Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. An Open Letter to Martha McSally

 

Scales of Justice and Boots of TruthSenator McSally,

I want you to win this November, just as I wanted you to win in 2018. Sadly, tragically for our nation, it appears you are on track to be a two-time state-wide loser. That will be the end of your prospects for any position of influence going forward. It may also be the end of our republic. Please help us help you by being your best legislator and candidate. Act on the sustained real courage of Major McSally, flashes of which you have shown in the United States Senate. That way lies victory, if you tell your story true and get your story out by casting aside the counsel of caution, seizing every opportunity in every forum to engage with Arizonans.

You have a great personal story to tell, but the small piece of it that you were advised to hammer on, female A-10 pilot flying in combat, was not enough last time and is obviously not enough against an astronaut. The basic problem is linking this narrative to what you will do in the Senate and why people who are not entirely committed to voting their party line should think and feel favorably about you. You have a much more relevant and relatable story in your long fight for the Constitution and for basic human decency by the Pentagon leadership towards servicewomen.

Your administrative and then court battle to make the Pentagon do the right thing was fought from the middle ranks, where you could easily have seen your career terminated by non-selection for the next rank and competitive assignments. You did the right thing, especially on behalf of enlisted women, when you pushed back against the outrageous policy of knuckling under to our good friends, the Saudis, requiring American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, to wear abayas off base. It is no credit to the senior leaders of the day that they did not positively respond to your request in the chain of command. It is of great credit to you that you exhausted your remedies in the chain of command, giving them every chance to do the right thing, before hauling them into federal court. That sustained quest for all-American justice finally pushed Congress into doing the right thing, dictating through legislation what decency should have directed the Department of Defense to do.

You showed that same moral clarity and courage more recently in a little-noticed confirmation fight. Air Force General John E. Hyten is a very important voice at this moment in history. He has been sounding the alarm about the great risk to our national security from risk-averse procurement systems. He has pointed out the massive cost in dollars and in lost competitive edge, as our enemies are developing technology much faster now.* He was on his way to confirmation last year as the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when a female Army colonel falsely accused him of sexual assault. Your voice was critical to stopping this injustice and seeing a visionary officer promoted.

Your quiet courage was important, both to our national defense future and also to real justice for all. Sexual harassment and sexual assault claims have been improperly weaponized in recent times by a small number of military members with bad motives. As I was retiring in 2016, I saw two good senior officers, one male, and one female, have their careers dead-ended by false claims by sub-standard performers seeking to get the heat off their own careers. You took a clear stand for equal justice, for real victims and for those falsely accused.

In order to translate your admirable record and its meaning in today’s Senate and in Arizona, you must be seen and heard in Arizona. Ignore the Kelli Ward led Arizona GOP’s desire to avoid controversy. You actually have a primary challenger, Daniel McCarthy. Embrace the opportunity to get in front of Arizona voters, especially those who are new or skeptical about the two major parties. If he is a weak candidate, having two or three debates is a chance to show you are not a creature of the dysfunctional state party establishment while getting your points across. Feedback from the public commenting on primary debates will give you more information to help you properly adjust your communications and campaigning.

Go with your best nature, go with the courage of Major Martha McSally, and Arizona will elect you to the U.S. Senate this November.


* See, for instance, General Hyten’s remarks on 21st Century deterrence at the Hudson Institute: “Our adversaries are going really fast, and we are not, and we have to change that.”

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  1. E. Kent Golding Member

    You need to both email and snail mail this to her. Ricochet is not enough,

    • #1
    • June 17, 2020, at 5:36 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Thank you Clifford for reminding me of Martha McSally’s strengths. I voted for her in 2018. My sainted mother loves Martha McSally, and she has been very sharp towards me about Martha McSally. (During my 40 days with my mother, she laid down the law within 24 hours that did not want to ever hear a negative word about Martha McSally.) I think that Martha McSally has been totally swept into the Trump vortex and she is not seen as the remarkable person that she is. Frankly, I have forgotten these strengths. Thank you.

    • #2
    • June 17, 2020, at 5:40 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    I’ve been wondering if she is actually running a campaign. What I mostly see on social media are ads either for Kelly or attacking McSally but nothing from McSally. Kelly is running smart campaign so far just like Sinema. McSally seems to have learned nothing from her 2018 loss.

    • #3
    • June 17, 2020, at 5:44 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    I’ve been wondering if she is actually running a campaign. What I mostly see on social media are ads either for Kelly or attacking McSally but nothing from McSally. Kelly is running smart campaign so far just like Sinema. McSally seems to have learned nothing from her 2018 loss.

    McSally desperately needs to do some positive biography ads that talk about her background. I had completely forgotten about positive portions of her biography. Right now she is a one-dimensional candidate: if you love Trump, you like McSally; if you hate Trump, you dislike McSally.

    • #4
    • June 17, 2020, at 6:00 PM PDT
    • Like
  5. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    You need to both email and snail mail this to her. Ricochet is not enough,

    I always send such open letters to the official email address. I’ll do the snail mail thing as well this time, thanks for the recommendation.

    • #5
    • June 17, 2020, at 6:58 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    I’ve been wondering if she is actually running a campaign. What I mostly see on social media are ads either for Kelly or attacking McSally but nothing from McSally. Kelly is running smart campaign so far just like Sinema. McSally seems to have learned nothing from her 2018 loss.

    McSally desperately needs to do some positive biography ads that talk about her background. I had completely forgotten about positive portions of her biography. Right now she is a one-dimensional candidate: if you love Trump, you like McSally; if you hate Trump, you dislike McSally.

    This is not even so. Conservative/libertarian independents have little affection for her and may write in or leave the line blank if she does not make an effective positive case for herself immediately. 

    • #6
    • June 17, 2020, at 7:00 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    I’ve been wondering if she is actually running a campaign. What I mostly see on social media are ads either for Kelly or attacking McSally but nothing from McSally. Kelly is running smart campaign so far just like Sinema. McSally seems to have learned nothing from her 2018 loss.

    McSally desperately needs to do some positive biography ads that talk about her background. I had completely forgotten about positive portions of her biography. Right now she is a one-dimensional candidate: if you love Trump, you like McSally; if you hate Trump, you dislike McSally.

    This is not even so. Conservative/libertarian independents have little affection for her and may write in or leave the line blank if she does not make an effective positive case for herself immediately.

    Exactly so. Not everything is about Trump. She simply has no presence one way or the other.

    And Kelly is running as if he just accidentally wound up on the Democratic ballot. Smart move.

    • #7
    • June 17, 2020, at 7:17 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    I do hope that McSally can pull this one off somehow. She’s never been charismatic. My son met her once, when he was serving in a Marine honor guard at an event, and spoke highly of her.

    I actually wish that she had not run in 2018. I had just moved into her Congressional district, and would have voted for her, and I think that she probably would have held the seat. Instead, we lost the seat in Congress, and she lost the Senate race.

    For those who don’t follow Arizona politics very closely, McSally lost the 2018 election for the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Flake, to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. She was then appointed to the seat previously held by John McCain and then by former Sen. Jon Kyl (who appears to have been a temporary place-holder, and resigned after the general election to make way for McSally).

    I’m not sure of the reasons for her lack of voter appeal. I’m not a very representative voter, being somewhat to the right of Attila the Hun. :) But appealing to me really doesn’t matter, because she is a fair-to-middling Republican. I would have preferred a different, stronger candidate, but I voted for her last time around, and I’ll do so again.

    It is interesting that McSally’s military story seems to appeal to you, Clifford, and to our pal Gary. I’m pretty old fashioned about this. I have my doubts about having women in the military at all, which has, incidentally, resulted in openly discriminatory double-standards for fitness, of a sort that somehow hasn’t bothered SCOTUS. I am firmly opposed to allowing women in combat roles. Not that anyone cares what I think.

    So McSally’s status as the first female Air Force pilot in combat leaves me flat. I’m sure that it’s inspirational to others. To me, it puts her more in the camp of Gloria Steinem and Patricia Schroeder, rather than Margaret Thatcher.

    The story of her lawsuit against the military requirement that female personnel accommodate our (admittedly odious) Saudi allies in their off-base attire, also does not inspire me. To me, it puts her more in the camp of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, rather than Janice Rogers Brown or Amy Coney Barrett.

    Basically, she seems to have a good story for a Democratic candidate.

    One would think that McSally’s story would appeal to those suburban women we keep hearing about, but apparently not. I can’t explain this, but I don’t pretend to understand what women want.

    Maybe it’s her lack of family and children.

    I hadn’t actually heard of this before, but McSally evidently announced last year that she had been raped by a senior officer. She did not report it, and did not disclose either the details or the identity of the accused rapist. I don’t know what to make of this.

     

    • #8
    • June 17, 2020, at 8:48 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. JustmeinAZ Member

    If you’ve heard her TV ads so far this year they are not inspiring – I don’t know who is preparing them. They don’t sound warm or sincere. Mark Kelley, despite his BS, makes himself sound warm and folksy. 

    • #9
    • June 17, 2020, at 11:09 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Stad Thatcher

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    And Kelly is running as if he just accidentally wound up on the Democratic ballot. Smart move.

    Watch to see if he plays the sympathy card. He has a personal reason to be anti-gun, but I believe Arizona is still a pro-Second Amendment state. Couple Kelly’s anti-gun stance with the national “Defund the Police” movement and you have a winner.

    • #10
    • June 18, 2020, at 5:52 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Doug Watt Moderator

    McSally is probably more impressive in personal appearances, for instance in a small town hall type setting. I’ve been away from Arizona for just about a year so I’m not sure what the dynamic is in the Republican Party at this time.

    In the election cycle when she ran against Sinema the Republican Party seemed to be in a mess, with the exception of Governors Ducey’s campaign. I certainly hope the Party has moved beyond the McCain family anointment syndrome for a Republican Senate seat. It appears to have finally moved beyond the grifter Sheriff Joe, and the silly Kelli Ward.

    Regardless of what one thinks of McSally’s military career you can be sure that Mark Kelly will be just one more good little soldier for the DNC. He’s a carpetbagger from Texas, and his only ties to Arizona was his wife residing in Tucson, and her tragic shooting by a psychotic young man in Tucson.

    • #11
    • June 18, 2020, at 6:25 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  12. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    During my 40 days with my mother, she laid down the law within 24 hours that did not want to ever hear a negative word about Martha McSally.

    Your mom is right and I don’t want to hear a negative word either. Martha is my classmate and I will stick with her through thick and thin.

    • #12
    • June 18, 2020, at 7:17 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    I’ve been wondering if she is actually running a campaign. What I mostly see on social media are ads either for Kelly or attacking McSally but nothing from McSally. Kelly is running smart campaign so far just like Sinema. McSally seems to have learned nothing from her 2018 loss.

    McSally desperately needs to do some positive biography ads that talk about her background. I had completely forgotten about positive portions of her biography. Right now she is a one-dimensional candidate: if you love Trump, you like McSally; if you hate Trump, you dislike McSally.

    I passed the first despicable comment of yours. One reason why McSally had weak support in some quarters in 2018 was that she was perceived by some Ward supporters as a RINO. She has tried to move toward Trump as she should but there is still doubt, although no one reading your comment would understand. I know Martha and and know that she is great in small groups talking about policy. I could not understand her decision to not debate Sinema in 2018. I think it was bad advice and I see little evidence that she is getting better this time. I hope she will come out more aggressively this time.

    • #13
    • June 18, 2020, at 8:24 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Thank you Clifford for reminding me of Martha McSally’s strengths. I voted for her in 2018. My sainted mother loves Martha McSally, and she has been very sharp towards me about Martha McSally. (During my 40 days with my mother, she laid down the law within 24 hours that did not want to ever hear a negative word about Martha McSally.) I think that Martha McSally has been totally swept into the Trump vortex and she is not seen as the remarkable person that she is. Frankly, I have forgotten these strengths. Thank you.

    That’s not a Trump vortex that’s the McCain party machine being petty

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/congress/mccain-family-turns-on-martha-mcsally

    Cindy McCain wants her and her family to be GOP kingmakers of Arizona because of the “years of service.” That’s not how this works. The Senate seat isn’t a fiefdom and the party apparatus isn’t hers to do what they please. 

    She was the money he was the product.

    The McCains have plenty of reason to hate Trump, but this is more than that, this is not wanting to give up a political machine you built because you fell in love with the influence.

    So they’re going to withhold from McSally, lose the seat, and try to mount an offensive that will probably fail because, shocker, incumbents have an advantage and influence wains.

    • #14
    • June 18, 2020, at 8:25 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I actually wish that she had not run in 2018. I had just moved into her Congressional district, and would have voted for her, and I think that she probably would have held the seat. Instead, we lost the seat in Congress, and she lost the Senate race.

    I did not have permanent residence in AZ when she ran the first time for Congress and tried to get my daughter, who was at UA ,to volunteer. When we moved over here permanently, I also would have preferred that she stay in that CD 2 seat as she was a good fit. The professional pol who took that seat in 2018 is a drunk and a carpetbagger but Tucson is a blue dot in AZ. I volunteered for the woman who ran to try to hold the seat but in vain. The never Trumpers, like you know who, hurt the GOP Congress badly that year.

    • #15
    • June 18, 2020, at 8:30 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    I actually wish that she had not run in 2018. I had just moved into her Congressional district, and would have voted for her, and I think that she probably would have held the seat. Instead, we lost the seat in Congress, and she lost the Senate race.

    And never mentions his party. He has a lot of CA and NY money behind him.

    • #16
    • June 18, 2020, at 8:31 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    I’ve been wondering if she is actually running a campaign. What I mostly see on social media are ads either for Kelly or attacking McSally but nothing from McSally. Kelly is running smart campaign so far just like Sinema. McSally seems to have learned nothing from her 2018 loss.

    McSally desperately needs to do some positive biography ads that talk about her background. I had completely forgotten about positive portions of her biography. Right now she is a one-dimensional candidate: if you love Trump, you like McSally; if you hate Trump, you dislike McSally.

    As it should be. She is an active and willing accomplice in the Trumpification of America, she deserves to lose as dose the Republican party. It all needs to be burned to the ground. 

    • #17
    • June 18, 2020, at 12:44 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    I long ago cut the cable, taking news and entertainment from the interwebs. What I see in the snail mail and on street corners is not encouraging. There are barely recognizable McSally signs and the latest fundraising mailer had not external candidate identification plus a $1 bill showing in a cellophane window as inducement to open the envelope. Sad, even desperate looking.

    • #18
    • June 18, 2020, at 6:07 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    I’ve been wondering if she is actually running a campaign. What I mostly see on social media are ads either for Kelly or attacking McSally but nothing from McSally. Kelly is running smart campaign so far just like Sinema. McSally seems to have learned nothing from her 2018 loss.

    McSally desperately needs to do some positive biography ads that talk about her background. I had completely forgotten about positive portions of her biography. Right now she is a one-dimensional candidate: if you love Trump, you like McSally; if you hate Trump, you dislike McSally.

    As it should be. She is an active and willing accomplice in the Trumpification of America, she deserves to lose as dose the Republican party. It all needs to be burned to the ground.

    No better explanation of a suicide wish has been posted.

    • #19
    • June 18, 2020, at 6:30 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    During my 40 days with my mother, she laid down the law within 24 hours that did not want to ever hear a negative word about Martha McSally.

    Your mom is right and I don’t want to hear a negative word either. Martha is my classmate and I will stick with her through thick and thin.

    Good for you and your loyalty.

    • #20
    • June 18, 2020, at 8:56 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Gary Robbins Reagan

    I was surprised to hear that George W. Bush is doing a $2,800 a person fundraising for Martha McSally, Thom Tillis, Cory Gardner, and Susan Collins. Interesting. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8432671/George-W-Bush-makes-rare-political-intervention-three-Senates-embattled-Republicans.html?fbclid=IwAR2Mv_iG55aOiG-efB-mgJYXORYYkF75fY14EsCzhDDSqI8RNXpLTbHTXIc

    • #21
    • June 18, 2020, at 9:02 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    I was surprised to hear that George W. Bush is doing a $2,800 a person fundraising for Martha McSally, Thom Tillis, Cory Gardner, and Susan Collins. Interesting.

    Boy, why would anybody help that Cory Gardner guy. I mean, we all remember Cory Gardner banned birth control.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=MFHALFhCSYY

    • #22
    • June 21, 2020, at 11:57 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  23. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    During my 40 days with my mother, she laid down the law within 24 hours that did not want to ever hear a negative word about Martha McSally.

    Your mom is right and I don’t want to hear a negative word either. Martha is my classmate and I will stick with her through thick and thin.

    Good for you and your loyalty.

    Why thank you, Gary.

     

    • #23
    • June 22, 2020, at 7:03 AM PDT
    • Like