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Arizona Republicans Embrace Nihilism
No party has lost its way more than the party of Goldwater and McCain
Arizona Republicans continue to find new and creative ways to shoot themselves in the foot.
A lone Republican joined with Democrats in the state Senate on Tuesday to block a bill that would have removed voters from the permanent early voting list who do not vote early in four consecutive primary and general elections.
With Sen. Paul Boyer, R-Glendale, siding with Democrats, the Senate blocked the bill by a vote of 15-15.
In turn, the bill's sponsor immediately moved to stop one of Boyer's bills. In an unexpected and dramatic moment of parliamentary intrigue, the Senate voted 20-10 to recall his legislation expanding Arizona’s school voucher program, which it had passed the day before.
But can we talk about how galactically stupid this entire idea is?
Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita was the sponsor of the bill that Boyer voted against regarding voting lists. She was also the Senator who made the motion to recall the voucher program legislation. That she voted for.
So to recap, Ugenti-Rita wants to recall a bill that she supports to ensure that it doesn’t pass as an act of revenge against a fellow Senator in her own party who did not vote for her bill.
Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.
Unfortunately, Ugenti-Rita seems to be parroting the mood of the Arizona Republican Party in general. The Arizona GOP has become a cesspool of conspiracy theories, QAnon nonsense, and other tomfoolery.
Nothing better encapsulates the state of the GOP in Arizona than the re-election of perpetual loser Kelli Ward as Chairman. Hilariously, Ward rejected the call for an audit in her disputed re-election after spending months repeating false claims that President Donald Trump had the election stolen from him.
Unfortunately, Ward’s ethos, one of hatred, intolerance, hypocrisy, and a disconnection from reality is commonplace across the Arizona GOP. How else would you explain Ward being “re-elected”? How else would you explain the censure of statewide Republican elected officials, including the Governor of Arizona, for telling the truth? All that is a shortlist among a host of other SNAFUS.
And that says nothing about the dumpster fire that is the Arizona GOP Twitter account.
It’s not exactly working out electorally for Arizona. Republicans lost Arizona for the first time in a Presidential election since 1996 and only the second time since 1948. Democrats retain a 5-4 majority in their membership in the House of Representatives. Republicans, which held both Senate seats as recently as two years ago, have lost both of them; the first time Democrats have held both Senate seats since before Barry Goldwater was elected in 1952.
The party of Goldwater and McCain not only lost its way, it seems to have put on a tinfoil hat, burned the bridge behind it, and are prepping for the end times.
And yet Arizona Republicans, both within the party and within the General Assembly, continue to double-down on this moronic strategy of dividing the party and alienating non-Trump conservative Republicans, who continue to leave the party in droves.
Arizona Republicans have adopted a sort of political nihilism, where destroying everything is more important than accomplishing everything. Ward’s “re-election” was one example of that, but a better example may be the Ugenti-Rita bill recall stunt. It is more important to Ugenti-Rita to stick it to a colleague than it is to accomplish one of her own policy objectives. A textbook, nihilistic, and immature reaction.
According to the most basic Straussian definition of “brutal nihilism”, they have more in common with those on the wrong side of history than they would admit.
There are other Republican parties that are in as much or more complete disarray and denial as Arizona (looking at you, Oregon). But no party has squandered more through its nihilistic outlook and God-like admiration of Donald Trump more than Arizona.