by David Safier
So, Pearce and Adams don't like the way things are going during the nominating process for the Redistricting Commission. What do they do? They accuse one of the people on the screening panel of attacking Christianity because he asked one potential nominee whether he respected the separation of church and state.
What happens next? The guy who asked the question, Tempe attorney Louis Araneta, resigned from the screening panel. I hope the next step isn't a fear-based caving of the rest of the panel, but you never know.
This kind of thing works, especially on people not used to being in the public eye.
So, of course, Jon Kyl has turned the partisan Senate wars into the War on Christmas. Reid says, if the Republicans keep slow walking all the legislation on the agenda, he'll hold the Senate in session up to Christmas, then call them back until New Years. In response, Jon Kyl accuses Reid of disrespecting Christmas and everyone who has to stick around because of the R's obstructionist tactics.
Mr. Kyl added, “ It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out without doing — frankly, without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff.”
Any day now, I expect to see MC Rove rapping the new Republican anthem, "Harry, Don't Dis Kris (Kringle)."
UPDATE (WITH A SIGH): I just read how Howard Fischer characterized the ginned up flap about Araneta's question:
A member of a screening panel at the heart of a controversy about religion abruptly resigned Tuesday. [Bold face added]
No, it's not a "controversy about religion." It's a stunt, a ploy to try and influence the screening panel. Fischer's characterization just legitimizes this garbage instead of pointing out what's going on.
And they're playing it for all it's worth. Pearce is planning to question anything the panel does — unless, of course, it does what he wants.
Senate President-elect Russell Pearce, also of Mesa, said he remains suspicious of anything the screening panel now does, even without Araneta, because of what was said at the earlier meeting.
“You can’t put the horse back in the corral,’’ he said.
Again, not a single comment in Fischer's article from a Democrat about this grandstanding. How many calls did Fischer make to the Democratic leadership, I wonder. I would be suprised if Campbell, Farley or some others wouldn't have a strong response.
This is high stakes stuff. If Pearce and Adams can pack the commission, they can give us a decade of unchallenged Republican districts all over the state, and, I imagine, a handful of unchallenged Democratic districts. This is for all the marbles.