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February 11, 2010

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McCain toyed with the idea of becoming an independent during W's first term and even running with John Kerry in 2004. But he kept his eyes on the prize of the presidency and resolved his difficulties with the devil. His career is now a postscript to that flirtation with the idea of National Greatness. I dislike him intensely but I do wonder what the national political scene might be like today if he had the courage of his better narcissistic traits.

Politics otherwise is a nightmare. This country has been mainstreaming right-wing extremism for several decades and the result is that the MSM fall over themselves protesting the pure and good intentions of white racists and assorted scumbags. Any demurral about an overt racist (Tom Tancredo) keynoting their convention? Of course not. How about the birther wacko Joseph Farah sprinkling his rancid fairy dust to the cheering throng? None. The star attraction was a women too innocent of even the slightest complexity to mention a considered policy position.

AGW is a casualty of a political culture that rewards inane oversimplifications and bullet talking points. Newt Gingrich, who fancies himself an intellectual, has new reversed field and mocks the theory. George Will, the pseudo-Burkean walking harrumph, ridicules it regularly. Where are the adults on the right? Maybe it's Toga Night every night at the Heritage Foundation.

I'd like to think we're better than this but recent history suggests otherwise. We're a badly informed, badly led, and overfed nation. There's a paradox for the left in having won significant victories on behalf of the "people" we are now forced to watch them demand tax cuts for their wealthy superiors and spending cuts that will make life intolerable for themselves. A genuine conservative might note the contradiction and help explain to them their situation. But genuine conservatism has been marginalized. Instead, there's the incoherent rage of populist birdbrains and the handwringing of people like ourselves. It's anyone's guess where this ends up. I'm hoping for the least terrible of possible outcomes.

Many of us are planning our escape from Arizona. There is no hope for this place, let's leave it to the crazy idiots.

I don't know anyone with young children who wants to raise them in this state. There has been too much damage done to hope to fix it within our lifetimes.

What the Kooks haven't realized is that their actions will drive people out of the state. Without the balancing effect of moderates in leadership positions, our environmental train wreck will rumble onward down the hill.
PS: My wife and I now have an Oregon address. After 40 years in the Valley, I have mostly given up! The Flat Earth Society can have it.

Me, I'll stay here, simply because I'm a proud native son eager to enter the fray on behalf of common sense. This is all my family and I have, and I think there are plenty of positive aspects to the state that we can better promote and amplify. And who knows, maybe the current economic crisis (replete with unique AZ elements) will force more of my fellow residents to scramble for real solutions -- as might happen if we were all stranded together on a desert island with rapidly diminishing resources....

Are there any figures on how much fed money Arizona would have received if McCain was a "normal" politician?

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