Crazy As They Wanna Be

by Michael Bryan

Picture 2
I suspect that the Arizona GOP will pull a Jonestown now that Janet has handed them the keys to the campsite. With no effective institutional opposition from Democrats to be had, there is a danger that their most ideologically intoxicated members will convince the rest to drink the Kool-aid, herding their elected officials into the same sort of suicide pact that has decimated the national GOP over the past several years. The only question in my mind is how many innocents will they take with them?

This year's budget is one example of the the GOP's unhealthy isolation out in the jungle where they can only hear their own leaders' ranting and the threatening distant drums of hostile tribes. This budget will prove extremely unpopular when its draconian cuts start affecting our schools, universities, and health case system.

The next budget might just finish the GOP majority in Arizona for a generation if the whispers about the extent of the cuts prove accurate. Faced with crisis, the GOP seems determined to give us a well-planned disaster.

Such short-sighted and cold-hearted management of the public fisc is the very sad and hard reality of GOP dominion over our politics, and it is going to harm Arizona families and the Arizona economy both immediately and over the long term.

The only bright spot is that perhaps Arizona's voters will finally get a straight-up, no bullshit look at what the Arizona GOP really stands for. I have little doubt that given such an unambigous track-record to judge, Arizonans will finally choose to entrust the Democratic Party with leadership of the State, just as they have done with the Federal government.

But there is also a humorous aspect of the GOP's new-found freedom to pass whatever crazy shit occurs to them.

Take for instance HCR 2024. It's a fun little resolution that sticks it to the big, bad Federal government based in the sort of state nullification claim discredited around the time of the Civil War. This level of Constitutional scholarship is on par with those internet spams claiming that the income tax is unconstitutional. Somebody ate the wrong weed or bug out there in the jungle to come up with this scheme.

Your elected GOP lawmakers apparently think it worth the State Legislature's time to reclaim our sovereignty under the 10th Amendment by declaring "[t]hat all compulsory
federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or
criminal penalties or sanctions or requires states to pass legislation or lose
federal funding be prohibited or repealed."

In other words, pretty much the entire GOP House caucus is claiming that things like the Civil Rights Act, The Federal Highway Act (and about every transportation bill passed by Congress since the 1950s), the Help America Vote Act, and, of course, No Child Left Behind, not to mention Medicare and Medicaid, are unconstitutional.

Of course, they haven't whipped themselves into such a psychotic state that they are actually proposing the state government do anything effective about this trampling of Arizona's 10th Amendment rights, other than transmit the resolution requesting the Feds to cease and desist forthwith. Good luck with that, guys and gals.

Next thing you know they'll be barricading themselves in the capital buildings and shooting any Federals that come calling.

It's nice to see that at least we are getting some much-needed comic relief from our legislator's salaries. However, it is disapointing to see the names of some GOP legislators on the sponsor list whom I had hoped would use their majority and compliant Governor legislating for a stronger Arizona (albeit with a different view of the public good than my own), and less time merely feeding red meat to the most anti-statist of the GOP's base.

6 responses to “Crazy As They Wanna Be

  1. Can’t wait until the wingers begin the artillery barrage against Fort Huachuca. That will bring it all back home most ricky tick.

  2. “…it is disapointing to see the names of some GOP legislators on the sponsor list whom I had hoped would use their majority and compliant Governor legislating for a stronger Arizona (albeit with a different view of the public good than my own), and less time merely feeding red meat to the most anti-statist of the GOP’s base.”

    It’s even more disturbing to find THREE Democrats sponsoring this foolishness (one of whom is an attorney and really should know better). They are Ben Miranda, Barbara McGuire and Clovis Campbell, Jr. Now McGuire’s always been a bit of a right wing wackjob, so it doesn’t really surprise that she co-sponsored HCR 2024, but I don’t know what to make of Miranda and C. Campbell’s support for this crazyness. They certainly aren’t in districts where they need to pander to the right.

  3. Kral,

    I think the reality sits somewhere in between your opinion and David’s. I too doubt that getting rid of the GOP will be that easy, but I am not sure I would lump it all onto the shoulders of the state party.

    The problem is that despite decades of mismanagement, most AZ voters don’t REALLY feel the negative effects…at least not in an immediate, punch you in the stomach kind of way. The fallout comes gradually, and most people don’t notice the change. It is hard to get people to FEEL the connection between elections and schools that fall apart. Without that immediate sense of loss, it may be hard to get these people to realize that they are voting against their own self interest.

    I’m with you–I’ll donate, work and vote. But I think that the situation in Arizona might NEED to hit rock bottom before anything can actually change. Perhaps this current mess is the low point that I am talking about.

  4. What a load of horseshit.

    The reason revenues have dipped so quickly is that the GOP has systematically shifted the tax base predominantly to sales tax, which is both the most regressive tax (falling more heavily on low and modest income Arizonans) and the most negatively affected by economic downturns. The GOP also changed the AZ Constitution to slash the “rainy day” fund in order to prevent the state government from retaining reserves to meet economic crises. Why? So that they could claim it’s necessary to cut core services, like they are now doing, during tough economic times.

    Even now, in the grip of an economic crisis, one of the top priorities of the GOP leadership is to permanently further cut property taxes by another quarter billion dollars, further making core services like education, health care, and law enforcement dependent on sales taxes.

    Our current budget crisis is entirely the fault of the GOP’s ideologically driven choices over decades, not the budgets of “J No” over the past few years.

  5. GOP can spin too

    I have been hearing from my Republican friends. They blame it all on J NO.
    It is about the tax base revenue going down significantly and they have no choice but to make tough cuts.

    I remember reading that Brewer said something to the effect that on her first day as Gov she felt like she came upon a scene following a big party held the night before. Those who attended drank all the booze ate all the food and trashed the place leaving and sticking her with the bill.

    Now THAT is cleaver spin you gotta admit.

  6. Sigh…I sure hope you are right about the first part of your column, but when I should think that getting rid of the GOP is easy and that this is a clear as the nose on my face, I still remember that this Democratic Party could not muster the votes to pick up a single seat in what was the most exciting election for change in my entire life.

    I am absolutely unconvinced that they have what it takes to get the job done. Dont get me wrong, I will donate, I will vote, but I have no illusions or delusions that we will cast these destructive human beings out of office.