One of the most annoying themes that I heard throughout the past election cycle is that "both sides are to blame" or "both parties are controlled by their extreme and fringe elements" or something similar.
It's a line that is oft-repeated by Republicans who are trying to portray themselves as "reasonable" and by mainstream media pundits who are trying to portray themselves as "evenhanded".
However often the line is repeated, though, it just isn't true.
Do we (the Democrats) have our nuts? No doubt about it.
So do the Republicans.
However, the big difference between the Democrats and Republicans in this area is that while we marginalize our loons, the Republicans lionize theirs. Have you heard of the Dems running a PETA slate the way the Rs have run, hell, *embraced* tea party slates?
Even with the elections over (OK, the voting is over, but the counting of the votes continues, but you know what I mean :) ), the spewing of the "both sides are equally bad" BS is continuing.
On Sunday morning's edition of "Sunday Square Off" on Phoenix' channel 12 (KPNX-TV), part of the discussion was about the success/non-success of AZRepublic columnist Laurie Roberts' "Dekook the Capitol" campaign this fall.
Shane Wikfors, a Republican blogger and consultant, chimed in (at approximately the 1:14 mark of the "Dekook" segment of the linked video), saying that any "dekook the Capitol" campaign should include Democratic kooks, and left it at that.
Unfortunately, so did John Loredo, a Democratic political consultant and former legislator, and Brahm Resnick, the show's host. For different reasons (one political, one professional), each of them should have called on Wikfors to back up his allegation with specific names.
They didn't do so, so I will:
I don't know if you read this blog, but I'm guessing that someone you know does and will bring this to your attention.
Your stated belief is that there are Democratic kooks at the Capitol, and that if there is any movement to oust, or even criticize, Republican kooks, then any Democratic kooks should be treated similarly.
OK, I'll bite - you name three Democratic Capitol kooks from the most recent session of the lege, and I'll name three Republican kooks, and we'll use our respective blogs to shine a light on them.
Now, "kook" doesn't mean "holds political positions that I disagree with". In this context, it means "engages in activities that bring embarrassment upon their colleagues, constituents, and state".
What's that? You're having trouble thinking of three D kooks in the lege? Let me help you by naming my (first) three Republican kooks -
State Sen. Lori Klein - packed heat on the floor of the House at a State of the State address; aimed a "purty l'il" pink pistol at a reporter to show off the "purty l'il" laser sight; and read what is perhaps the most ignorant and bigoted letter in the annals of Arizona politics, on the floor of the Senate.
State Sen. Don Shooter - showed his opinion of his constituents by showing up at a special session of the lege in costume - a sombrero, serape, and a pistol holster with a half-filled bottle of tequila.
State Sen. Scott Bundgaard - assaulted his girlfriend by the side of a Phoenix freeway, and then claimed legislative immunity from arrest for his crime.
I will spot you one "kook" on the D side of the aisle - State Rep. Daniel Patterson, for his own domestic violence issues.
Of course, even with that example, there is a stark difference - where the House Democratic caucus clamored for Patterson's resignation/removal, the Republican president of the Senate declared that Bundgaard was the victim, not his girlfriend.
Now, you come up with two more D kooks (and given the rather broad definition that I've laid out here, you just may be able to do so).
Then I will name three more R kooks, and then you can name three more Ds, and so on, until one of us runs out of kooks to list.
I expect that I'll be able to list true R kooks long after you are left with only those Ds with whom you disagree, but who conduct themselves professionally and bring no ridicule upon their colleagues, constituents, and state.
Please feel free to respond here in a comment, or on your own blog, Sonoran Alliance.
Bonus rant: AZ Republic columnist Laurie Roberts reiterated her contention that the voters of LD26 (west Mesa, north and central Tempe) are to blame fot the election of Andy Biggs over Steve Pierce by the Republicans. The wingnuts in the R senate caucus deposed Pierce because they think he wasn't supportive enough of the wingnuts in their primary and general election races. Biggs is the leader of the wingers. Hence, he is now Senate president.
Roberts' posits that if the voters of LD26 had voted against their best interests and elected Jerry Lewis to represent them in the Senate, Pierce would have held on to the Senate presidency, leading to a more civil, if not more moderate, Arizona State Senate.
There's a couple of problems with that theory:
1. The voters of LD26, or any district for that matter, are responsible for electing the candidate who will best represent *them*, not necessarily the one that Roberts would prefer. If those choices are the same, fine; if not, Roberts opinion is slightly less than relevant. Other than in her own district (LD23, I think). The senators-elect choose the president of the senate. If any voters can be said to be at fault for Biggs' jerkwater coup d'etat, it would be the voters who voted for the senators who voted for Biggs, not the voters who did not vote for a candidate who might have supported Pierce. I don't buy into that thinking, but if one is inclined to blame voters for this, would it be more fair, and intellectually honest, to blame the ones who voted for supporters of Biggs rather than the ones who voted for someone who doesn't support Biggs?
2. The person who may be most directly to blame for the toppling of Pierce is Sen. John McComish. Supposedly he committed to supporting Pierce, then flip-flopped and supported Biggs (in exchange for a leadership position, if rumor/reports are true.)