“Pick your battles” is, of course, excellent advice for life in general. In this midterm election year of 2014, however, it was good to hear the suggestion made at the Palominas Tea Party meeting last night. Here in southern Cochise County, Arizona, as elsewhere throughout the nation, Tea Party groups are gearing up for the campaign season. Applying a dollop of common sense here and there as we point toward November is a very good idea indeed.
Not that common sense is in short supply among folks who feel we’ve been Taxed Enough Already. It’s just that there are so many politicians out there who need to be replaced. It’s what the military minded among us think of as a “target rich environment”, especially if Presidential politics (2016) and representation in the U.S. Senate (in our case, also 2016) are considered.
The subject of Senator John McCain came up. Despite McCain’s undeniable status as a war hero deserving of the utmost respect for the price he once paid in serving his country in the military, few serious conservatives–Tea Party or otherwise–have much use for the man as a political animal. He touts himself as a “maverick”, but most of us on the right see him as farther left than a mere RINO (Republican In Name Only). To us, he’s an ODIUS (Obama Democrat In Unbelievable Situations). The Senator’s voting record and public utterances leave pretty much everything to be desired. In fact, as USA Today reported, citing an article by Yvonne Wingett Sanchez of The Arizona Republic, it’s pretty much the entire GOP (at least in our state) who find his liberal voting record disgusting:
Arizona GOP censures McCain for ‘disastrous’ record
Delivering a strong rebuke to U.S. Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republicans passed a resolution to censure the one-time presidential nominee for what they characterize as a liberal record that has been “disastrous and harmful” to the state and nation.
While McCain is a political star on the national stage, for years he has had to contend with vocal critics in his home state, who accuse him of betraying the Grand Old Party’s principles.
Saturday’s censure came two weeks after the Maricopa County Republican Party passed a resolution to censure the senator on a 1,150-to-351 vote.
The state GOP party’s censure passed by acclamation, meaning by a voice vote. It has no practical effect, but serves as an attempt to embarrass the senator….
And that’s not just the right wing elements within the GOP who voted for censure; it’s the entire Republican party in John McCain’s home state. No wonder that the well understood and often expressed desire to see him defeated in the 2016 primary campaign season came up at our meeting.
However, common sense analysis of the tactical political battlefield indicates the likelihood of that happening is approximately equivalent to the likelihood of President Barack Obama suddenly admitting to the nation that he lied about Benghazi in 2012 for political reasons. One Tea Party member summed up the idea of attempting to oppose McCain (in 2016) thusly:
“Waste of effort. We’d all like to see him out of there, but it’s not going to happen until he dies. He’s already indicated he intends to run again (in 2016), he’s deeply entrenched in the D.C. power structure, and he spent something like $18 million of his own dollars in the primary in 2010 when he was never anything but far ahead in the polls. When a reporter asked him why he’d spent so much, he looked at her and said, ‘To win, of course!’ We’re not going to beat that. We’d be better off focusing on just one vulnerable candidate where our efforts could make a difference.”
There was general agreement with that statement, followed by one new visitor (first time attending one of our Monday evening meetings) hitting the nail on the head. “In other words,” she commented, “pick your battles.”
“Exactly! That’s exactly right!”
As was subsequently pointed out, those of us who live in Cochise County have a rather obvious battle of choice. Arizona CD2, the second Congressional voting district in our state, covers all of Cochise County and part of Pima County. Currently, the U.S. Representative for CD2 is Ron Barber, a Democrat who’s not exactly on any registered Republican’s Valentine’s Day list for flowers or chocolates. He was nearly beaten by Republican Martha McSally in 2012. With his unflagging and vocal support for Obamacare, he’s much more vulnerable in 2014.
Barber knows it, too. One of our members reported receiving an effusive thank you letter back from the Congressman’s office that was over the top. Another mentioned asking Barber’s Sierra Vista office for help with a particular federal agency in November. Nothing was done until February, when–now that it’s 2014 and the election’s coming right up–he suddenly got a call from that office, apologizing for dropping the ball and promising enthusiastic help.
The constituent had already handled the issue in the interim, but the “eager to please” attitude during campaign season was duly noted.
Plus, we have a number of GOP candidates ready to rock and roll for the nomination, including Martha McSally–who, because of her name recognition and the fact that she nearly beat Barber last time, is the obvious early front runner for the primary election. It was mentioned at the meeting that McSally hasn’t officially announced yet. Well, maybe not, but her website has. It leads of with this video:
She’s already taking on Barber’s failure to fight to keep the A10 warplane (yeah, the warthog) out of mothballs, for which it’s destined if the administration has its way. I also remember her website from the 2012 campaign, and what she’s done with this year’s version is light years ahead of two years ago.
Wait. Does that make sense? “…light years ahead of two years ago.” Hm. Well, let’s put it this way: If any reader checks out the current website’s pages and comes away unimpressed, that reader is brain dead. The Meet Martha page alone is enough to blow most people away.
But I digress. My point is, as we at the Palominas Tea Party agreed, one needs to pick one’s battles in this midterm election year, no matter who you are or where you live. It’s not a requirement–we do have free choice–but it’s certainly more effective to do it that way. And if enough of us do that, we have a real chance of seeing the GOP increase its majority in the House and gain a majority in the Senate.
We might even get President Obama to pout even more dramatically than he did in November of 2010.