Crossposted at DemocraticDiva.com
Let’s say you are Sean Noble, a Koch-ed up dark money operative who has been the focus of some negative attention for your activities. You’d probably prefer to be known for something else in the midst of a heated general election cycle in Arizona, where you are the manager of the GOP candidate for Attorney General. Then it comes to your attention that former AZ Senate President Russell Pearce has said some vile things in public, as he is wont to do. And as right wingers are wont to do so often, Pearce focused his wrath on poor women. In this case Pearce says that poor women on public assistance should be forcibly sterilized.
Forcible sterilization of poor women is not part of the GOP platform (yet) so you, Sean Noble, are provided with a perfect opportunity to change your own public image and help your candidate. You make a statement denouncing Pearce in the strongest possible terms and demanding that he resign as Vice Chair of the AZ GOP. Luckily for you, there are several columnists and pundits around these parts who are such suckers for the faint possibility of “moderate Republicans” taking over the state that you should easily find at least one to get your statement out there and obligingly portray you as the hero of the whole thing. If you are successful in this endeavor you can count on having any description of Sean Noble as “that Koch brothers dark money guy” countered with, “but he also went after Russell Pearce for saying that thing!”, for at least the duration of the election season, as if the latter cancels out the former.
More importantly, because not many people outside of insider baseball care about a consultant, your AZAG NOT Tom Horne candidate will also benefit by releasing his own statement condemning Pearce and calling for his resignation from that volunteer symbolic position with the AZ GOP (which Pearce did late Sunday night). Brnovich, a little known Tea Party protest candidate, is not exactly stellar competition to Democrat Felecia Rotellini in the general. He needs any help he can get to look like a mainstream guy, and especially one who isn’t hostile to women.
Noble and Brnovich were followed by GOP Governor candidate Doug Ducey and Secretary of State candidate Michele Reagan in denouncing Pearce, though only Reagan asked him to step down as chair. Pearce was quick, and you could even say good-sported, about resigning his unpaid party position, which makes it worth noting that, thus far, no Republican (including Noble and Brnovich) has demanded that Pearce resign or be fired from his highly paid cushy job with the Maricopa County Treasurer. I’m just saying this looks a bit contrived at this point. Never forget how Pearce was the hero of the Republicans only four short years ago for SB1070, which ensured a GOP statewide sweep in that midterm election, and he had already established a long track record of bigoted statements, like this one from 2007:
“Tough, nasty illegals and their advocates grow in such numbers that law and order will not subdue them. They run us out of our cities and states. They conquer our language and our schools. They render havoc and chaos in our schools. I’m stunned at the speed of this invasion. I’m further stunned that most American don’t see it or deny it or ignore it. We are much like the Titanic as we inbreed millions of Mexico’s poor, the world’s poor and we watch our country sink.”
EDIT: It’s also worth noting that Pearce has a history of problems with women that pre-date 2010, including divorce documents indicating that he abused his own spouse and opposition to expanded protections to women from domestic violence.
So now they’re really going to channel Claude Rains and act like, why heavens no, they had no idea Russell Pearce was so toxic! Give me a break. It is interesting to note how Pearce remains quite useful to them now, but just in a different way than he was in 2010. Could it be that we’re seeing the modern emergence of a Republican version of hippie punching?