Birthers, Birchers, and Assorted Republinuts Let Their Freak Flags Fly, While Dems Become the Party of Pot
I have a terrible confession: I heart Sand Land Republicans.
New Times Photo Illustration
For a sheer boredom-killer, there's nothing like a congregation of them, such as at the Arizona GOP's mandatory January meeting, where I'm always entertained.
Where else can you watch a pretty conservative five-term U.S. senator be censured by his own party because he's not wingnutty enough?
Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Birther Press Conference
Or see John Birch Society members slug it out with states' rights advocates over a constitutional convention that never will happen?
Much less observe the passage of a resolution calling for the abolition of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which instituted the direct election of U.S. senators?
Sorry, Dems, you guys just can't compete.
Democrats hold a state meeting the same day in January as their GOP foils. This year, they had just three resolutions: one aimed at the American Legislative Exchange Council, an anti-fracking proposal, and a resolution supporting the legalization of pot.
The ALEC-basher was tabled, but the other two passed. The Dems now officially are Arizona's Pot Party, which is cool, though Ds may be even duller stoned.
Nothing mellow or dull about Arizona GOPers, who wear their wackiness on the sleeves, as they did this past Saturday at Grace Community Church in Tempe.
There, the censure of U.S. Senator John McCain was a triumph for the state Republicans' dominant faction, known by GOP moderates and everyone else as "the crazies."
In Arizona, the crazies are at perennial war with the so-called RiNOs, or Republicans in Name Only, the label that party moon-howlers give their non-insane brethren.
McCain is the top RiNO in the crazies' eyes, but they've never been able to vote him out.
In 2010, McCain bested the crazies' candidate, former congressman and radio lip-flapper J.D. Hayworth, by 24 points in a GOP primary.
Thus, democracy is suspect to the crazies, because even though their party controls Arizona, their faction does not enjoy the ascendancy they believes it deserves.
Which goes a long way toward explaining some of the resolutions (submitted as a package by the party's resolutions committee) that were passed on a voice vote.
This package included a resolution supporting Joe Arpaio, one against "amnesty," another praising the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (which deals with states' rights), a resolution that would ditch Republican primaries in favor of a caucus system, and a call for repeal of the 17th Amendment.
In the case of the caucus suggestion, nominees would be picked by party crazies, not voting Republicans at large, who are far more moderate than the activists who give up their Saturdays to vote on meaningless resolutions.
As for the 17th Amendment repeal, it'd take three-fourths of the states to repeal what the states ratified in 1913.
Doing so would return the nation to the corrupt process of letting the geniuses in our state legislatures pick U.S. Senators.
The 17th Amendment repeal and the caucus-primary swap are fave ideas of disgraced, recalled former state Senate President Russell Pearce, who currently serves as first vice chair of the Arizona GOP.
In fact, he authored a similar package of resolutions that passed the Maricopa County Republican Committee a couple of weeks before the state meeting.
No doubt Pearce would like a way to get into Congress without having to worry about winning over the electorate.
Alas, these resolutions are all pie in the sky. Nothing short of divine intervention can revive Pearce's moribund career, and God sure ain't on his side.
Sheriff Joe was on hand to blow some hot air and naturally received a standing ovation from the party faithful before and after his remarks.
He also earned general applause for declaring that he's still investigating President Obama's birth certificate.
Birtherism, the most debunked conspiracy theory in the history of conspiracy theories, remains red meat for these Rs. It's a divorce from reality that could rival Jared Loughner's.
After his speech, I asked Joe whether he believed Obama was born in Kenya.
Joe replied that he was merely stating that Obama's birth certificate was a "forged document."
Arpaio told me, "I don't know where he was born — that's not the issue."
I'm pretty sure that was the issue, Joe, for those dumb enough to buy that Jerome Corsi-World Nut Daily caca.
The sheriff denied that taxpayer money is getting used to pay for the snipe hunt. Or that he likes to mention the birther stuff because he knows he can score donations off it.
Arpaio, who is no McCain fan, would not say whether he supported the anti-McCain resolution.
However, when asked by reporters, other politicos present said they were against it. Among them: congressmen Trent Franks and Paul Gosar and gubernatorial candidates Christine Jones and Doug Ducey.
The censure resolution was not part of the package offered by the leadership. So censure author Timothy Schwartz and his fellow McCain-haters had to score enough signatures to put it to a vote.
Schwartz and his cohorts, backed by Pearce and county GOP Chair A.J. LaFaro, easily exceeded the number required.
A McCain censure had passed at the county party meeting, and as most of the state committeemen are from this county, passage at the state committee was all but assured.