Among the things that the Rs in the Arizona lege have done just this week...
...Passed out of committee HB2664, a bill to allow debt collection agencies to scam consumers and courts in their quests to collect debts that the consumers may or may not actually owe...
...Passed out of the House and sent to the Senate HB2625, which would allow employers to question and even fire any female employees who use contraceptives...
...Passed out of the House and sent to the Senate HB2571, which seeks to turn Arizona's state government employment system into a patronage system where the winner of an election could fire any or all employees and install their sycophants/campaign contributors into government jobs...
...Gave House committee approval to SB1083, creating a state-sponsored vigilante force to hunt immigrants, legally answerable only to the governor...
...Gave Senate committee approval to the amended HB2480, turning it into yet another "birther" bill...
...Killed SB1462, an anti-bullying bill, because certain elected and unelected would-be theocrats are worried that it might impede their ability to "educate" students who are gay, have brown skin, come from poor families, are girls, or are otherwise part of a to-be-demonized group...
It goes on and on. The Republicans in the lege spend their days attacking women, poor people, civil servants, the president, consumers, minorities and more. What they don't do is something that nearly everyone can agree on - work on improving Arizona's economy (the Senate committee created for just such a purpose, Economic Development and Jobs Creation, has met once this session. It considered two bills.
One was a tax credit for big business, one weakens product liability law, making life a little more difficult for people injured by faulty products.
Simply put, they've spent months engaged in ideologically-based attacks on groups that they don't like, but they haven't done anything that even has a faint whiff of public service.
The economy here is still tottering, and the recovery (such as it is) is weaker than in the rest of the country, yet the Rs in the lege are focused on inflicting damage to others, not in shoring up Arizona's weaknesses.
Given that this is an election year, most politicians, in other states anyway, are at least pretending to care about the status of their constituents, why aren't the Rs here putting up a better front of concern for the people of Arizona?
I think I've found a little insight...
From Snopes.com (there are countless variations on this parable, but they all make the same point) -
A scorpion, being a very poor swimmer, asked a turtle to carry him on his back across a river. "Are you mad?" exclaimed the turtle. "You'll sting me while I'm swimming and I'll drown."
"My dear turtle," laughed the scorpion, "if I were to sting you, you would drown and I would go down with you. Now where is the logic in that?"
"You're right!" cried the turtle. "Hop on!" The scorpion climbed aboard and halfway across the river gave the turtle a might sting. As they both sank to the bottom, the turtle resignedly said:
"Do you mind if I ask you something? You said there'd be no logic in your stinging me. Why'd you do it?"
"It has nothing to do with logic," the drowning scorpion sadly replied. "It's just my character."
These people have enthusiastically embraced the role of society's scorpions. Whenever they see a situation that affects average Arizonans they work to make it worse, at least for average Arizonans. If they can be said to have character at all, innate viciousness is a major portion of it.
And while they certainly bear responsibility for their actions in office, we bear responsibility for letting them gain access to positions of public trust where they are able to inflict damage on society and the members of society that they don't like.
It is easy to be outraged at the depredations of the majority in the lege (and the executive branch Rs, as well as the Rs in DC, but we are talking about the lege here...), but the best response is to take the energy of that outrage and turn it into support for candidates that actually respect public service and public servants.
That means more than just supporting them with votes (though voting is important :)) ), it means supporting them with effort and money (start with the Arizona Democratic Party volunteer/donate or the Maricopa County Democratic Party volunteer/donate)
While I believe that means supporting Democratic candidates (partisan hack that I am :) ), I understand that some people won't be able to do that.
For them, I suggest supporting Republicans who have the ability and desire to be decent public servants.
Yes, there are a few. Unfortunately, in the current toxic political climate they have no chance of getting through a primary.
Either way, it's time for the voters to stop voting against their own best interests and the best interests of society, step up, and rein in the worst of the legislators.