Arizona's idiotic new immigration law does not officially go into effect until August, 90 days after the current legislative session ends in that state. That means for the next three months, a big new sport in this country will be watching big politicians try to run away from this issue, starting with the President of the United States. Maybe all of them are waiting for the whole thing to end up in front of the Supreme Court.
In the short run, however, the only way to stop a political hustler like Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer is for other politicians in her state - and that ought to start with Sen. John McCain - to come to their senses about a bad law that invites racial profiling even though Brewer insists it will not.
And if it can't be stopped, if it does go into effect three months from now, then Major League Baseball ought to announce that a sport in which 30% of the players are Hispanic will not hold the 2011 All-Star Game at Chase Field in Phoenix.
There is nothing that needs to be done in the moment, other than issue the warning. But if both Democrats and Republicans really are going to run from this until after the November elections, trying to appease the white voters who love Gov. Jan Brewer and somehow not scare off the Hispanic vote at the same time, Commissioner Bud Selig - who owns a home in Arizona - has a chance to be better than all of them.
Selig has a perfect right to say that if the law stands, then the All-Star Game goes somewhere else.
"Major League Baseball needs to revisit the issue of whether the All-Star Game, one of America's greatest exports to Latin America, should be played in a state that doesn't show any respect to Latinos," Jose Serrano (D-Bronx) said to the Daily News' Juan Gonzalez the other day.
There is a historical precedent to all this, of course, and it involves another dim-bulb governor of Arizona and voters who backed his play. The governor was the late Evan Mecham, who decided that Martin Luther King Day had been "illegally certified" as a national holiday, and refused to acknowledge it as such in his state. Mecham, by the way, would be impeached and removed from office a year later, the impeachment charges against him including obstruction and misuse of government funds.
Another Arizona political legend.
Legislation to establish the King holiday in Arizona was passed by the Arizona legislature in 1989, but opponents managed to create a ballot initiative the next year. It was voted down. And after it was, the National Football League pulled the 1993 Super Bowl from Arizona, what was to be the first Super Bowl in the history of the state, and moved it to the Rose Bowl.