Brewer and Barton: Strange days indeed

by David Safier

I don't know, maybe the end days are at hand. When the Brewer lies down with the Liberals and Barton is, well, Barton . . . Can someone dig up an appropriate quote from Revelations? Something better than Michele Bachman's "leaf is on the fig tree"? (What the hell does that mean anyway?)

Gov. Brewer is pleading with Republicans to leave Obamacare alone. Kill it and Arizona's economy will be crippled, she said.

“The bottom line is we need that money in our economy to save rural hospitals and jobs in the rural areas,” the governor said, as well as making sure hospitals in metropolitan areas, where most AHCCCS patients are seen, get paid. “It’s all about jobs and getting back federal dollars that our taxpayers have paid to the federal government, to bring them home.”

There's more to her calculation — I should probably say "her advisors' calculations" — than I realized. The only reason the lege was able to take people off of Arizona's Medicaid program AHCCCS was because the voter mandate said the state was only required to use "available" funds for the program. When the funds dried up, the lege was able to cut back. But now the state has a surplus.

Since [the budget crisis], state finances have recovered. It ended the last fiscal year with close to $1 billion in the bank, plus another $450 million in a “rainy day’’ fund — money Brewer said she fears a court would force it use to fulfill the voter mandate.

Brewer's people understood, if we didn't take a billion from the feds to fund the Medicaid expansion, the state might be forced to pay for the program. Kill Obamacare and you wipe out the Medicaid expansion money. Brewer may dislike Obamacare intensely, but she's gotta root for it regardless.

Then there's Rep. Brenda Barton.

Barton called National Park Service Rangers "thugs" who were doing their dirty work on "the order of De Fuhrer." No, she explained later, she wasn't comparing Obama to Hitler. "Fuhrer" is merely a German word meaning "a leader exercising tryannical authority."

Sarah Garrecht Gassen takes on Barton handily in a Star column today. But the best stuff is in the Capitol Times, where they have Barton's words in a taped interview.

“Comparing him to Adolph Hitler is controversial?… No, I don’t think that’s controversial at all. My point is, and I have said it already, is the imperialistic style of governance, making life difficult for the citizens and residents of America and Arizona, causing immense grief and trouble to make them suffer."

She goes on.

When asked if Obama’s actions were an abuse of power on the level of Nazi Germany, Barton responded: “Like I said, it got your attention to run the comparison. You have historical documents, you can run a comparison between the government during the time of Germany. Well, don’t forget Italy, and don’t forget Pol Pot (the infamous dictator in Cambodia). We have a lot of examples of how a federalized nationalized government begins to take a grip on their citizens. We have to say no… I think we are on a slippery slope of losing a constitutional republic.”

Russell Pearce's recall left a gaping void in the lege. Barton is happy to do her part to fill it.

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