in Congress?

In the likeness of Roman Emperor Nero--who in the early part of his reign was said to conduct public affairs wisely, but later fell from grace--sadly, it seems we are witnessing the making of the next American Nero.