I’ve been around the business of politics a long time. Once an active participant, the role now is one of onlooker from the bleachers. Which ain’t all bad.
Though politics is considered a “winner-loser” sport, there’s also the “loser-loser” variety. That comes when those of the same party turn on each other and the internecine combat games begin. Seldom anyone wins.
If you track the history, those on the far-right - or far-left - are the usual combatants. Right more than left because there seem to be far more of them. Little splinter groups leave the main stem because of perceived indiscretions - things like disloyalty, dishonesty, lack of recognition and many, many more “perceived” affronts, usually on the part that breaks away.
Other times, it’s more like “hand-to-hand” combat or, if you will, a bare-knuckled brawl. Which seems to be shaping up among a lot of Republicans here in Arizona.
The “fraudit” which was supposed to be done the end of April - isn’t. No one directly involved will even hazard an end-time at this point. Even the recent lying, bellicose ravings of the original Trumpster himself, on this desert scene, haven’t moved the phony exercise one foot.
Two well-publicized happenings of recent days show gloves are off and it’s “Katie, bar the door” time with our 2+million votes in the middle of the fight.
First, Senate Republican-appointed go-between, former GOP Senator Ken Bennett, was barred from the “counting” floor and the “counting” building. Bennett, also a former Secretary of State, was appointed to that “lofty” position by none other than Republican Senate GOP Leader Karen Fann. Of course, in by-gone days, we didn’t know she was a Trumper-in-sheep’s-clothing. Bennett now says everything is hunky-dory meaning he kissed someone’s ring and gotten back into the “family.” For now. Stay tuned.
Second tip something’s not “right” in “fraudit-land,” is a handful of subpoenas laid upon the Maricopa Country Board of Supervisors. Yep, a real handful. They’re being ignored by the “ Supes” as was the first batch some months ago. Keep in mind, the Board is made up of five GOPer’s and one Dem. So, we’re talking Republicans nose-to-nose here.
Among other demands, Madame Fann still wants the county’s routers. Fat chance, that. If nothing else, County Sheriff Paul Penzone has made it abundantly clear, law enforcement data on those routers makes giving them to anyone a non-starter. Additionally, all county business and record keeping also reside therein. There’ll be no change of collective minds.
When Trump was here, a fewweeks ago, he used the word “routers” some 17 times in 12 minutes in his rant. “Show us the routers,” “When we get those routers...,” “We need those routers.” Over and over. I doubt he’d know a router from an honest dollar. If, he ever made one.
County superintendents, divided by political party, have, thus far, presented a unified front. “No,” in a loud, bi-partisan word! They’ve shown no signs of relenting.
We now know some details of how much the “fraudit” debacle has cost. Head Ninja says $5.5-million and counting. The guilty-but-Trump-pardoned Mike Flynn and Trump’s former attorney, Sidney Powell, through their uncontrolled PACs, put up about 5-million. Plus the $150-thousand in tax dollars from the Senate coffers.
Rank-and-file AZ Republicans have begun doing much “back-benching” about the “fraudit.” Many elected voices are being raised, calling it “ridiculous,” “foolish,” “making us look like idiots”...all of which it is and does. The tone is getting louder and now comes from some of the Party’s movers and shakers..
This whole “fraudit” undertaking was doomed from the start. Two things made that abundantly clear.
First, “employment” of an apparently one-man-band called “Cyber Ninja’s,” an outfit with a PO Box in Florida, a small suite of empty offices there, and not a day’s worth of experience in vote auditing. Not one. With condemnation of the affair by many highly-qualified vote tabulating companies nationwide, the “Ninja’s” (or “Ninja” in the singular”) have not been taken seriously. So, how could the output of the “work” be?
Second, when it became publically apparent the counters were all from the Republican Party membership list - many of them Trumpers - the oft-told promises of “fair,” “bi-partisan,” “honest,” “reliable,” counting were just so many lies from the git-go. Whatever “information” emanates from the “fraudit” will be believed by Trump hardliners and few others.
There seem to be some genuinely hard feelings on the part of the Board of Supervisors, regardless of party. They, alone, have been the voices of reason and sanity in this comically dangerous exercise in political fraud. They’ve held the line after giving Senate Republicans all they asked for in their original demands.
Now, in the words of that sea-going philosopher, Popeye, “That’s all I can stands. I can’t stands no more.” I think that sums it up for most of the rest of us, too.