Saturday, February 27, 2010

Editorial: 'Birthers' seduce local lawmakers

I talked with Rep Mason about this today on the show. (Listeners: My apologies for the sound quality, I'm still trying to figure out how to get it right when both of us are on phone connections.) I said there and I'll say here that I agree completely with the unnamed Courier editor. It's obvious that the concurrent memorial is pure political grandstanding on the part of the radical right. The interesting thing is that it's not aimed at Dems, rather it's being used as a litmus test against moderate Reps.

What I got from the conversation with Ms Mason is something that neither the editors nor the commenters have apparently considered. It's this: if you're not a radical rightist or a Dem, the resolution is so far under your radar that it really doesn't matter.

I think this is a political blind spot, but I understand it. Obviously the federal government has clear process in place for determining the eligibility of presidential candidates, and obviously the President fulfilled those long before the radicals decided to create an issue out of nothing. But our state legislators are not any better informed about that process than anyone else who's not involved, so when the bill comes around that will send a postcard to Congress saying that Arizona wants presidential candidates to prove their eligibility, it's relatively harmless, whereas voting against it will give the radicals something to run against you.

Dems might be forgetting that the Republican party is in a civil war to decide who's running the show, the corporatists or the crazies, and the tactics in play are deadly. For Dem purposes, I think it's better if the crazies have the upper hand for a while.

It's a little over the top for the editor to decorate the editorial with the pic of Ms Mason, who only voted for the resolution, rather than Rep Tobin, who whipped it through the House, or Rep Burges, who wrote it. These last two are far more radical and have been favorites of the Courier editorial board, where Ms Mason has been often slighted by and far more critical of the paper throughout her four terms. Judy Burges wasn't "seduced by birthers," guys, she's a misspelled-sign-carrying member.