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Democratic Diva

Religious Right continues to be desperate for a “win” on pot

20 Sep 2016 03:21 am
Posted by: Donna

America’s Holy Warriors have suffered recent setbacks to their ongoing projects of oppressing LGBTQ citizens and depriving women of bodily autonomy due to recent court decisions, public outcry over bigoted laws, and even some progressive legislation Democrats have managed to pass.

Desperate for anything they can call a victory, and keep the donations flowing to their lucrative “educational organizations”, the God-botherers are focused like lasers on five states where marijuana legalization for recreational use will be on the ballot. I’ve noted in a previous post that I’m skeptical that having Cathi Herrod, Arizona’s preeminent purse-lipped fun sponge, at the forefront of the opposition to Prop 205 (AZ’s ballot measure to legalize pot) is going to move a lot of voters against it. I suspect Herrod, et al., are counting on the voices of those considered more mainstream who have come out against legalization to prevail come November, after which they will claim credit for the defeat.

But CAP did enlist William Bennett, former Education Secretary under Reagan, who made a career since then as a conservative demagogue known for inspiring the nation’s youth by having a huge gambling problem and claiming that if all African-American women aborted their pregnancies, the crime rate would go down. In an op-ed published Monday in the AZ Republic, Bennett regurgitated a Gish Gallop of anti-MJ talking points that have either been debunked or found to be difficult to prove.

One claim Bennett made was misleading and possibly dangerous:

Prop. 205 is sponsored by an organization calling itself the Marijuana Policy Project, which has a “Consume Responsibility” website. It instructs: “Edible marijuana products and some other infused products remain in your system several hours longer (than smoked marijuana), so you should not operate a vehicle for the rest of the day after consuming them.”

Nobody has ever had to advise anything like that with a glass of wine or beer. Today’s high-potency marijuana and pot edibles simply cannot be compared to alcohol as it is regularly consumed.

The implication in that statement is that driving after drinking is safer, that consumption of alcohol greater than “a glass of wine or beer” is atypical(!) and could not lead to a driving-while-impaired charge (untrue), and that pot use in general is more impairing than alcohol. To appreciate how badly Bennett is misleading readers, here is the full statement on driving from the MPP website:

Don’t consume and drive.

Never use marijuana while driving, and do not drive immediately after using it. Not only is it potentially dangerous, it is illegal and can result in serious penalties.

Similar to a 0.08 blood-alcohol limit, Colorado and Washington have established a legal limit of 5 ng/ml of THC in whole blood. Most consumers’ THC levels dissipate about one to two hours after smoking or vaporizing marijuana flowers, and it might take a little longer when consuming concentrates. Since it varies from person to person, you should wait at least three to four hours before driving a vehicle.

Edible marijuana products and some other infused products remain in your system several hours longer, so you should not operate a vehicle for the rest of the day after consuming them.

If you are not sure whether you are impaired or above the legal limit, do not drive!

The MPP people are telling you to err on the side of extreme caution in all cases of MJ use (as you should with alcohol!), but especially when you’ve used an edible with the potential of byproducts being in your system for up to a day. This is not because you are likely to be actually impaired for that long, but because you could be charged for it. It’s not the slightest bit surprising that the people behind legalizing marijuana are more invested in making it as safe as possible for all concerned than are the people equally invested in opposing legality, even if that means minimizing the danger of alcohol.

As people like Bill Bennett continue to object to legal weed on grounds that increasingly resemble nothing but puritanism, I continue to be reminded of their equally unhinged crusade against contraception and factual sex-ed. None of it is about the health or safety of the population. It’s about controlling us and denying us pleasure.

Had it happened on Al Gore’s watch.

13 Sep 2016 03:21 pm
Posted by: Donna


Imagine it, Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001. Two planes crash into the World Trade Center. Another crashes into the Pentagon. Still another crashes into a field in Pennsylvania.

Imagine if Al Gore had been President that day.

Do you believe Gore would enjoy a 90% approval rating on September 24, 2001?

I don’t.

I feel it in my bones, this reflexive bias toward Republicans being in charge, leading inexorably to them being held harmless for the most abysmal failures and even incontrovertible evidence of moral depravity when they are in office. I’ve felt it since I was a kid in the late 70s when Jimmy Carter was President, when he and his family were constantly portrayed as hapless goobers with straw in their teeth and everything he did was viewed as a failure, with no consideration for the challenges he faced. When Reagan defeated Carter, the prevailing sentiment (at least from what was apparent to me from TV and print media) was that rightness was restored to the White House. No matter how many people in the Reagan administration were indicted. No matter how bad his economic policies actually were. All was right with the world because the party that best represented the interests of men and white people was in charge.

When I was in boot camp in Orlando, Florida in 1987, Company Commander Hermann told us that Oliver North was a hero. I disagreed but didn’t dare venture that opinion, for I had fully absorbed by then that Republicans were viewed as the correct people to be ruling the country. (I also wisely surmised boot camp was not the place for me to challenge that view.)

Basically, since I was 10 years old I have grokked that the party of men and white people is the party that is assumed to be the rightful owners of the White House. Again, I never agreed with it, but I got it. It meant that I have accepted media people and other opinion shapers being reflexively deferential to Republican candidates, while subjecting Democratic ones to intense and harshly critical scrutiny, as the normal order of things in the election.

The sexism of it was quite glaring to me, as in the 2000 election when Al Gore was “feminized” and lampooned in the media for wearing beige and seeking stylistic advice from the likes of Naomi Wolf. Gore’s minor foibles and mistakes were amplified, while his opponent’s shocking ignorance of foreign affairs and history of incompetence in business and as Texas Governor was minimized (sound familiar?), in favor of a portrayal of George Bush as a hail-fellow-well-met manly man whom it was much cooler to be seen with. But none of it surprised me. I had long been used to Democrats, even white male ones, being regarded as inferior (but somehow expected to meet higher standards) candidates due to being seen as representing people of color and women (also deemed inferior but expected to meet higher standards always).

Naturally, dignity and honor were once again restored to the White House upon a Republican assuming the Presidency.

The attacks on 9/11/2001 happened seven months into Bush’s Presidency, after he had been fully apprised by outgoing President Bill Clinton about the Al Qaeda menace and warned repeatedly about potential attacks by terrorism experts. Bush ignored the warnings due to having other priorities (Iraq and a missile defense program).

Do you really think if Al Gore had been elected 2000, then proceeded to focus on nebulous pet projects over the threat of Al Qaeda and snorted “All right, you’ve covered your ass” to the guy delivering a memo entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US” on August 6, 2001, that he would have been treated like a hero a little more than a month later when the US was, in fact, struck? I know you don’t think that.

The nation wouldn’t have been given a minute to absorb the enormity and the trauma before the recriminations began. Why did Gore ignore those warnings?! Had President Gore sat there with an a children’s book in his lap and a dumbstruck look on his face upon hearing the news, would not that image been run on a continuous loop on news coverage beginning on September 12th at the latest? And that’s just the MSM. Limbaugh, Fox, Drudge, et al, would have been apoplectic with theatrical outrage over the failure of this Democratic President to prevent a terrorist attack. You can imagine the insinuations and outright accusations of Gore being in league with the terrorists.

But Bush was a rightful owner of the White House, buoyed on rich white male Republican entitlement, thus not subjected to an ounce of the scrutiny he ought to have gotten (after a decent interval) for his performance in the months prior to the attacks. He was instantly valorized (it continues to this day) and was able to graft the good faith he was automatically granted onto a case for pursuing his pet project, invading Iraq. Bush went on to receive fawning coverage for it:

{Chris] MATTHEWS: We’re proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who’s physical, who’s not a complicated guy like [former President Bill] Clinton or even like [former Democratic presidential candidates Michael] Dukakis or [Walter] Mondale, all those guys, [George] McGovern. They want a guy who’s president. Women like a guy who’s president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It’s simple. We’re not like the Brits. We don’t want an indoor prime minister type, or the Danes or the Dutch or the Italians, or a [Russian Federation President Vladimir] Putin. Can you imagine Putin getting elected here? We want a guy as president.

Such a guy, that George Bush. (That whole comment by Matthews, especially the bit about Putin, reads pretty incredible in 2016, doesn’t it?)

MATTHEWS: What do you make of this broadside against the USS Abraham Lincoln and its chief visitor last week?

LIDDY: Well, I — in the first place, I think it’s envy. I mean, after all, Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man. And here comes George Bush. You know, he’s in his flight suit, he’s striding across the deck, and he’s wearing his parachute harness, you know — and I’ve worn those because I parachute — and it makes the best of his manly characteristic. You go run those — run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman’s vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn’t count — they’re all liars. Check that out. I hope the Democrats keep ratting on him and all of this stuff so that they keep showing that tape.

MATTHEWS: You know, it’s funny. I shouldn’t talk about ratings. I don’t always pay attention to them, but last night was a riot because, at the very time [U.S. Rep.] Henry Waxman [D-CA] was on — and I do respect him on legislative issues — he was on blasting away, and these pictures were showing last night, and everybody’s tuning in to see these pictures again.

Leaving the grab-the-brain-bleach ickiness of these exchanges aside, try to imagine, in your wildest dreams, President Al Gore strutting across the deck of an aircraft carrier like that, and cable news commentators swooning over the, uh, turgidity of it. You can’t because it would be the ridiculous spectacle it should have been deemed when Bush did it.

George W. Bush was always an absurd, dangerous fool. But he got a free ride all the way to the White House due to snobbery, sexism, and racism. Which are also clearly at work in the 2016 election, where the female candidate has been excoriated for an entire year over some nonsense about emails while her male opponent, who is bonkers, is treated with far more deference than he should be. As I saw a Twitter wag put it recently, the election coverage feels like the rich kid school bully has enlisted the whole class in bringing down the studious, nerdy girl.

And these are people who still can’t believe President Obama got elected to the White House he has no business being in for two terms. They are, as this “DC political reporter” in this article, under cover of anonymity and pretending to be undecided makes abundantly clear, determined to swing the Presidency back to the GOP, even if it means “it’s going to be a dumpster fire”.

The good news is people are calling it out this time, more than I’ve ever seen. We’re not going to let them help install a dumber and more dangerous lunatic than George W. Bush in the White House, because their own kind not being in charge hurts their fee fees. It must end now.

GUEST POST: A Slightly Annoyed Defense of Hillary Clinton

11 Sep 2016 11:24 pm
Posted by: Donna

Guest post from Elizabeth from FranklyCurious.com:

I saw that tweet the other day. And I got a little annoyed.
Why? Because I actually don’t think it sounds like Clinton. At all. I didn’t think that a year ago. And I don’t think it now. There is a reason for that.

Clinton Has Been Very Open

Clinton has always released her taxes, her emails, her family’s foundation records, her fundraising records, her donation records, and her life’s story when asked by appropriate parties. Appropriate parties are: the American people, the government, the press, and the editors of her books.
Not once do you have a record of her refusing to release something that she felt she had a legal or ethical obligation to release.

When you have someone who is that willing to release information, you have someone not trying to hide anything. Are there times she fails to release? Yes — because we are talking about multiple tons of documents. Is there a pattern of her hiding anything? No.trump frankly curious

Now on to the bribing. Because she has released all of this information, we can go through and see if she has any record of using sketchy ways of handling business. And guess what? She doesn’t have that record. She complies with the rules even when she gets suggestions to not do so. (I’m looking at you Colin Powell.) Even when she probably should have used an Official Government Email Account™, she followed the rules for not using one.

Having been in government, I know why she used the single device. It is a decision most people in leadership have to make. And most of them hate using two or three devices. Clinton’s having it set up with her husband’s server was probably better than using gmail. But I digress.

Clinton’s Clean Donation Record

The fact is that you can trace her giving to whomever via her taxes, her family’s direct foundation, and the Clinton Foundation. You can look to see what they did with every dollar they received. You can spend months on this — just like most of the charity watchers do. And nothing — Absolutely nothing! — shows it was not above board. There was no using donation funds to buy things, no using funds to make political donations, nothing. Nada. Nichts.

Yet where does Justin Green, Political Editor for Independent Journal Review, start? Saying that Hillary Clinton is who first comes to mind when reading, “Rich person laundering political donation (bribe) through his foundation and hiding it on IRS filings”? And he is surprised that it is Trump?! Clinton has zero record of doing anything so unbelievably illegal and Trump is, well, Trump.

Clinton’s Track Record

Clinton does have a track record: not lying whenever she wants; not using her money to get out of scrapes; admitting fault; apologizing when she screws up; not breaking the law; not bribing public officials; not creating investment or university scams; and on and on.

So why the hell would anyone — especially a professional political editor — even conceive of writing such a statement?

Clinton has screwed up before — the Iraq war vote, using a private server that the State Department hadn’t authorized[1], most of the 2008 campaign, pushing for the use of American power when a wait-and-see approach would probably have been better. But these are policy decisions. When it comes to behavior? She doesn’t do anything wrong.

[1] This always struck me as weird, since she was in charge of it and Obama clearly knew she had the server and didn’t care.

You’re over two weeks late and a dollar short, AP

08 Sep 2016 02:38 pm
Posted by: Donna

On the evening after the “damning” AP story broke about a supposed pay-to-play scandal with the Clinton Foundation (which has since proven to be bullshit), that had been teased by a fallacious tweet claiming that half of all the people who met with then-Secretary Clinton at State were Foundation donors, I happened to catch the reporting of our local CBS affiliate in Phoenix on it on the 10pm news. Local newscasts typically devote about one minute of coverage to Presidential campaigns and on this night the news anchor basically read AP’s tweet, with the chyron below repeating the same thing. I expect it was the same on the other local newscasts.

So that’s what went out to the 12th largest media market (out of the 100 ranked) and now AP has (finally) issued a correction, after the damage has been done to Secretary Clinton’s “optics” and to a top-rated charitable organization that saves poor people with HIV/AIDS and other devastating diseases.

I got chided the other day by a local print reporter for complaining about the media all the time. I’m not doing it for my health.

Ignorance isn’t independence, or an excuse

06 Sep 2016 11:30 pm
Posted by: Donna

degrasse tyson quote

WaPo‘s David Weigel makes a humorous, though endlessly frustrating (for us politico types), observation about American voters:

It’s not the most original thought experiment, but it’s useful: Imagine a conversation with your past self, or some confused passerby, in 1991. Tell him that in the future, basically everyone will carry a tiny supercomputer at all times. People will wake up with it, run with it, map their destinations with it, order food with it, find hook-up partners with it, blow off partners after the hook-up didn’t go so well. At any moment, wirelessly, they can look up any information by typing in a few words.

Now, imagine explaining to this person that candidates for office put most of their speeches online, along with their entire party platforms. Some candidates would even allow their speeches to be watched live, or saved and watched later, from the tiny supercomputer. Your future self – or whoever – would probably assume that the problem of political ignorance had been cured.

I think about this more and more, because I keep meeting voters who insist, with a sort of hopeless helplessness, that they don’t know “what the candidates stand for.” This past weekend, at the Minnesota State Fair, I kept hearing people campaign that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were “mudslinging,” and that this was bad, because they (voters) wanted to hear about the issues…

…Whose fault is that, and whose fault is it swing voters are unsure where Donald Trump stands? Not the media’s — piles and piles of money are spent to get reporters and cameras to the places where candidates deliver policy speeches. Not the candidates’s, though in this particular election Clinton has given exponentially more detail than Trump. (Literally, exponentially. CNN’s Brian Stelter points out that there are 9,000 words about policy on Trump’s campaign site, and more than 100,000 words on Clinton’s.) It’s true that “candidate gives policy speech” is not a story that gets a front page (unless it’s in response to a crisis), and “candidates trade barbs” is. But it is easier than ever for a candidate to shoot his or her message past the media.

No, I’m sorry, but this one falls on the voters. It is generally as easy to learn where the candidates stand on all but the most obscure issues as it is to find, say, a recipe for low-calorie overnight oats. It’s also easy to ignore the negative, “mudslinging” aspects of a campaign, for the same reason so many people find it easy to cut their TV plans and watch streaming services…

I agree with Weigel up to a point that voters need to own this but I don’t find the media to be blameless in the problem. The political press pushes certain narratives about candidates, often arrived at via groupthink rather than evidence (Al Gore was bland, George W. Bush was folksy, Hillary Clinton is “untrustworthy”, Trump “speaks his mind”, etc.), that tend to be seized on as shortcuts to the learning about policy stances that Weigel (and I) feel voters should be doing. And some journalists, along with some politicians and others seen as authorities on electoral politics, have spent decades relentlessly disparaging partisanship, with an almost religious fervor, hailing the rise in the number of “independent” voters as if it were God personally sending a sign vindicating them.

But no, it’s not. When you tell people for years that parties suck and are corrupt and are for mindless sheep a lot of people start to believe it. Unfortunately, those same people don’t seem to be finding sources aside from the hated parties to get their information. Ironically, suggestions that they get their information about the issues from the candidates themselves are bound to be ignored because those candidates are – wait for it – partisans! They’re assumed to be lying because everyone knows that partisans and politicians and especially partisan politicians are liars, even when they’re simply stating their policy goals.

There are certainly undecided voters who do want to know where candidates are on the issues but they want that information filtered through trusted sources. That is not going to be the candidates’ websites, for the reasons I just explained and it’s not going to be the MSM if they persist in prioritizing the he said/she said horse race over asking Clinton and Trump about their policy proposals. Perhaps Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye the Science Guy could be enlisted to be our National Election Explainers. Still, Weigel’s point, that voters should at least try to learn what candidates stand for via those amazing space age information machines they have at their fingertips before throwing up their hands about “mudslinging”, is well taken.

Trump is not the working class hero that many of his supporters and pundits insist he is

01 Sep 2016 07:39 am
Posted by: Donna

The blog was down for several days but thankfully our delightful adminis-tress has gotten it working again in time for me to say a few things about Trump’s allegedly presidential and pivotal day trip to Mexico and his later speech (in which he etch-a-sketched any pretense of a pivot) in Phoenix on Wednesday.

First, on Trump’s puzzling meeting and subsequent press conference with President Enrique Peña Nieto (at which American reporters were not allowed), I’ll direct you to veteran political organizer and journalist Al Giordano, who lives in Mexico and who has covered Latin America extensively. Read this series of tweets:

Really, follow Al for a number of reasons but especially for his insights on how to defeat Trump. But in the case of Trump’s Mexico excursion, Al’s (very plausible) theory is that Trump is playing the useful idiot to an unpopular Mexican President shopping posh retirement locales. This seems not to have occurred to horse race-obsessed news bureaus – including the New York Times – desperate for that all-important Presidential Trump Pivot.

As for Trump’s Phoenix event, which can only be described (as many have done, very capably) as horrifying, I want to key in on something that seems to have disappeared down the chasmic rabbit hole memory of pundits covering the election, which I tweeted:

While everyone does know that Trump is a total hypocrite personally where immigration (based on his own hiring practices) and trade (based on his own manufacturing practices) are concerned, few people seem to be able to synthesize that understanding into a full picture of Trump as a white nationalist demagogue.

Trump is unapologetic about exploiting undocumented workers in his ventures from building to his modeling agency. Hillary Clinton is running ads in multiple states featuring Trump being embarrassed by David Letterman for clothing bearing his name brand being manufactured in low wage countries.

How, then, does anyone, with a straight face, argue that Trump is telling the truth when he claims to care about American jobs? What he made the case for, in the so-called “softened” immigration position he laid out in Phoenix Wednesday evening, sounded to me like essentially SB1070 for the whole country. That Arizona law, when it was in full effect (before the Supreme Court struck much of it down), was used to profile and terrorize Hispanic residents, despite the insistence of proponents that would never happen.

Trump didn’t reiterate his previous statements about rounding up and deporting 11 million people (pivot!); he instead said that undocumented persons in the U.S. would be “subject to deportation”, repeated his usual crowd-pleasing angry rhetoric, and ended his event by inviting several people whose loved ones had been killed (either through murder or drunk driving) by undocumented persons (suggesting that no one in America is ever killed by native-born people).

The 10-point plan Trump laid out was very heavy on fear-mongering about violent crime and promises to secure the fuck out of the border and amp up enforcement in-country. It was relatively light, however, on protecting American workers from the perceived depredation upon their livelihoods by immigration. Trump didn’t even get to that until point number 10, where he promised to enforce the use of E-Verify and that:

Immigration law doesn’t exist just for the purpose of keeping out criminals. It exists to protect all aspects of American life – the worksite, the welfare office, the education system and everything else. That is why immigration limits are established in the first place. If we only enforce the laws against crime, then we have an open border to the entire world.

We will enforce all of our immigration laws.

The same goes for government benefits. The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that 62 percent of households headed by illegal immigrants used some form of cash or non-cash welfare programs, like food stamps or housing assistance. Tremendous costs, by the way, to our country. Tremendous costs. This directly violates the federal public charge law designed to protect the U.S. treasury.

Those who abuse our welfare system will be priorities for immediate removal.

Number 10, we will reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers. The forgotten people, workers. We’re going to take care of our workers. And by the way, we’re going to make great trade deals. We’re going to negotiate trade deals, we’re going to be bring our jobs back home, we’re going to bring our jobs back home. We have the most incompetently worked trade deals ever negotiated probably in the history of the world and that starts with NAFTA. And now they want to go TPP, one of the great disasters. And if countries want to leave Arizona, and if they want to leave other states, there’s going to be a lot of trouble for them, it’s not going to be so easy. There will be consequence, remember that. There will be consequence. They’re not going to be leaving, go to another country, make the product, sell it to the United States and all we end up with is no taxes and total unemployment. It’s not going to happen, there will be consequences.

Leaving aside how Trump put resentment over welfare at the forefront of point 10, the Presidential candidate who has yet to own up to his own hiring and manufacturing trade practices appears to have tacked concern over jobs and trade on as a sop – not so much to the people in attendance at the rally who were really eating up the “scary criminal foreigners” angle a lot more – but to pundits (often) from the left, such as Thomas Frank, who are committed to the idea that many white voters (or as he calls them, “working class” voters) are gravitating to Trump out of economic anxiety and not racism:

Here is the most salient supporting fact: when people talk to white, working-class Trump supporters, instead of simply imagining what they might say, they find that what most concerns these people is the economy and their place in it. I am referring to a study just published by Working America, a political-action auxiliary of the AFL-CIO, which interviewed some 1,600 white working-class voters in the suburbs of Cleveland and Pittsburgh in December and January.

Support for Donald Trump, the group found, ran strong among these people, even among self-identified Democrats, but not because they are all pining for a racist in the White House. Their favorite aspect of Trump was his “attitude”, the blunt and forthright way he talks. As far as issues are concerned, “immigration” placed third among the matters such voters care about, far behind their number one concern: “good jobs / the economy”.

Yet Trump pressed the topic of immigration – not “good jobs/the economy” – and chose Phoenix, rather than Cleveland or Pittsburgh, to deliver this ostensibly presidential and pivotal tour de force speech! The home of SB1070 and Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio is not a place from which, to a bloodthirsty crowd, a Presidential candidate would convincingly launch a non-racist immigration policy. And Donald Trump is not the man anyone should be listening on immigration or trade, given his own self-serving actions in those areas.

It actually seems that white people who do pay heed to Trump tend to do so more from a position of comfort than not:

Which makes sense since people who don’t really care about working class jobs and trade impacts but who do have a big investment in their white supremacy would tend to favor a guy who doesn’t care about the first two but is running hard on the third.

Moment of truth time for Arizona

19 Aug 2016 03:43 am
Posted by: Donna

az we're not nuts

Former AZ Governor Jan Brewer, quoted in The Hill:

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) this week called Hillary Clinton a “lying killer” and insisted her state wouldn’t vote for the Democrat in November’s presidential election.

“The people want a fighter. They’re tired of the lying killer, uh, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clintons of the world,” Brewer said in an interview on KTAR News that was highlighted by Mediaite.

Brewer argued that Democrats may be helping the state’s economy by spending heavily on advertisements there but that it wouldn’t help them politically. She predicted GOP nominee Donald Trump would air just a few ads.

“I don’t think that they can win Arizona,” the Trump supporter said of Democrats.

As much as making this odious woman bitterly disappointed alone on November 8th should be all the motivation we need to make this happen, Brewer certainly has grounds to make this prediction. It has long been the aspirational myth here of Democrats that the demographic “sleeping giant” of Hispanic voters will awaken and overtake the elections here. It hasn’t happened yet.

Republican consultant types, at least in my experience, have especially loved to jibe Democrats about this. But some of the less hardcore partisan ones, along with several media pundits and mainstream establishment thought leaders, subscribe to a concurrent aspirational myth of their own: that of The Moderate Republicans Who Are Going To Come To Their Senses Any Day Now And Save Us From The Lunatics Currently In Charge.

This, too, hasn’t happened yet. It hasn’t happened despite gutting Clean Elections, an AZ Republic columnist’s crusade to “de-kook the Legislature”, two failed Top Two Primary campaigns, and attempts by business and academic leaders to forge “nonpartisan dialogue”.

The myth relies on the existence of a “sleeping giant” of Arizona voters and prospective politicians who are socially moderate yet fiscally conservative, whose economic and policy interests line up closely with those of the business community, and who shun blind partisanship yet must have a Republican to vote for because they will never, ever vote for a Democrat.

Indeed, these people have been presented plenty of times the past two decades or so with “moderate” options*, both in GOP primaries and in general elections with decidedly non-extreme Democrats, yet they haven’t managed to pull the trigger on the whole saving-us-with-moderation plan. Instead, the aforementioned Jan Brewer won decisively for Governor in 2010 on the strength of SB1070 (round up the illegals!), along with a whole bunch of other Republicans who have felt little need to moderate themselves on a host of issues from public education (cut it and funnel tax dollars to charters and private vouchers!) to energy (demolish the solar industry and do whatever else the Kochs want!) to culture war issues (Cathi Herrod, by all means, have your way with us!) to the disgusting and utterly morally incomprehensible defenestration of child protective services (are there no churches? work houses?).

Arizona voters who insist on voting Republican despite all of that have had ready-made excuses for doing so, including:

“Taxes! They’re too high!”

“What part of “illegal” don’t those people understand?”

“I already pay enough for the schools so why can’t the teachers take a pay cut?”

“Corporation Commission? What is that? These ads tell me all I need to know!”

“Why should we throw money at CPS when I read an article about how a social worker forgot to check on an abused kid?”

So many great excuses! Huge excuses!

Moment of truth time, people. Donald Trump is running on a bald-faced campaign of white supremacy. He is. That’s all there is to it. The current polls show him having more or less (and in the more-or-less realm lies the Electoral College votes) a tie with Hillary Clinton in Arizona. If the polls are to be believed, then in sheer numbers at least half the voters in our state feel that an unabashed white nationalist supremacist is a fine person to lead our country.

This might cause you to reexamine your neighbors, coworkers, and relatives. You should do that.

And this means that The Moderate Republicans Who Are Going To Come To Their Senses Any Day Now And Save Us From The Lunatics Currently In Charge are, in fact, not going to do that. They can’t, because they don’t exist.

Which means that you, people who supposedly yearn for moderate governance in Arizona, had better get with the Democrats, and help them get enough voters to the polls defeat the Trump horror show. It’s not like there isn’t an abundance of history showing you where his shit leads.

*Well, Janet Napolitano and Terry Goddard both got elected to statewide seats with Clean Elections. Hardly a couple of radicals.