Monday 21st August 2017

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Not Quite Three Amigos . . . McCain, Flake March With Elite; Arpaio Gets Kicked

August 5, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

PHOENIX — You couldn’t quite say Arizona’s Three Amigos were on national display as July faded into August. It was more like Arizona’s Two Amigos and the Outcast.
The state’s two high-profile U.S. senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, so amiable among the elite, walked their usual red carpets into welcoming parlors even while they yanked the rug from under the hopes and dreams of millions of other, less privileged people.
And the outcast one, former Maricopa County Sheriff and border hawk Joe Arpaio, again paid the price for being on the wrong side of the line according to the line-jumpers’ fan club.
McCain made even some other senators gasp when he cast the deciding vote in the early hours of July 28 against a bill aiming to repeal Obamacare.
It was McCain’s second vote to save Barack Obama’s bad bacon since July 26 — against “full” repeal then against “skinny” repeal — after the Arizonan made a triumphant return to the Senate chamber on July 25 following revelation of his tumor.
The mavericks’ maverick hadn’t even let the widespread sympathy for him sink in after he revealed his aggressive brain cancer on July 19 before McCain again was telling conservative foes to go to hell and showing that campaign vows once again meant nothing to him.
His elite amigo Flake was on the same page of scorn for conservatives even while claiming, like McCain himself when an Arizona re-election campaign is on the horizon, to be a true-blue right-winger. Flake had just authored a pitch for ballots in his upcoming 2018 Senate race, a book titled Conscience of a Conservative.
The Never Trumper, open-borders Flake made the rounds of interviews to flash his rejection of alleged benighted GOP “nativism and protectionism” and “anti-immigration fervor.” Conservative activist Brent Bozell denounced Flake as an imposter who misappropriated the title of an earlier book that helped boost Arizona’s Barry Goldwater to the 1964 GOP presidential nomination.
In a news release, Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, said:
“Since entering the Senate in 2013, Jeff Flake has, time and again, proven he is part of the indulgent hypocrisy in Washington. While he waxes poetically about conservative principles, his Conservative Review Liberty score is an abysmal 53 percent, also known as: ‘F.’
“In 2013, I watched firsthand as Flake refused to sign a letter pledging to defund Obamacare, among his many betrayals to conservatism. Jeff Flake is neither a conservative nor does he have a conscience,” Bozell said.
Meanwhile, on July 31 a federal judge’s bench verdict pronounced Arpaio guilty of criminal misdemeanor contempt of court after his foes had been laying the foundation for years to ensnare the long-serving (and Catholic) sheriff for the offense of trying to protect Arizonans from an illegal-alien invasion.
Arpaio supposedly was a racist who targeted Hispanics — even though the large majority of unauthorized entrants here weren’t, say, French or Italian.
His sentencing was scheduled for October 5, but an Arpaio attorney predicted an appeal of the conviction and a request that a jury, not judge, decide the case.
McCain’s turnabout on Obamacare was the most resounding of the three Arizonans taking their turn in the national news as July turned to August. He was roundly denounced across the land even as his admirers among liberal Democrats and dominant media cheered.
Back in McCain’s adopted hometown of Phoenix, the conservative political Seth and Chris Show on KKNT radio (960 AM) lost no time calling for him to resign from the Senate. Co-host Chris Buskirk denounced McCain as a backstabber and said his Obamacare “betrayal . . . should not be countenanced by anyone in Arizona.”
Buskirk said McCain is a “venal” person who hasn’t forgotten he lost the presidential election in 2008 to Obama, and now wants to undermine a Republican who won that office, Donald Trump.
Indeed, as the ill McCain began his acclaimed July 25 speech returning to the Senate, he brought up his presidential loss.
The KKNT program shamed McCain by repeatedly playing his campaign commercials claiming he was a leader in the fight against Obamacare.
The senator was no stranger to asserting bold falsehoods. In his 2010 Senate re-election bid, a McCain commercial made his elite supporters squirm as he walked along Arizona’s international line with Mexico and growled to “complete the danged fence.” McCain had no intention of pressing for the fence, but he knew what voters wanted to hear.
The leftish, firmly pro-McCain Arizona Republic, the state’s largest daily, cheered on his saving Obamacare, with one columnist hailing his “finest moment” and, astoundingly, claiming the senator had “listened to the people of Arizona.”
However, in a comment that alluded to McCain’s brain cancer, conservative GOP Arizona campaign consultant Constantin Querard told The Wanderer on July 31:
“It is quite possible that we will not see John McCain in the Senate again and that his recent performance was a swan song designed to permanently set his legacy as the ‘bipartisan maverick.’ Conservatives recognize that his legacy of screwing the conservative cause was set long before this vote and is only further cemented as a result of it.
“McCain always campaigned as a conservative but rarely delivered on issues that really mattered. We can only hope that his replacement is a real conservative,” Querard added.

Pray The Rosary

Rob Haney, retired chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party here and longtime foe of McCain, called on a biblical comparison for The Wanderer.
“Whereas Solomon asked the Lord for understanding and wisdom, I can only imagine McCain demanding deceit, duplicity, cunning, and arrogance because the Lord gave them to him in spades,” Haney said on July 30.
“McCain epitomizes the morals and ethics of the ruling elite class. He believes he knows better than all of us what course of action to take. But he will deceive us first with his lies to maintain his base of power for re-election….
“He and others with his same core values could not do this without the cooperation of the elite power structure in Arizona and the country. The demoralizing point here is that this also illustrates the degradation of the moral and ethical foundation of the American populace,” Haney continued.
“The Judeo-Christian foundation on which the country was built is crumbling.
“The individuals holding political and judicial offices have been put in place by the vote of the people who lacked wisdom. The Lord cannot be pleased. We pray the rosary nightly for reparation and for the strength of our remaining few warriors who are fighting our battles. We also pray that many others are doing likewise,” said Haney, a Catholic.
The Wanderer also asked for reaction from a local professional who often has spoken up for McCain, but he declined to comment this time.
However, a local “News & Updates” Republican blog that favors conservatives quoted precinct committeeman Mike Meacham on July 30 that there may have been a good result from McCain’s negative vote, even though “there is no denying that his intention was to stick it to Republicans.”
The “skinny” repeal bill simply wasn’t worth it, Meacham said. “Getting to conference with something so bad is placing far too much faith in (House Speaker) Paul Ryan and not worth the risk. If may be that McCain’s evil deed had unintended consequences that actually benefited the Republicans.”
However, national radio talk host Sean Hannity on July 27 viewed a “yes” vote for repeal as a way to keep the process moving forward, even though the bill may have needed a lot of work. Even libertarian-inclined Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) voted to repeal, Hannity said, although he probably liked only 15 percent to 20 percent of what was in it, but wanted to keep work on repeal alive.
Hannity asked if Arizonans are happy with McCain and their 116 percent Obamacare premium increases this year.
When I speculated in the July 27 Wanderer that liberal Democrats soon would be urging Republicans to honor the ill McCain by “improving” rather than repealing Obamacare, I didn’t give McCain enough credit for jumping in quickly to kill repeal himself.
Anyway, “bipartisanship” long has been a theme of McCain’s — by which he usually means letting his left-wing Democratic pals run the show, whom he seems so comfortable with, not conservatives.
For what it’s worth, the Washington Examiner on July 29 cited a Washington Post report that liberal Democrats Joe Biden, the recent vice president, and Joe Lieberman, the former Connecticut senator, helped talk McCain into thwarting GOP efforts and opposing the “skinny” repeal.
After I finished lunch with a Phoenix neighbor at a Texas-themed restaurant on July 29, he raised the topic of McCain, saying the senator “is a Republican who thinks like a Democrat.”
This neighbor is an old-school Democrat himself, but regards most if not all politicians with suspicion. We both live on a residential street that points toward a nearby luxury condo complex where McCain resides.
In about a decade, I’ve seen McCain only twice around our neighborhood, but he certainly wasn’t engaged in any activity like grocery shopping or taking a stroll. Instead, he was casting a vote in 2008 and preparing for Election Day in 2010.
Maybe I should have stopped by the unassuming Tee Pee Mexican restaurant on East Indian School Road, where the senator has been known to enjoy a meal. Its comic symbol is a bull standing erect with what looks like a martini glass, and leaning on a saguaro cactus.
Haney, the retired Maricopa County Republican chairman, told The Wanderer he’d heard that McCain originally intended to run for a U.S. House seat as a Democrat after moving to Arizona, but was warned he couldn’t win that way. Haney said his source for the information “had a close relationship” with once-prominent Arizona Republicans Harry Rosenzweig and Burton Barr.
McCain already was nationally famous as a former POW held in Communist North Vietnam.
“Barr sat next to McCain on a plane trip in 1981 and recruited him to run for the U.S. House seat when (incumbent) John Rhodes retired in 1982,” Haney said.
“Rosenzweig, Barr, and a number of other Republican movers took McCain to lunch at the Phoenix Country Club to tell him he could not run as a Democrat as he planned. They made it clear to him that he had to run as a Republican to have their support which he needed to win.”

An Appeal

As for Arpaio, The Washington Times posted on July 31 that his attorney Jack Wilenchik said the ex-sheriff planned an appeal.
The newspaper said Wilenchik said Judge Susan Bolton “violated the United States Constitution by issuing her verdict without even reading it to the defendant in public court. Her verdict is contrary to what every single witness testified in the case. Arpaio believes that a jury would have found in his favor, and that it will.”
The Times story stated Arpaio’s offense directly, that he “was found guilty . . . of criminal contempt for defying a judge’s order to stop detaining illegal immigrants.” Not brutally beating them, not trying to extort ransoms to release them.
An NPR report on the verdict said:
“Deputies testified he told them to take people to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and when ICE refused, he had them take undocumented people to Border Patrol. Last year the sheriff was found to be in civil contempt on that charge. What this trial focused on was the criminal contempt charge. And now Arpaio’s been found guilty of that as well, that he knowingly violated the judge’s order to stop the arrests.”
Almost exactly seven years earlier, in late July 2010, Bolton had blocked implementation of key parts of the new Arizona law about to take effect to enhance border security, SB 1070, which later was substantially tossed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Arpaio was a strong supporter of that law.

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