Why Should Independents and Trump Democrats Trust Martha McSally?

 

There are significant reasons for the razor-thin race in Arizona between two Congresswomen. Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema are focused on getting the votes of the 3 to 6 percent still undecided. Martha McSally’s basic problem is overcoming the dead weight of the past two Republican Senators, who damaged the party brand for that critical subset of voters. I have urged Martha McSally to clearly declare herself on the side of the MAGA agenda, including the 2020 election, as Ambassador Nikki Haley did. Unfortunately, Congresswoman McSally has not. So what are these voters to do?

Arizona, as with many other states, has moved heavily towards mail-in ballots, and early voting at physical polling places. The fight, now, may be over only about 20 percent of votes in the election, if an estimated 80% cast early ballots. The currently counted early ballot statistics, by party registration, look similar to past years, so gives no strong support to any candidate approaching the winner’s circle. Since undecided voters have held off, there is a real fight to gain the election-winning votes.

Provided that there is near certainty of holding and growing the Republican majority in the Senate. There are reasonable grounds to reject Martha McSally, as the Arizona GOP favorite, punishing them for a primary and general campaign that suggests more of the same betrayal on core promises. There is a case to be made for a Senate election strategy of “elimination as addition,” that produces a more coherent majority, more faithful to the core promises made for the past 10 to 40 years.

Major Martha McSally was a truly courageous officer, who demonstrated a steadfast understanding of and support for our Constitution, even in the face of resistance from her entire chain of command, all the way to the Secretary of Defense. She used all the correct processes, all the way, but did not back down.

“I can fly a single-seat aircraft in enemy territory, but I can’t drive a vehicle,” McSally told CBS’s 60 Minutes in 2002, a year after she filed a lawsuit against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld challenging the abaya policy. ”They turned me into a fighter pilot. This is who I am. When I see something messed up, I’m going to challenge it.”

That sounds like what we want in the Senate.

Congresswoman Martha McSally faithfully represented her district in the House of Representatives. I used to live in that district and saw it move from moderate Republican, with the long-time Congressman Jim Kolbe, to moderate Democrat. Kolbe was outed as homosexual by gay activists, angered by his vote for the Defense of Marriage Act. in 1996. He explained that he represented his district’s voters, putting their policy preference before his personal belief and interest. As his district changed, he then voted in line with both his personal and district beliefs. I believe that his position was politically honorable, and I hold that Martha McSally honorably represented her district’s voters—as Senator Susan Collins represents the voters of Maine.

But, why choose to run in that district, if your political beliefs are more conservative? First, we ought to be about retaking ground, persuading on the margins, rather than playing a long-term losing game of defense. That was part of the answer Martha McSally offered as she took three tries to finally win the district.

Second, Martha McSally was deeply connected with the 2nd District because of her military career field. If you flew A-10s, you were going to be in the Tucson area. Looking at the opening, and maybe closing, argument for electing a Republican in that district, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, with associated support activities, is reason enough to elect a Representative who has the resume to get on the House Armed Services Committee in their first term.

Now, Arizona voters must decide who will be their next Senator. The issues raised in “What if Martha McSally Loses, While the Republican Senate Caucus Grows?” must be weighed, along with the best estimate of how Senators will behave in the next four years, before typical politicians start “adjusting” their record to get reelected. It seems to me that Martha McSally’s life record points to her representing the voters who actually engage and elect Senators from Arizona. She did wage an eight-year-long campaign, within the institutional rules, to force the Department of Defense to follow the Constitution. So, there are grounds to believe she will challenge the Senate leadership and federal agencies, over the long term, if she sees a grave wrong, in accordance with the Constitution she has so long sworn to defend.

There are 22 comments.

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  1. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane Oyen
    @DuaneOyen

    The fact that Flake is a jerk, and McCain was a pompous jerk who often sacrificed solid conservative positions just to get personal revenge for perceived slights against his towering ego (hmm, what current president does that trait resemble?  BTW, that description also applied to quite accurately to Barry Goldwater), does not mean that embracing the MAGA stuff is the right thing to do or would cause said embracer to sail off to easy victory.

    • #1
  2. DrewInWisconsin Coolidge
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Clifford A. Brown: So what are these voters to do?

    They should do what voters across the United States should do: Never vote for a Democrat.

    I don’t care if you have to vote for a slightly over-ripe squash. You should never vote for a Democrat.  You should dedicate your life to making sure this criminal organization disguised as a political party never gets elected to public office, never holds any power, and is consigned to the dustbin of history.

    • #2
  3. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: So what are these voters to do?

    They should do what voters across the United States should do: Never vote for a Democrat.

    I don’t care if you have to vote for a slightly over-ripe squash. You should never vote for a Democrat. You should dedicate your life to making sure this criminal organization disguised as a political party never gets elected to public office, never holds any power, and is consigned to the dustbin of history.

    Especially a bizarre Democrat like Sinema. Based on what she’s said publicly about the State and its citizens, how could anyone there vote for her?

    • #3
  4. DrewInWisconsin Coolidge
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Especially a bizarre Democrat like Sinema. Based on what she’s said publicly about the State and its citizens, how could anyone there vote for her?

    This is a great question. I’m sure the national media — and probably even the local media — has done its best to shield voters from learning just how crazy Sinema is.

    One also wonders how it is that Ilhan Omar seems slated to win MN-5 tomorrow, given statements like this:

    https://twitter.com/IlhanMN/status/269488770066313216

    Not to mention her own history of “Immigration fraud, marriage fraud, federal student loan fraud, several instances of perjury, tax fraud on every filing for eight years, even fraud on her disclosure forms while serving as a state representative.”

    But that’s another thread . . .

    • #4
  5. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    I don’t care if a Republican candidate isn’t in lockstep with President Trump…considering his sometimes erratic behavior, comments, policy ideas or lack of conservative bona fides. In fact, I would question the integrity or honesty of any Republican who believed that Donald Trump was never above criticism or walked on water. Donald Trump was a loose canon during the run up to the 2016 election. We are all fortunate that on the whole, he has moderated his tone and behavior and acted fairly conservatively. But he was much more of a gamble from a conservative perspective than McSally is now. McSally is a veteran and a patriot and is saying all the right things…and she doesn’t use the word, “dang”. The radical Leftist alternative choice on the ballot who masquerades as a moderate would be a massive mistake for the country. I’m done.  

    • #5
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    I don’t care if a Republican candidate isn’t in lockstep with President Trump…considering his sometimes erratic behavior, comments, policy ideas or lack of conservative bona fides. In fact, I would question the integrity or honesty of any Republican who believed that Donald Trump was never above criticism or walked on water. Donald Trump was a loose canon during the run up to the 2016 election. We are all fortunate that on the whole, he has moderated his tone and behavior and acted fairly conservatively. But he was much more of a gamble from a conservative perspective than McSally is now. McSally is a veteran and a patriot and is saying all the right things…and she doesn’t use the word, “dang”. The radical Leftist alternative choice on the ballot who masquerades as a moderate would be a massive mistake for the country. I’m done.

    But of course, it isn’t about “lockstep.” Rather, it is about making an irrevocable commitment to accountability and honesty in campaign promises. Even the Washington Post has, grudgingly acknowledged “Trump could be the most honest president in modern history.”

    But when it comes to the real barometer of presidential truthfulness — keeping his promises — Trump is a paragon of honesty. For better or worse, since taking office Trump has done exactly what he promised he would.

    It is that touchstone that McSally needs, to get free of the intense distrust from a subset of voters, without whom the Republican candidate will lose, or spend the night worrying about a recount. That is why I have been advocating for something like: “I promise you, the people of Arizona, that I will work every day for the next 6 years with President Trump, on your behalf, making Arizona greater every day.”

    And she should be mirroring the President’s list of GOP 2016 promises made, with the status of keeping each promise. Give us the written scorecard.

    • #6
  7. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    Donald Trump was a loose canon during the run up to the 2016 election.

    @brianwatt:  Heh.  I see what you did, there.

    • #7
  8. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    I don’t care if a Republican candidate isn’t in lockstep with President Trump…considering his sometimes erratic behavior, comments, policy ideas or lack of conservative bona fides. In fact, I would question the integrity or honesty of any Republican who believed that Donald Trump was never above criticism or walked on water. Donald Trump was a loose canon during the run up to the 2016 election. We are all fortunate that on the whole, he has moderated his tone and behavior and acted fairly conservatively. But he was much more of a gamble from a conservative perspective than McSally is now. McSally is a veteran and a patriot and is saying all the right things…and she doesn’t use the word, “dang”. The radical Leftist alternative choice on the ballot who masquerades as a moderate would be a massive mistake for the country. I’m done.

    But of course, it isn’t about “lockstep.” Rather, it is about making an irrevocable commitment to accountability and honesty in campaign promises. Even the Washington Post has, grudgingly acknowledged “Trump could be the most honest president in modern history.”

    But when it comes to the real barometer of presidential truthfulness — keeping his promises — Trump is a paragon of honesty. For better or worse, since taking office Trump has done exactly what he promised he would.

    It is that touchstone that McSally needs, to get free of the intense distrust from a subset of voters, without whom the Republican candidate will lose, or spend the night worrying about a recount. That is why I have been advocating for something like: “I promise you, the people of Arizona, that I will work every day for the next 6 years with President Trump, on your behalf, making Arizona greater every day.”

    And she should be mirroring the President’s list of GOP 2016 promises made, with the status of keeping each promise. Give us the written scorecard.

    Perhaps she knows the Arizona electorate (given the history of both Flake and McCain) better than you do; after all her opponent has realized she must appear more as a moderate than a Leftist ideologue…it doesn’t take a leap of imagination that McSally may not want to ostracize devotees of the late Senator McCain or the current Flake…rather than swear an oath of allegiance to Trump. After all, it is about winning…or so, I’ve been told.

    • #8
  9. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    I’m all in for McSally

    Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is officially backing McSally’s candidacy. 

    “I am proud to endorse Martha McSally for the United States Senate,” Rice released in a statement Friday night. “In my experiences in and out of government, I find the most effective leaders are those with a clear commitment to public service and an ability to inspire others. Martha is one such woman. From her time as a combat pilot through her work in Congress, Martha has always pushed the boundaries, achieving considerable success through hard work and dedication. Her tenacity proves she is ready to take on our nation’s most pressing political challenges.”

    “This election is a historic opportunity for Arizonans to show their children what this great state stands for. Martha is a strong role model in so many ways and represents the natural choice this November. I am honored to support her candidacy,” she continued. 

    • #9
  10. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    I’ve never met a former A-10 pilot that was a Democrat candidate, which is good, because then I would be conflicted.

    There are no words for how much I love pilots that fly the Warthog, and the Warthog.  When it comes in, low and slow, and does that side-to-side shuffle before unleashing the depleted uranium Thor’s hammer on the enemy, it brings tears to one’s eyes (sorry, no “shaking off the dirt” A-10 maneuvers I could find on youtube).

    One of my most humbling moments was calling in A-10 support danger close in the first Gulf War.  The pilot laconically stated (all good pilots sound laconic over the radio; it’s a pilot thing) he was going to need initials to bring in fire that close to our position.  I passed my initials and that maestro brought in fire from the GAU-8 like a surgeon wielding a scalpel.  What he wrought was a thing of beauty.

    A-10 pilots are ever close to my heart.  So ‘scuse me when I wonder what’n Hell are Arizonans thinking?  This should be in the bag.

    • #10
  11. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    I’ve never met a former A-10 pilot that was a Democrat candidate, which is good, because then I would be conflicted.

    There are no words for how much I love pilots that fly the Warthog, and the Warthog. When it comes in, low and slow, and does that side-to-side shuffle before unleashing the depleted uranium Thor’s hammer on the enemy, it brings tears to one’s eyes (sorry, no “shaking off the dirt” A-10 maneuvers I could find on youtube).

    One of my most humbling moments was calling in A-10 support danger close in the first Gulf War. The pilot laconically stated (all good pilots sound laconic over the radio; it’s a pilot thing) he was going to need initials to bring in fire that close to our position. I passed my initials and that maestro brought in fire from the GAU-8 like a surgeon wielding a scalpel. What he wrought was a thing of beauty.

    A-10 pilots are ever close to my heart. So ‘scuse me when I wonder what’n Hell are Arizonans thinking? This should be in the bag.

    Congresswoman Martha McSally represents Arizona’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she serves on the Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees and as the Chairwoman of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee. She is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and earned two Masters degrees, including one from Harvard. McSally was the first woman in our nation’s history to fly a fighter jet in combat and command a fighter squadron. During her 26-year military career, she deployed six times to the Middle East and Afghanistan–flying 325 combat hours in the A-10 and earning a Bronze Star and 6 air medals. McSally led oversight of combat search and rescue and time sensitive targeting operations in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as counter-terrorism operations in Africa. She retired in 2010 as a full Colonel.

     

    • #11
  12. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    Congresswoman Martha McSally represents Arizona’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she serves on the Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees and as the Chairwoman of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee. She is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and earned two Masters degrees, including one from Harvard. McSally was the first woman in our nation’s history to fly a fighter jet in combat and command a fighter squadron. During her 26-year military career, she deployed six times to the Middle East and Afghanistan–flying 325 combat hours in the A-10 and earning a Bronze Star and 6 air medals. McSally led oversight of combat search and rescue and time sensitive targeting operations in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as counter-terrorism operations in Africa. She retired in 2010 as a full Colonel.

    So, total badass.

    • #12
  13. Simon Templar Member
    Simon Templar
    @SimonTemplar

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    So, total badass.

    I have written something like this before here on Ricochet but it is worth repeating:  I have several friends that knew her when she was a mere USAF officer and working at AFRICOM.  They all said words to the effect that she was ‘solid.’  High praise indeed.  I have never met her but was told this  by said amigos during her first campaign (only?) for her House seat.

    Any US citizen that can legally vote for her and does not is not a serious person.

    • #13
  14. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    Congresswoman Martha McSally represents Arizona’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she serves on the Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees and as the Chairwoman of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee. She is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and earned two Masters degrees, including one from Harvard. McSally was the first woman in our nation’s history to fly a fighter jet in combat and command a fighter squadron. During her 26-year military career, she deployed six times to the Middle East and Afghanistan–flying 325 combat hours in the A-10 and earning a Bronze Star and 6 air medals. McSally led oversight of combat search and rescue and time sensitive targeting operations in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as counter-terrorism operations in Africa. She retired in 2010 as a full Colonel.

    So, total badass.

    Yes, AND that went for John McCain, and for George McGovern. Hence my working through the really relevant example in her military career that sheds light on how she will approach legislation and the Constitution. Likewise, working through the facts of her congressional district helps provide some reassurance.

    When he campaigned as the Democratic candidate for the presidency on an anti-war platform in 1972, Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota would not allow his staff to publicize his wartime heroism. McGovern flew 35 combat missions as pilot of a B-24 Liberator in Italy during World War II, and received numerous combat awards.

    […]

    On Dec. 20, 1944, when the target was the Škoda tank-manufacturing industrial complex at Pilsen, Czechoslovakia and McGovern was on his 30th mission, flak struck his Liberator, knocked out one engine and set another afire. McGovern diverted to the British airstrip on a small island in the Adriatic Sea off the Yugoslav coast. It was a crash-landing situation and the crew took emergency stations. Others had failed in fatal attempts to land a heavy, four-engined bomber on the short runway, normally used only by small fighters, but McGovern brought down the crippled, smoking B-24 and landed successfully. For saving his crew and aircraft, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

    • #14
  15. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    I don’t care if a Republican candidate isn’t in lockstep with President Trump…considering his sometimes erratic behavior, comments, policy ideas or lack of conservative bona fides. In fact, I would question the integrity or honesty of any Republican who believed that Donald Trump was never above criticism or walked on water. Donald Trump was a loose canon during the run up to the 2016 election. We are all fortunate that on the whole, he has moderated his tone and behavior and acted fairly conservatively. But he was much more of a gamble from a conservative perspective than McSally is now. McSally is a veteran and a patriot and is saying all the right things…and she doesn’t use the word, “dang”. The radical Leftist alternative choice on the ballot who masquerades as a moderate would be a massive mistake for the country. I’m done.

    But of course, it isn’t about “lockstep.” Rather, it is about making an irrevocable commitment to accountability and honesty in campaign promises. Even the Washington Post has, grudgingly acknowledged “Trump could be the most honest president in modern history.”

    But when it comes to the real barometer of presidential truthfulness — keeping his promises — Trump is a paragon of honesty. For better or worse, since taking office Trump has done exactly what he promised he would.

    It is that touchstone that McSally needs, to get free of the intense distrust from a subset of voters, without whom the Republican candidate will lose, or spend the night worrying about a recount. That is why I have been advocating for something like: “I promise you, the people of Arizona, that I will work every day for the next 6 years with President Trump, on your behalf, making Arizona greater every day.”

    And she should be mirroring the President’s list of GOP 2016 promises made, with the status of keeping each promise. Give us the written scorecard.

    Perhaps she knows the Arizona electorate (given the history of both Flake and McCain) better than you do; after all her opponent has realized she must appear more as a moderate than a Leftist ideologue…it doesn’t take a leap of imagination that McSally may not want to ostracize devotees of the late Senator McCain or the current Flake…rather than swear an oath of allegiance to Trump. After all, it is about winning…or so, I’ve been told.

    Perhaps, although I wrote about the history of her district in the OP from first hand experience as a voter in that district from 1994-2004, and have significantly more “boots on ground” time here than she, due to her time assigned elsewhere.

    The history of Flake was he ran as a conservative, behaved as such for his time in the House, then “Flaked out” upon the results of the 2016 election. He has no viable constituency left in the state. Flake’s turn, plus McCain’s last, incredibly egotistical and dishonest, public vote on camera, have created a weight on any would-be Republican Senator.

    You would be more on point to reference Senator Jon Kyl, to whom McSally was assigned as a National Security Fellow. He is known as a reliable, serious, conservative Senator, who got results and climbed in leadership.

    Through his entire Senate career, Kyl served largely in the national shadow of McCain. He rose through the Senate leadership ranks to become the No. 2 Republican under then Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who is now majority leader.

    McConnell on Tuesday called Kyl’s selection an “excellent choice.” “His constituents will be well-served by Jon’s significant congressional experience and leadership,” McConnell said in a statement.

    Kyl’s understated demeanor belied his role as one of the toughest opponents of former President Barack Obama’s policies.

    • #15
  16. Mendel Member
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    If I may be rude and crude: Clifford, stop being such a sore winner.

    From your string of anti-McSally posts, it seems patently clear that you want McSally to lose (provided the Republicans keep the Senate) to punish her for being insufficiently loyal to Trump.

    But Trump won. And his success in 2020 will almost certainly have nothing to do with whether or not a first-term Senator from Arizona supports him. So stop trying to punish internal enemies after you’ve already won the war. Let former grudges go and deal with the situation at the present.

    I’m far from a @drewinwisconsin “never vote Democrat” partisan. And I also understand why conservatives who’ve lived through McCain and then Flake might be disappointed at Mitch McConnell’s handpicked choice being the Republican standard-bearer for your state.

    But as many others here have said, McSally is solid, she’s good enough, and she’s certainly a lot better than the alternative. There’s no reason anyone even a red hair to the right of center shouldn’t vote for her.

    And even if the Republicans keep the Senate this time (which they almost certainly will), you’re certainly aware that the map looks much worse for them in 2020, so every seat the Republicans can hold/pick up this cycle will be even more important the next time around.

    • #16
  17. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Mendel (View Comment):

    If I may be rude and crude: Clifford, stop being such a sore winner.

    From your string of anti-McSally posts, it seems patently clear that you want McSally to lose (provided the Republicans keep the Senate) to punish her for being insufficiently loyal to Trump.

    But Trump won. And his success in 2020 will almost certainly have nothing to do with whether or not a first-term Senator from Arizona supports him. So stop trying to punish internal enemies after you’ve already won the war. Let former grudges go and deal with the situation at the present.

    I’m far from a @drewinwisconsin “never vote Democrat” partisan. And I also understand why conservatives who’ve lived through McCain and then Flake might be disappointed at Mitch McConnell’s handpicked choice being the Republican standard-bearer for your state.

    But as many others here have said, McSally is solid, she’s good enough, and she’s certainly a lot better than the alternative. There’s no reason anyone even a red hair to the right of center shouldn’t vote for her.

    And even if the Republicans keep the Senate this time (which they almost certainly will), you’re certainly aware that the map looks much worse for them in 2020, so every seat the Republicans can hold/pick up this cycle will be even more important the next time around.

    You are simply wrong about me and my motivation. I voted straight Republican early. I am deeply concerned McSally will lose or barely squeak by, encouraging more Democratic focus for the next upcoming Senate seat. I reject the notion that anything other than pom-pom waving is “anti-[candidate X].” Your comments are especially odd attached to this post, which makes the case to uncommitted independent voters who are leaning hard towards not voting for any of the three candidates on the ballot—including those who voted Republican for the first time in 2016. The registration in this state is such that neither major party is close to being able to win with just their registered voters. You must win over a significant number of voters registered as Independents. 

    • #17
  18. Mendel Member
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    I apologize for incorrectly insinuating your intentions.

    Your recent posts do contain a fair amount of negativity toward McSally. On its face, that is fine – I don’t want Ricochet to simply be a cheerleading squad for Team Elephant and Lord knows I was critical of Trump here even months and weeks leading up to the 2018 election. However, the caliber of your criticism and the overall logic of the post(s) puzzled me: do you really think McSally would have a better chance at winning over independents by more openly embracing Trump and/or the amorphous vacuous platitudes that are his “agenda”?

    I’m not an Arizonan so I’m talking out of lane here somewhat. But it seems to me that in a state which elected Flake and re-elected McCain so many times, running a somewhat centrist Republican candidate who isn’t a card-carrying MAGA member might not be such a stupid idea. Is it possible that the political center of gravity in the state leans toward uninspiring centrist Republicans, making that the obvious lane for any Republican candidate to run in?

    • #18
  19. DrewInWisconsin Coolidge
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Mendel (View Comment):
    I’m far from a @drewinwisconsin “never vote Democrat” partisan

    I shall take you under my wing and instruct you in the way of wisdom, young grasshopper! ; )

    • #19
  20. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Arizona is somewhat unique due to the fact that statehood was granted as late as 1912. There was a divide that influenced politics that was grounded in the Civil War. Agrarian versus industrial. Phoenix and Tucson were not the population centers they are now. For a time Arizona was a Democrat state, and rural voters had some political pull.

    The shootout at the OK corral, which really took place in a vacant lot in Tombstone was heavily influenced by Democrat versus Republican politics. Being appointed as a county sheriff by the territorial government was not only a politically powerful position, it was a financially lucrative position as well. Part of the sheriff’s salary was a percentage of the taxes he collected. Mining towns were pulling, and refining millions of tons of copper, and silver out of the ground, which meant a pretty good payday.

    When it came time to elect a county sheriff there was some skullduggery. Both parties would run people through a polling place multiple times to vote. In some cases a small town would have hundreds more ballots cast than the town population. There are stories of children voting.

    The political lines are not so rigid that Arizona is a one party state at this moment. In spite of the fact that the vast majority of the state population resides in Maricopa County, and to a somewhat lesser extent Pima County neither party has a lock on election day.

    • #20
  21. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Mendel (View Comment):

    I apologize for incorrectly insinuating your intentions.

    Your recent posts do contain a fair amount of negativity toward McSally. On its face, that is fine – I don’t want Ricochet to simply be a cheerleading squad for Team Elephant and Lord knows I was critical of Trump here even months and weeks leading up to the 2018 election. However, the caliber of your criticism and the overall logic of the post(s) puzzled me: do you really think McSally would have a better chance at winning over independents by more openly embracing Trump and/or the amorphous vacuous platitudes that are his “agenda”?

    I’m not an Arizonan so I’m talking out of lane here somewhat. But it seems to me that in a state which elected Flake and re-elected McCain so many times, running a somewhat centrist Republican candidate who isn’t a card-carrying MAGA member might not be such a stupid idea. Is it possible that the political center of gravity in the state leans toward uninspiring centrist Republicans, making that the obvious lane for any Republican candidate to run in?

    I dispute your characterization of “amorphous vacuous platitudes.” Border security, tax cuts, reducing job-killing regulations, increasing jobs and wages, decisively shifting the Supreme Court for a generation, rebuilding the military, pushing allies to start carrying their weight, trade deals, moving the embassy to Jerusalem—these are quite substantial and President Trump is constantly working towards them and citing progress. Perhaps you have contempt for him, blinding you to comment #6.

    I explained above that Flake presented himself for years as a reliable conservative, almost libertarian, not at all a centrist. His springboard to elective office was the Goldwater Institute. Senator Jon Kyl, whose retirement opened the seat for Flake, was, and is, a reliable conservative. He got little press, but rose to Senate Majority Whip. Governor Ducey, needing to get reelected himself, chose Jon Kyl to fill the seat vacated by the death of Senator McCain.

     

    • #21
  22. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Mendel (View Comment):
    I’m far from a @drewinwisconsin “never vote Democrat” partisan

    I shall take you under my wing and instruct you in the way of wisdom, young grasshopper! ; )

    I think we can reasonably bound “never vote Democrat” by the event of Democrats abandoning Kavanaugh-ing nominees, inciting violence, and rejecting the legitimacy of Republican electoral victories and governance.

    • #22

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