Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Today was like being hungover, but without the (somewhat dubious) benefits of a night out drinking.

Tired, dehydrated, sore and more than a little disillusioned, today was a day spent recuperating from the last couple of days.

The first three conditions could be alleviated easily - get plenty of sleep, water, and don't spend all day hunched over, pecking away at my Dell laptop.

That last was tough though - how to relieve the disillusionment?

Well, I went shopping today and came upon the cure, or at least the palliative.

Picked up a DVD copy of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.

Ahhhh...there's nothing like a bit of Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra when the old supply of wide-eyed idealism is running low. :)

...Anyway, some musings and notes from the last couple of days...

- In the giving credit where it's due department, after a fashion: Yesterday, I used the phrase "Political Katrina" to describe the goings-on. It came from a discussion I had with a state government employee who was in the gallery watching the proceedings to see if they'd have a job to go to in the morning. During our talk, this employee observed that much like with the federal government and FEMA and the Katrina debacle, everyone in the room could see the looming disaster and did absolutely nothing to prepare for it. The phrase came from the employee, who I'm not identifying by name, gender, or agency. Wouldn't want this person to get into trouble for speaking on a political issue.

However, to that person, I say thank you for a wonderfully succinct and apt phrase, one that Senator Meg Burton Cahill also thought was a perfect description of this mess. She used it during a floor speech last night while trying to protect Arizona from the worst depredations of the budget.

...The dynamics of next week's special session should be interesting - will Jan Brewer try to work with the Democratic caucus and the few moderate Rs in the lege to get something resembling "her" budget passed, or will she yield to the extremeists of her own party?

A lot depends on her plans for next year.

If she wants to run for a full term, she needs the wingers to get through a primary, but needs the support of moderates to win the general.

On the other hand, if she has decided, for health or aggravation reasons, to forego a run at a full term, she can just look to buttressing her legacy.

And "the accidental governor who sold out the state to ideological extremists" is *not* a great legacy.

Of course, the being Arizona, land of Ev Mecham, Fife Symington and worse, Brewer may think that's a fine way to be remembered in the history books.


Thane Eichenauer said...

I guess it all comes down to *whose* history book you care about more.

The mention of legacy makes me think of Jane Dee Hull and Bruce Babbitt. What are their legacies?

cpmaz said...

Babbitt's and Hulls legacies - not spectacular, but not horrible, either.

Babbitt went on to serve as Clinton's Interior Secretary and in still very active in environment issues.

Hull is best remembered as the first elected governor in AZ in over a decade who wasn't indicted while in office. That may not sound like much, but after the embarrassments known as Evan Mecham and Fife Symington, even boring mediocrity was an improvement.