By Michael Bryan
For Halloween this year, my high-propensity voter wife, Lauren, got a creepy mailer about ‘scary’ Congressman Ron Barber. You might think that some ultra-left wing group had sent this message because the ‘scary’ thing noted about Barber was his alleged vote “for” the “terrifying Ryan budget”.
But you would be wrong. This electoral trick was courtesy of the Arizona Republican Party.
Now why would the AZGOP want to warn solid Democratic voters like my wife that Ron Barber voted for the Ryan budget? Is it because they opposed the Ryan budget? Not that I noticed. Could it be because they want Democrat to support their candidate Martha McSally, who simply refuses to say clearly whether she would have supported the Ryan budget, but almost certainly would have? They don’t say that.
Rather, they ask my wife to “Vote Against Ron Barber.” on election day. How can my wife do that, given that she sure as hell is not voting for Martha McSally? Well, stay home and don’t vote, of course. I guess they didn’t chase the early ballots very carefully, as we long ago voted early by mail and are on the PEVL.
Regardless of it’s political malpractice level of ineptness, this mailer is a blatant example of voter demotivation and bone-deep political hypocrisy. If you can’t get Democrats to vote for your terrible candidate, get them to be so disgusted with the Democrat that they stay home rather than vote. This mailer would be an excellent teaching tool for a Voter Suppression 101 case study on how to do it poorly.
Well, at least now the AZGOP is on record as saying the Ryan budget is “terrifying” and “bone-chilling” and that its effect would have been “hair-raising for Arizona.” That should be useful to any Arizona Democratic candidate worth the name in future debates. “Sir or Madame, do you agree with the AZ GOP [hold up the mailer] that the Ryan budget was terrifying for Arizona in that it would have cut veterans pensions, put food assistance to millions of Americans on the chopping block, jeopardized Medicare and Social Security benefits, and denied unemployment benefits for those who needed it most? Would you support those policies in future budgets?”
Thanks for denigrating your own party’ policies on the record AZGOP! I suppose that’s a Halloween treat.