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Politics Catchup

January 30, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Russell Pearce

I hope you weren’t expecting me to live blog the State of the Union address Tuesday night. (Were we really in DC just a year ago, watching the presidential motorcade head from the White House to the Capitol for the address from our hotel window?) Heck, I couldn’t even bring myself to watch it. Not after Obama appointed Bill Daley as chief of staff and Jeff Immelt as head of the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. What is this, a Republican administration? Okay, I know, Daley is a Democrat — he is a Daley after all. But what I see is a continued move to the right, and I’m in no mood to applaud that.

It helps to remember that there is no Republican Party anymore, not one in the old sense, so Obama may as well fill the void. Who can make sense of the modern Republican Party? Is it an advance guard of aliens from another planet? (Michele Bachmann certainly played the part in her remarks following the State of the Union.) That would be ironic, given their opposition to illegal aliens. Go figure.

Which brings us to Arizona, ground zero of their invasion. bmaz had a post on emptywheel’s blog today that captured a bit of the madness afoot in the state. He devotes the post to “the filing in the Arizona legislature of twin bills at the end of this week attacking the automatic citizenship granted to U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants under the 14th Amendment.” I recommend reading the post in full. Below are excerpts.

While Arizona may be the test lab, it is certainly not necessarily the originator for these discriminatory and bigoted efforts. The “father” of the measures, leader and vocal mouthpiece for them in the Arizona legislature is State Senator Russell Pearce, newly crowned President of the state senate. Pearce worked off the template written by national movement conservative Kris Kobach for SB 1070, and the attempt to blow up the 14th Amendment birth citizenship guarantee is also being pushed by national extreme right wing movement conservatives such as Rand Paul and David Vitter.

But the point man and patron saint of anti-immigration hate in Arizona is indeed President of the Arizona Senate Russell Pearce, a former top deputy and confidant of the pernicious Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. …

So how did this two bit back bencher, who only came to the legislature because he was terminated as the state director of the Motor Vehicle Department for malfeasance in tampering with department records, come to be the most powerful man in the Arizona legislature? The old fashioned way, money, lobbyists and a push from the movement conservative national political machine. In short, the craziness of the ever more extreme and immigrant fear mongering national Republican party caught up to Russell Pearce’s local innate bigotry. And the big money and high powered lobbyists now backing and fueling Pearce is the story of this post.

Who were these people bankrolling and gleefully toasting Pearce and his in your face brand of bigotry? It is all too easy to pin this movement on the supposedly grass roots “Tea Party” movement. Except the truth is the “Tea Party” is not particularly grass roots in the first place and instead is an outgrowth of mainstream GOP lobbyists, and this group of luminaries comprise the monied elite of the traditional Republican party in Arizona, not to mention more than a few national interests. The hate is quite mainstream and is the work product of big money and big political lobbying operations.

… as a native Arizonan, I can assure you these are the highest levels of movers and shakers in the business and legal world here. They are NOT the “grass roots”, and do NOT represent the “power of the people”. No, they are, quite instead, the people with the power. They would surely not want it, but should be known far and wide for the bigotry, hate and disrepute they have encouraged and bankrolled for the state of Arizona. It is their handiwork Russell Pearce fronts for.

And nothing brought the ugly face of Arizona painted by Russell Pearce and his merry band of backers to light more than the horrendous carnage of the Giffords shooting less than twelve hours after their party concluded. The picture painted of Arizona in the aftermath was a hideous one of bigotry, hate and guns run amok.

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