Posted by: Donna
I keep being told there are some Republicans in the Arizona legislature who are so gosh darn nice and reasonable and moderate deep down inside. They really, honesty, truly want to do well by the people of Arizona! But they are forced – forced! – to vote badly by the evil menace of Grover Norquist and the ever-present threat of primary challenges. In the end this means that these mild-mannered closet moderates have voting records that closely resemble those of their enthusiastically crazypants colleagues on a variety of looney tunes bills such as this recent one that would, I’m not kidding, allow gold and silver coins to be used as legal tender in the state of Arizona. (Paging Stephen Colbert to the black courtesy phone!)
The measure is Arizona’s latest jab at the federal government, which prohibits states from minting their own money. It also reflects a growing distrust of government-backed money.
“The public sees the value in it,” said Rep. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa.
“This is the type of currency we have had over the history of mankind.”
What do you think our Biblical forebears bought their dinosaur chariots with? Fiat dollars? Don’t be silly. The bill passed the Senate on a party line vote of 17 to 11.
I have helpfully circled the names of five Senators often described as “moderate”. Worsley is a freshman who beat Russell Pearce in their primary last year. Driggs, McComish, and Reagan all won open Senate seats in 2010, having previously served in the House. In 2010, the only one of those three to have a primary was Driggs, who won it fairly easily. Driggs was not primaried in 2012 and neither were McComish or Reagan. Pierce has not faced a primary challenger in his past three Senate races. But wait, you may say! Aren’t they safe from primaries because they inoculate themselves by voting for stupid crap like this gold and silver coin bill? My problem with that theory is that if it’s such common knowledge that these Senators are moderates yearning to be reasonable the second they are given a chance, don’t you think uber-righty primary voters in their districts would have figured that out a long time ago? Why haven’t Driggs, McComish, Reagan, and Pierce been 86ed and replaced with some True ConservativesTM by now? I don’t buy it. Like I’ve been saying, the more likely explanation is they vote that way because they want to, they believe that stuff themselves, and they don’t expect to be held accountable for those votes by anyone who is supposed to be holding them accountable i.e., Arizona Republic columnists or general election voters in their districts. See, it’s not the primary elections that are the problem with these Republican lawmakers, it’s the general elections.
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