Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
This has been some week in the Arizona GOP's war on democracy, hasn't it?
On Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman "Fast Eddie" Farnsworth's (R-Gilbert) bill, HB 2196 (.pdf), to repeal the GOP Voter Suppression Act, HB 2305, and to deny the citizens of Arizona their constitutional right to vote on a citizens referred referendum, was pulled after angry citizens and the media showed up at the hearing. More than 100,000 Arizonans signed the petitions for a "citizens veto" of the GOP Voter Suppression Act, exercising their constitutional right under the Arizona Constitution to vote to veto the legislature's anti-democratic measure. No matter.
The Arizona GOP's plan is to repeal HB 2305, and to pass the separate provisions for voter suppression in the bill as separate bills to make another citizens referendum virtually impossible, and to get their way by "skullduggery," as Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts called it. Are legislators plotting end run around voters in election-law referendum?" "Fast Eddie" promises to bring his bill back up for a hearing, possibly as early as this week.
On Friday, the Arizona GOP was in U.S. District Court arguing to a three judge panel of federal judges that you, the voters of Arizona, by enacting a citizens referred initiative to create the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (AIRC), Prop. 106 (2000), violated their federal constitutional right to gerrymander congressional districts in favor of GOP candidates. (Where are the Neo-Confederate "states' rights" federal "guvmint" haters now?) As I explained, their legal argument is entirely without merit. Arizona Legislature v. the AIRC court hearing this Friday. This is one of those frivolous "junk lawsuits" you hear about.
The Arizona GOP really hates the citizens referred initiative for the Voter Protection Act, Prop. 105 (1998), that is part of this lawsuit. The citizens of Arizona tied their hands and precluded them from undoing whatever the ignorant masses put on the ballot and enact into law. They are our betters, don't you understand? These Christian Reconstructionists and Dominionists have a divine right to lord over us — God's dominion is not to be denied by such things as a popular democratic vote by infidels.
On Saturday, the Arizona GOP Winter State Committee Meeting passed a resolution to repeal the 17th Amendment, you know, the one that provides for a popular vote to elect U.S. Senators. Disgraced recalled former Senate President Russell Pearce, who still serves as First Vice Chair of the Arizona Republican Party, is the resolution author. As Steve Lemons of the Phoenix New Times commented, "You know, back when slavery was legal and women did not have the right to vote. Or as some Rs call it, "the good ol' days."" Arizona Republicans Seek to Abolish the 17th Amendment, Maybe Censure John McCain (Again) w/Update.
There was also a "Resolution Urging The Institution of Caucuses to Nominate Candidates for General Elections," because "Republicans should nominate Republicans without the threat of outside interference." In other words, the Arizona GOP is opposed to Arizona's semi-closed primaries in which registered independents are allowed to vote. They want a caucus where only the GOP crazy base is allowed to vote to preserve the purity and sanctity of the "precious bodily fluids" of the Arizona GOP. In fact, the resolution calls for an amendment to the Arizona Constitution "to allow parties to nominate candidates for each partisan office by caucus."
In other words, no primary elections, and presumably the end of nonpartisan elections, and you registered independent/no party preference voters can all go to hell! I would recommend to all registered independent/no party preference voters that you send the Arizona GOP the same message this fall.
These anti-democratic measures are logically interconnected. You see, by suppressing the vote of "those people" who tend to vote for Democratic candidates, the Arizona GOP can ensure that only the white right people vote. Especially in their party primaries by caucus. And by controlling the state legislature (it has been in GOP control since the election of 1966),they can gerrymander congressional and legislative districts to ensure GOP control in perpetuity, if not for that pesky voter-enacted AIRC problem. Finally, if they repeal the 17th Amendment, it will be the Arizona GOP state legislature in perpetuity that decides who represents Arizonans in the U.S. Senate, not the voters of Arizona. No Democrat need ever concern him or herself with the U.S. Senate. The Arizona GOP is anti-democratic and authoritarian.
Some of the other resolutions on the agenda for the Arizona GOP Winter State Committee Meeting included:
Resolution Against "Amnesty." This anti-immigrant resolution appears to be poor timing, considering that House Republicans to Offer Broad Immigration Plan this week, although early reports are that the House GOP plan will provide for some "legal status" (i.e., a permanent underclass on noncitizens) but no pathway to citizenship.
Resolution Supporting Joe Arpaio. Because anti-immigrant hysteria trumps Russel Pearce's good buddy costing the taxpayers of Maricopa County millions of dollars in court settlements, attorneys fees and costs. And that political witchhunt thing he engaged in with disbarred and disgraced former Maricopa County Attorney "Saint" Andrew Thomas? Pffft, no big deal.
Resolution Supporting U.S. Seantors Ted Cruz and Mike Lee And Those Who Stand With Them. This is support for the Tea-Publican economic terrorism of taking the government hostage and shutting down the government last October over the extortionary demand to "defund ObamaCare" or we will default on the U.S. debt and destroy the full faith and credit of the U.S. and the world's financial system and economy. By the way, the bill to fund the government passed on a 285-144 vote in the House, with 87 Republicans in favor. The bill passed the Senate on an 81-18 vote, with 27 Republicans in favor — Including John McCain and Jeff Flake.
Tenth Amendment Resolution. This is a Neo-Confederate Tenth Amendment Center measure for "sovereignty" under the Tenth Amednment — and "nullification" of federal regulations in Arizona. It's as if these people never heard of the American Civil War and the post-war amendments to the Constitution, including the 14th Amendment. I know they all feign ignorance about the federal Supremacy Clause, Article VI, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. And you wonder where all those Tenther "states' rights" bills come from.
Which makes this next resolution so damn ROTFLMA hilarious!
Resolution Supporting United States History Education. I wholeheartedly agree! But what they, of course, are talking about is revisionist history, which is a cottage industry of the conservative media entertainment complex. It is Tea-Publicans who are in desperate need of remedial American history education.
Resolution in Support of a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). Riiight. This is the same measure that nearly bankrupted the state of Colorado several years ago and voters had to undo their foolish action by suspending TABOR just a few years later. How do you spell "fiscally reckless and irresponsible": TABOR.
So while the media villagers all fixate today on the Arizona GOP censures McCain for ‘disastrous’ record, because the media villagers are John McCain's base, they are failing to report the far more important story here of just how batshit insane the Arizona GOP crazy base has become. They are anti-government and anti-democratic. This is not your father's GOP. This is a radical extremist fringe organization that is a threat to popularly elected democratic government.