Martha McSally blames Ron Barber for the failures of the House GOP leadership


Well, well, well . . . the candidate who never takes a stance on any issue, Martha McSally, finally had something to say today, but she used her opportunity to engage in dissembling and scare mongering, in an opinion likely written for her by former Arizona Daily Star political reporter hack Daniel Scarpinato at the RNCC.

Which is why this study in deflection and projection appears as a “special” opinion to the Arizona Daily Star today. Martha McSally: Leadership needed to save A-10 and D-M. Let’s dissect McSally’s dissembling, shall we?

boehner_mccarthy_cantor_apMcSally wants to confuse low information voters into believing that Congress is controlled by Democrats.  As any sentient human being knows, the Tea-Publicans have been in control of Congress since January 2011. Nothing gets done in the House without the prior consent and approval of the Tea-Publican House leadership: Weeper of The House John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.

McSally’s first substantive point is: “In the spring of 2013, the Senate inserted legislation in its annual defense bill ordering the Pentagon to study the close-air-support capability gap when the A-10 is replaced by the F-35. But the version in the House, where Barber serves, contains no such language.”

The Senate, under Democratic control, gave McSally the A-10 study she desires. The House Armed Services Committee, chaired by Tea-Publican Buck McKeon (R-CA 25th), did not. If chairman McKeon and the Tea-Publican House leadership wanted this A-10 study included in the House defense bill, rest assured it would have been included in the bill.

McSally instead deflects and projects this failure of the Tea-Publican House leadership onto Rep. Ron Barber. Her  attempt to blame Ron Barber for the failures of the Tea-Publican House leadership is sad and pathetic.

The fact that McSally demonstrates a fundamental lack of knowledge of how the Congress functions and how a bill becomes law disqualifies her from consideration as a candidate for Congress.

McSally then spends the next several paragraphs outlining the scare mongering she has been engaged in about the A-10 and the threat of base closures to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, since her loss to Ron Barber in 2012.

But McSally avoids addressing the “elephant” in the room for the source of such fears:  The Budget Control Act of 2011, which instituted automatic across-the-board budget cuts to domestic and military spending beginning in 2013.

Weeper of the House John Boehner said at the time, I got 98 percent of what I wanted. The GOP has embraced the automatic sequestration budget cuts as the Tea-Publican Congress’s only legislative “achievement.” GOP Embraces Sequester Cuts for Budget Leverage – Breitbart.

The candidate who never takes a stance on any issue, Martha McSally, has refused to state where she stands on the automatic sequestration budget cuts, as I have pointed out in Blog for Arizona’s series “Questions for Martha McSally.” Questions for Martha McSally: Do you support the automatic GOP Sequester budget cuts?, Questions for Martha McSally: GOP budget sequestration, debt ceiling, and default, and Questions for Martha McSally: On what basis do you assert that Davis-Monthan AFB will close?

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made abundantly clear in his testimony before Congress that his hands are tied by the constraints of the automatic sequestration budget cuts placed on him by Congress. Secretary Hagel recently explained:

By the way, it isn’t me cutting the budget. It’s the Congress’ decision on sequestration. So it isn’t secretary of defense or the president doing this, and I think we should clear that up a little bit here, too. Where are we making decisions and how do we make them, that’s a responsibility I have. But also the physical constraints that are being placed on the Pentagon to make very tough choices here are very significant.”

– Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” March 2, 2014

Once again, The Tea-Publican House leadership, which has embraced the automatic sequestration budget cuts, is forcing the hand of Secretary Hagel to make cuts to defense spending. McSally refuses to take a position on the automatic sequestration budget cuts which the GOP has embraced. She instead deflects and projects onto Ron Barber the failures of the Tea-Publican House leadership.

McSally’s next substantive point is:

Barber is taking credit for things he simply did not do. He claimed on Feb. 26 in the Star that he “led the charge in the House to pass legislation that will protect the A-10 through the end of this year.” However, Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon’s staff confirmed to me recently that New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and McKeon alone made it happen. The truth is that Ayotte has been consistently leading the charge to save the A-10 — not Barber.

Buck McKeon, chairman of  the House Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) apparently have selective memory loss for partisan political reasons, and have forgotten all about this letter from last November. U.S. REP RON BARBER AND SEN. AYOTTE STEP UP FIGHT FOR A-10:

U.S. Rep. Ron Barber today, along with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, strongly defended the A-10 Thunderbolt II, saying it has saved the lives of many soldiers and Marines.

Barber today joined Ayotte, a New Hampshire Republican, in writing a bipartisan letter to top Pentagon officials enumerating the strengths of the A-10 and the many reasons why it should be kept as part of the Air Force fleet. The letter also was signed by 19 other members of the House and 12 other members of the Senate.

“The A-10 plays an essential role in helping our ground forces and special operators accomplish their missions and return home safely,” Barber and Ayotte wrote in their letter. “We oppose any effort that would divest the A-10, creating a (close air support) CAS capability gap that would reduce Air Force combat power and unnecessarily endanger our service members in future conflicts.”

Previously in September, Barber and eight bipartisan House colleagues sent a letter to Air Force officials urging them not to divest itself of the A-10, calling the attack jet “a combat-proven workhorse” that “provides a critical capability.”

More importantly, “Barber has repeatedly called on his colleagues in Congress to take immediate bipartisan action to reverse sequestration cuts and instead do the hard work of going through the federal budget to identify and cut programs that are ineffective, wasteful or unnecessary.”

McSally’s last “substantive” point, if we can call it that, is: “Despite his press releases, speeches, letters and op-eds in the last six months, the facts reveal the threat to the A-10 and D-M drastically increased during Barber’s tenure.”

Once again, the Tea-Publican House leadership, which has embraced the automatic sequestration budget cuts, is responsible for any threat to the A-10 and D-M. McSally refuses to take a position on the automatic sequestration budget cuts which the GOP has embraced. She instead deflects and projects onto Ron Barber the failures of the Tea-Publican House leadership.

McSally’s scare mongering over a D-M base closure is hyperbolic rhetoric. As Congressman Barber explains in a guest opinion today in The Arizona Republic, Barber: Davis-Monthan base essential:

Let me be clear: Davis-Monthan is not going away.

The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group runs a unique facility at the base where more than 4,400 aircraft as well as numerous other vehicles are stored. Those planes must be maintained for possible reuse or for parts. They will not be moved.

Davis-Monthan also is near the 1.7-million-acre Barry M. Goldwater Range where pilots practice air-to-air maneuvers and engage simulated battlefield targets. That range and the training opportunities it offers are not found anywhere else.

With more than 350 days of sunshine every year, southern Arizona has unparalleled flying weather, allowing pilots to fit in many hours of flying in relatively few days. That cannot be replicated.

As for the mission of the A-10:

Hagel and the president propose retiring the A-10 to cut budgets because of sequestration. In July, Gen. Mark Welsh, Air Force chief of staff, told me the service intended to keep the A-10 viable and combat ready. Now he advocates grounding it for good. What has changed in the past seven months? Sequestration continues to overshadow and imperil national security.

In last year’s budget agreement, we gave the Pentagon some relief from sequestration. But we must eliminate sequestration by going through the budget and cutting wasteful and duplicative programs.

That is the case for saving the A-10 that I will continue to make in Washington. This is a fight for a strong national defense — and a strong Arizona.

Martha McSally will not even utter the words “automatic sequestration budget cuts.” She refuses to address the actual problem at hand in an honest and forthright manner. Instead, she engages in deflection and projection and will not take on directly the failures of the Tea-Publican House leadership.

That is what “leadership” is all about, Ms. McSally. And you are woefully lacking it.

As for the future mission of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ms. McSally should take issue with the Arizona GOP congressional delegation which is working to send the F-35 to Luke Air Force Base in Glendale rather than to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, which is far better suited to the mission, for the reasons that Congressman Barber outlines above. The Arizona GOP congressional delegation is seeking to benefit the state of Maricopa, once again, at the expense of Southern Arizona.


  1. I’m sorry, but no way in HELL do I want the F35 roaring over Tucson.

    I remember the Bad Old Days of the late 60’s and 70’s when we had F4’s and A7’s thundering over town. I remember class stopping because my teachers couldn’t make themselves heard over the window-rattling roar of the jets.

    Now the Air Force is truly nuts if they think a supersonic fighter can take over the ground support role of the A-10, but that’s a different argument.

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