Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Now That Ron Barber Officially Won The AZ-02 House Seat, Are Arizona Democrats Happy?


One of the closest races in the country and one of the last to be decided, conservative New Dem Ron Barber beat back Martha McSally 143,173 to 141,771. As expected, McSally beat Barber badly in deep red Coshise County 60-40%, but couldn't overcome the odds on much bluer-- and much bigger-- Pima County (Tucson), where Barber took 52% of the vote. Obama's and Carmona's coattails helped drag Barber over the finish line in Pima-- and so did the massive, more than two-to-one spending advantage Barber had over her. As of Oct 17 he had spent $2,112,987 and she had spent $859,173. The DCCC and their satellite group, House Majority PAC spent an additional $1,721,294 helping Barber.

So he won. Other than sleazy K Street lobbyists does anyone care? Sure, conservative Democrats and the kind of Republicans who like corporate-oriented, cowardly Dems are happy. But ordinary families who count on Democrats to look out for their interests... no one's singing "Happy Days Are Here Again."

Right after it was announced that Barber had squeaked out a win, Pamela Powers Hannley asked, pointedly, at Blog For Arizona, what role Barber will play in the debate over immigration reform. Acknowledging that Barber is more a "Republican-lite" than an actual Democrat, Hannley doesn't sound very optimistic. She points out that "Barber's campaign website... makes no mention of immigration reform, comprehensive reform (Giffords' stance), the Dream Act, the plight of undocumented and exploited workers, the heartbreak of family separation, a path to citizenship, or even the Latinos who live in CD2. Instead, it focuses exclusively on Blue Dog Democrat ... er... conservative Republican talking points-- security, fear, drugs, fences, drones, guns, increased militarization of the border, and business friendly war deals for our local bomb-maker."
According the the New York Times, Obama "is firmly on the hook" to tackle immigration reform after having won the Latino vote 3-1, and the Times claims that some Republicans (seeing their party's extinction on the horizon) are ready to chip in and help:

"One day, the Republican Party is rock-ribbed restrictionist, dedicated to the proposition that unauthorized immigrants are an invading army of job stealers, welfare moochers and criminals whose only acceptable destiny is to be caught and deported-- the border fence forever, 'amnesty' never. The next day: never mind."

One has to wonder where this leaves our DINO Congressman. During the campaign, there was hardly any difference between the two hawks-- Barber and McSally-- on border policy. They were both firmly ensconced in the "border security" camp. No talk of reform... period.

...So, as our president lays the groundwork for true immigration reform, will Barber stand with him and other Democrats or with the military industrial complex? At this juncture, my money is on him standing with Raytheon, desert-combing citizen militias, job creation through militarization, and the money-making War on Drugs.
Remember, Barber's first two consequential votes in the House were to vote in favor of Darrell Issa's witch hunt against Eric Holder and for the package of Republican proposals to gut all the most important EPA regulations ever passed.

The bill, H.R. 2578, was a package of GOP-approved public lands bills that included a provision by Utah wingnut Rob Bishop that waives 36 environmental, health, and tribal laws (including the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Superfund Law, and the Clean Water Act) within 100 miles of U.S. land borders and giving U.S. Customs and Border Protection authority to shut down any economic or recreational activity within 100 miles of the northern and southern U.S. borders if deemed necessary for securing them. Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) dubbed the provision a “drone zone” bill and said "It essentially will be a national sacrifice zone where our rights, our liberties, and our environment can be sacrificed for the sake of an ideological anti-immigrant, anti-environment agenda. Make no mistake, this isn’t a bill that actually addresses immigration issues."

So the bill passed 232-188, 19 Republicans voting with the Democrats while 16 New Dems and Blue Dogs, who are all sleazy corporate whores crossing the aisle in the other direction. Barber threw his lot in with all the worst garbage sheltering inside the Democratic Party, a bunch of Blue Dogs and ultra-conservatives like himself, exactly half of whom were either forced into retirement or were defeated this year.

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At 11:57 PM, Anonymous Richard Crews said...

every Dem counts towards a majority that makes the committees. So every Dem has value. This is a letter printed in my conservative paper just b4 election (200 word limit):

TITLE : Republican ignorance leverages The Stupid

Republican Akin's ignorance of woman's biology is a symptom of conservative (non)thinking. Having long rejected science as not in alignment with Party, they sail on their own personal sea of ignorance.. The human mind evolved perceiving patterns, and even a deprived mind makes up self-convincing explanations. We're talking about people living at the bottom of a well of self-imposed censoring, who look up and think they see the horizon. Rather than having a learning moment, Akin doubles down on the dumb; soon we're discussing the idea of legitimate rape. And having rape babies. Freedom!

This yokelism adds up. The irresponsible atrocity of Republican numerical ascendency is a Midieval mindset in congress, stumbling against modernity. The cumulative ignorance gets Michelle Bachman, paranoid conspiracy nut, on the Intelligence Committee, and Akin, Health-Ed flunk-out, on the science committee. Each member contributing towards Republican majority enables this national sickness.

So carpetbagging Bilbray, right-wing rubber-stamp Hunter, and not-criminal Issa leverage The Stupid. Not criminal? That's right, but how many of your acquaintances have been arrested 3+ times? Just sayin'. Issa has led an important committee on a wasteful years-long circus of dead-end vendettas. He recently disclosed classified secrets looking for political blame rather than solutions.

At 1:04 AM, Anonymous Megaman_X said...

I ain't happy. I was sure he was going to lose his seat.

At 1:35 AM, Blogger dsahadi said...

Now I'm a Democrat so please understand I am not selling any election victory short......but for this guy to come up and say the people saw the difference and that is why he was elected is pure bovine fecal matter. A win by 1000 votes out of 285000 is not a mandate. That district maybe, more then most, depicts the political condition of the country as a whole. I would be nice to see an effort on both sides of the aisle to reach a middle ground. What is good for the country is not always what is good for the people and vise-versa......we need to find that middle ground.


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