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Dear Congresswoman McSally,
You are stuck a month out, unable to persuade about 10 percent of Arizona voters to commit, but you can overcome this reticence, if you regain your military career courage and move past the professional political advisors’ caution. The weight holding you down is the recent history of the past two Republican Senators. You must show, not say, show by burning bridges, that you are no Flake, and that you will never stick your thumb in the eye of the voters, as Sen. McCain did with the Obamacare vote.
I worked hard to persuade friends, who profoundly distrusted Sen. McCain for his serial betrayals on the border, to vote for him, to stop a Majority Leader Schumer, to save the Supreme Court. These friends voted Republican for the first time, in voting for Donald Trump, in the primary. They are committed to the agenda on which President Trump ran. That agenda was betrayed, and they have been shown open contempt, by Sens. McCain and Flake. So, why should they trust you?
I offered to them the idea of you taking actions now that you could not take back. They agreed that would help overcome the question of where you really stand. So:
- Declare now that you endorse President Trump for 2020. Then lay out why you have come to this position. The case is easy, and fits with your campaign rhetoric.
- Stake your seat on $10 billion FY2019 funding for the Wall. No strings, no gimmicks, dollars going into construction. Put the “not withstanding language” in so there are no court challenges allowed. Pledge to resign by this time next year, if the Congress, under Republican control, fails to deliver on this campaign promise.
- Openly endorse Justice Kavanaugh, and denounce the leftist smear campaign. Your experience as a commander has shown both sides of sexual harassment and sexual assault cases. You have seen dirtbags who abused women and you have seen men falsely accused. You can speak from experience of how due process and the presumption of innocence protects every decent person. You can tie it into this campaign better than any one else in politics today. Please do so.
The suspicion is that you will subvert and slow walk the MAGA agenda. If you are given the Senate seat by these voters, you have six years to build an incumbency advantage and then threaten them with a Democratic president who you must be reelected to check. That old game is no longer a winning strategy.
You should be a natural ally of this president because he, according to his widely respected cabinet members, is constantly reminding them of campaign promises, insisting that they be kept. You showed years of integrity and stuck to your guns in support of the Constitution and women in the military, against blatantly unconstitutional policy. You used the chain of command, and then you used the courts, and you ensured justice prevailed. Work with that in this #MeToo moment, burn your boats on the shore, and you will be the next Senator from Arizona.
Clifford A. Brown