Watch conservative media try to mold Doug Ducey into the anti-Trump

27 Mar 2017 01:55 pm
Posted by: Donna

ducey herrod
Do you think these two want most people in Arizona to enjoy liberty? I don’t.

George Will’s syndicated column from Saturday is a regurgitation of the same inane pap that comes up every year or so where some conservative visits Arizona (or possibly doesn’t even bother to come here, just makes a phone call or two), pronounces our state to be a conservative utopia, and mentions golf. Reading these paeans, one can always be certain the author has not spoken to any public school teachers, low wage service workers, or immigrants. Mainly they stick to talking to white guys who play golf on nice private courses. You know, the regular people.

Will’s piece ran in the Sioux City Journal and was entitled – wait for it – “An Oasis of Liberty in Arizona” and contains the obligatory nostalgic Old West reference and talking points straight from the Goldwater Institute about how plucky small business owners being menaced by evil government bureaucrats is not tolerated in these here parts.

What did strike me was Will’s adoring profile of Governor Doug Ducey and how he cast Ducey as the anti-Trump without saying the President’s name. It’s difficult to pick which paragraph of this love letter to Ducey to highlight but here’s one that mentions golf:

Born in Ohio, he came here to attend Arizona State University and became a businessman who attended Goldwater Institute events. After he joined the founder of Cold Stone Creamery ice cream shops and opened 1,400 nationwide, he was elected state treasurer, then governor. Seeking advice from the best, he called former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who suggested appointing to his administration business people looking for new challenges. (Daniels asked, “Do you know anyone who plays golf on Tuesdays and is miserable?”)

I…can’t even snark about that golf on Tuesdays statement. We are so fucked, Arizona.

As we speak, the highest office in the land is manifestly demonstrating why “run the government like a business” is not a great approach but for George Will and the Goldwater Institute, this holy tenet cannot fail, it can only be failed. Thus, in the capable hands of someone like Doug Ducey, doling out powerful positions to business leaders leads to dandy outcomes, always.

Ducey wants Arizona to have a “West Coast vibe with a Midwestern work ethic,” and he cheekily calls California’s Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown “my partner in growing Arizona’s economy” because California’s business climate is a powerful incentive for firms to relocate in Arizona, where more than 60 percent of its residents were born elsewhere. Arizona’s motto is “Ditat Deus” (“God Enriches”), but His work can be facilitated by Ducey’s goal of getting the state’s income tax “as close to zero as possible.”

He calls himself a “full-spectrum conservative,” including support for free trade (NAFTA has been good for Arizona’s commerce with Mexico), but there are limits to his Western libertarianism. Last year, he led the campaign that resulted in Arizona being the only one of five states voting on the issue to defeat legalization of recreational marijuana: “I’m the son of a cop and the father of three teenage sons.”

The current president has pointedly said, “This is called the Republican Party. It’s not called the Conservative Party.” Actually, it became a conservative party partly because of what an Arizonan did many decades ago. It may become such a party again, with another Arizonan’s help.

Oh, George, keep dreaming. But my suspicions that 1. Ducey is shitting bricks over Trump and 2. there is a concerted effort among “establishment” Republicans to mold Ducey into the anti-Trump are further confirmed. And if they repeat it enough the mainstream media will run with that theme as well.

It’s dead wrong, though. Ducey is in many ways worse that Trump. In addition to being an anti-pot scold, he’s a true believer anti-choicer. He has shown a level of contempt toward poor Arizonans that Paul Ryan would admire (pushing for lifetime limits on TANF and Medicaid, for example). He is against funding public education (and no, throwing a few pennies at it via Prop 123 doesn’t mitigate that) and just signed an anti-democratic bill attacking citizens initiatives into law. And it turns out happy-go-lucky business dudes with ample time to golf on Tuesday don’t make great leaders of agencies in charge of child welfare.

Doug Ducey is a bog standard Republican, and far from being a departure from the President it makes him every bit as dangerous as, if not more so, than Trump*. Being blandly affable and having guys like George Will putting the “principled conservative” spin on him has enabled Ducey to do harmful and unpopular things without them sticking to him personally. But they should. As I keep saying, at some point it needs to be recognized that the solution to problems created by Republicans is never going to be more Republicans.

*In domestic policy, that is. Trump does have access to nukes, which could prove to be a tad problematic.

1 Comment(s)

  1. Comment by Mark on March 27, 2017 5:21 pm

    What better time for a puff piece on the Arizona Governor who calls Ohio “home” than during the Fart Cloud Presidency?

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