John McCain…In Tucson Even!

John McCain is actually coming to Tucson today. And no, I don’t mean Marana or some country club in the Foothills, he’ll be at the U of A basketball game. No word on who he will cheer for.

He’ll be bringing Scott Brown with him. I guess McCain is supposed to bask in Brown’s reflective glow. So, tell me…why is it that McCain, a year and a half ago the Republican presidential candidate and one of the highest profile members of the Senate needs a guy that no one heard of two months ago to get cred? What is going on here?

And by the way: is this another attempt for McCain to burnish his credentials with the Tea Partiers? If so, how is that going to go. They liked the guy two months ago, but now they have actually found out that he is going to govern as a Senator from Massachusetts (of course, they should have figured this out from his actual record). Is it that McCain hasn’t gotten the memo about Brown being a moderate, or is his staff two months behind on Tea Party politics?

Senate Follies

Okay, let me get this right:

John McCain not only voted for TARP but suspended his campaign to show how important he thought it was, but now claims that he had no earthly idea what was in it.

J. D. Hayworth now says his statements claiming that Barack Obama was born in Kenya were just meant to “provoke discussion” and he doesn’t actually believe the opinions that he stated.

Are we supposed to take what these guys say seriously? I’m sorry, I meant, what part of what these guys say are we supposed to take seriously?

Really, John?

To summarize John McCain’s comments before the Arizona Republic editorial board: I really had no idea what I was doing.

John McCainSo, let me get this straight: a year and a half ago, he was so supportive of this bailout that he tried to “suspend” his campaign (cancelled an appearance on Letterman even!), challenged Barack Obama to do the same, and demanded a summit with the President. But, it was all a mistake because he really didn’t understand what was going on.

Is that explanation supposed to make us more confident about his judgement?

John MacCain

Legend has it that local music icon and unofficial Mayor of Downtown Tucson Al Perry used to purposely mispell Tucson on press materials when he would put out new music. He figured, well, they’ll misspell it anyway.

It appears that John McCain has a bit of that spelling problem the good Mr. Perry alluded to. Earlier this week, he sent out a press release touting the endorsements of, among others, Bob Walkup, who appears to be mayor of a city called “Tuscon.”

What is funny is that the guy’s staff (out of state hired guns, no doubt) couldn’t get the spelling of the second largest city in his constituency right, but that the error is still there for all to see on his website. Yep, even after the Yellow Sheet made fun of him for it, they still haven’t seen to fix it.

What is up with that?

Luckilly, he won’t be able to misspell the first name of his primary opponent.

Oh, Sounds Like a Fantastic Idea

David Stevens has an idea: that pesky 17th Amendment to the constitution is a big problem, so let’s ditch it.

He has a bill to have major party Senate nominees chosen by their respective legislative caucuses, rather than at a party primary. He labels this as a way to go back to the “good old days” before that 17th Amendment ruined everything.

First off, before the 17th Amendment, legislators chose Senators, not party nominees (a notable exception being Arizona, which I’ll get to in a bit). He is selling this referendum as a way of going back to the days before 1913, but you’d have to go much further back to find a precedent for method of nomination. This scheme calls to mind the old “King Caucus” days before Andrew Jackson when presidential nominees were picked by congressmen.

Stevens thinks this would be a much better system because instead of spending millions on a nomination fight, they would just “have to come down and, basically, campaign us.” He forgets that there is a general election, and that can tend to get expensive too. For example, the 2006 Senate campaign, which involved neither candidate having a primary challenge, cost the two nominees in total over $30,000,000.

Also, given the behavior of the legislature over the last year or so, what evidence is there that there will be better nominees out of this process? Stevens, in comments to the Yuma Sun, says that this would give a candidate like J. D. Hayworth a better shot at being the Republican nominee. He thinks this is a selling point.

Like Jack Harper’s bill giving the lege more say over judges, this one seems an ill-timed bid for more power for legislators. Word to Stevens and company: you may want to get your act together and pass a budget before asking the voters for more responsibility.

Historical Note: Even though Arizona became a state shortly before the 17th Amendment was enacted, the legislature was compelled to follow the will of the voters when appointing a Senator, who made their choice in an advisory vote. In other words, Stevens’s “good old days” never actually existed here.

Whackjobs of a Feather

Joe ArpaioJoe Arpaio sent out a fundraising letter for J. D. Hayworth, bashing John McCain as a “moderate or even liberal.”

Arpaio’s attacks on McCain come as a surprise to folks from outside of the state, but as E. J. Montini points out, it shouldn’t come as much of a shock to people who actually follow our politics.

It is worth remembering that Arpaio didn’t endorse McCain in the 2008 presidential race, prefering instead to endorse the rock-ribbed conservative icon Mitt Romney.

John McCain Attacks…Tom Delay?

John McCainI just got the latest fundraising appeal from a certain John Sidney McCain. In it, he goes after J. D. Hayworth as a…big spending liberal?

I’m confident the majority of voters will agree that this is not the time to send a defeated Congressman back to Washington. During his time in office as one of Tom Delay’s leadership team, J. D. Hayworth cast countless votes for earmarks and pork barrel projects that helped balloon our government deficit by billions of dollars. His election would be a substantial setback for the true conservative principles that you and I stand for.

Unfortunately, J.D. Hayworth has a record of talking like a conservative, but voting like a liberal on fiscal issues. As a Member of Congress, he voted for millions of dollars in earmarks at your expense including sprucing up blueberry farms in Maine and researching French fruit flies.

The Last on the Block

J. D. HayworthI missed out on writing about J. D. Hayworth entering the Senate race. I know his numbers are dropping, but I wonder if that will change now that he is an active candidate. I also wonder what a decent sized group of energized Hayworth voters do to the Republican primaries, especially in CD 3, even if he can’t win the Senate race.

We’ve already seen John McCain swing further to the right in an effort to cut Hayworth off. The trouble is, I don’t know if you can really swing far right enough to make possible Hayworth voters happy. Also, how far to the right does McCain go before we stop hearing that he’s a “maverick” based on the temporary, fin de siècle version of McCain?