Well no, it probably doesn’t get any worse than that. Obviously the new Arizona law will have some support among the hardcore Dave Schultheis immigrant-hating set, and you can expect to hear that contingent loudly supporting Scott McInnis. Unfortunately, their support comes at the clean-break expense of the Latino vote, the fastest growing bloc of voters in the United States, and many more besides who find this kind of open appeal to racial prejudice absolutely horrifying.
One irony here is that McInnis has tried to both embrace and keep at arm’s length the anti-immigrant right, personified by people like Schultheis and Tom Tancredo, recognizing their value in a GOP primary while aware of the liability they represent in a general election. But now McInnis has not only signed on to a law as polarizing as anything Tancredo has ever called for, but his own statements undermine the defense of Arizona’s new law by everybody else–all those Republicans not quite bold enough to defend straight-up racial profiling on the floor of Congress.
The disaster this represents for McInnis in the general election is not really calculable right now–but the odds that we’ll indeed be writing McInnis’ political epitaph, instead of a victory analysis this coming November, just improved dramatically. Between the “elk meat” buffoonery earlier in the week and now this truly serious self-inflicted wound, we could soon be looking back on the end of April as the moment when McInnis’ campaign went off the tracks to stay.