Arizona GOP Senate Creeps Slug It Out Over Who’s The Worst Possible Candidate
Sen. Mark Kelly from Arizona is considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents this year, probably because he’s not running against Herschel Walker. The GOP candidates are all Big Lie fascists, but most don’t have new secret children each week.
Wednesday, venture capitalist Blake Masters, businessman Jim Lamon, and retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire met for a Newsmax-hosted debate that devolved into the knock-down drag out affair we expect these days. Masters has Donald Trump’s endorsement and wouldn’t shut up about it.
"We need to implement these America first policies," Masters said. "President Trump trusts me to do that. He met with Jim Lamon, he thought he was a bozo. I am the America first candidate, that is why I am endorsed."
Daddy might love Masters best, but voters are lukewarm. He raised just $827K in 2022’s second quarter, with $1.58M cash on hand. Like JD Vance in Ohio, Masters is a Peter Thiel-backed candidate whose campaign relies heavily on Super PAC funding. Meanwhile, Kelly raised a whopping $13.6 million, with $24.9 million cash on hand. Apparently, it just doesn’t pay to beat up 73-year-old men, which is something Masters did last month.
Masters is still leading Lamon by seven points in a recent poll, but a third of GOP voters are undecided (probably because their choices are so bad). Lamon made his big pitch during the debate: The 35-year-old Masters is just too “young” for Washington, DC.
"Don't send more young politicians and lawyers, guys, send someone who's been through the real rigors of American society and work," Lamon said.
Lamon is 65 and he’s seen some shit, we guess. It’s a bold move to remind voters that you’re old(er) than your opponent. Maybe he is a bozo. He also called Masters a “California globalist.” Masters was born in Denver but grew up in Tucson, but Republicans consider California more of a state of mind than an actual US state. “Globalist" is their less than subtle anti-Semitic dog whistle.
Masters got salty:
"I've spent more years of my life in Arizona than Jim Lamon."
"You can tell from his accent, he's from a different part of the country. We welcome people here, that's fine," Masters said. "But I am Arizonan, and this is a bulls— attack."
Lamon grew up on a farm in Alabama, so calling out his accent is not the smartest way of showing you’re not a California elitist. Masters later called for the immediate deportation of every illegal immigrant who “Joe Biden has let in,” so he’s not exactly welcoming of visitors, either. Lamon claimed Masters was only posing as a xenophobe and once even supported “open borders.”
“President Trump endorsed me because he knows that I’ll be the best on the border,” Masters said. “I’m the only one bold enough to say that I think Joe Biden and (Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro) Mayorkas deserve to be impeached for the dereliction of duty that they’ve shown at the southern border.”
Wanting to impeach Biden for bullshit reasons is hardly a daring position among MAGA-chasing Republicans. Ted Cruz predicted Biden’s impeachment over the contrived “border crisis” back in January. Impeachments are now a partisan vote-counting exercise, so Republicans don’t care about legal realities. There are no “open borders,” and the Biden administration regularly enforces existing laws.
Masters vowed to relentlessly obstruct Biden’s agenda, but unlike Kyrsten Sinema, he’d do so with intention.
“My pledge to you is to not vote to give Biden a damn thing, and I will whip the Republican votes to make sure that we block his agenda, unless and until we get some border security.”
McGuire, who mostly stood around during Lamon and Masters’s slugfest, said the number one issue facing voters is economic security and so he’s going to take on the "environmental extremists" who are somehow responsible for both high inflation and rising gas prices.
Republicans are living in their own little world. Let’s all vote in November to keep them there.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."