Posted by: Donna
My my, not exactly the kind on sunshine-y disposition one would expect from a proposition that advertises itself with flowers blooming and promising an end to bickering. Someone should tell Paul Johnson et al, that “civility” doesn’t equal “everyone has to agree with me and no one can ask questions”. Arizona Open Government, the backers of the top two primary initiative on the ballot next month, consistently claims that the problem in Arizona is “polarization” and “hyperpartisanship”, as if both parties are equally to blame despite Arizona having been under mostly Republican control for four decades. I’ve asked supporters of top two repeatedly for examples of Democratic extremism and the responses are getting increasingly comical. The link on the tweet referring to the “extremist blogger” goes to a column by Paul Johnson extolling the wonders of his initiative and there are only two comments to it, one of which is mine.
The “extremists on both sides” false equivalence that has become conventional wisdom is why there is no real penalty for extremism. The problem in Arizona, as in other Red states, and DC is the Republicans. It didn’t happen overnight. This is the culmination of 40 years of the Southern Strategy of appealing to white resentment toward the civil rights movement, the Religious Right organizing around anger over women’s liberation and gay rights, and the anti-tax/anti-social spending economic radicalism of people like Grover Norquist.
There simply has not been a concomitant and equal shift to the radical left in the Democrats. The Democrats actually moved rightward on a lot of issues and brands itself as the moderate party. As a result, there is no Democratic equivalent to Sylvia Allen in the AZ Legislature. If you can’t, or refuse to, correctly state the problem then whatever solution you propose is bound to fail. Arizonans already have plenty of moderates to vote for in general elections. They’re called the Democrats.
Apparently I am the extremist blogger and my mere mentioning of the Southern Strategy and rise of the Religious Right, which are things any first year Poli Sci major is familiar with, is extremism on a par with Birtherism or the belief that fertilized eggs deserve full human legal status. Thanks for proving my point, guys!
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