AZ GOP Chair Kelli Ward Just Ironically Threatening To Shoot Mark Kelly In The Head
Kelli Ward sucks at politics. She most recently demonstrated her suckiness when she came in a distant second in last year's Arizona Republican Senate primary. She narrowly beat racist slime ball Joe Arpaio, but it was Martha McSally who decisively won the right to have her ass whooped by our girl Kyrsten Sinema. Gov. Doug Ducey gave McSally John McCain's former Senate seat as a consolation prize. Now Ward is trying to help McSally keep the job Arizonans clearly didn't want her to have. She was elected in January to lead the Arizona Republican Party after defeating the incumbent chair, Jonathan Lines. Ward's victory was described as an "upset," because Lines was an "establishment favorite." He was also probably competent enough to avoid sending fundraising emails like the one Ward shot off on Thursday.
Ward actually put these words together and shared them with people: "Support the Republican Party of Arizona today and, together, we'll stop gun-grabber Mark Kelly dead in his tracks." It's both gross and inaccurate. Kelly supports universal background checks and wants to ensure "dangerous individuals" don't have access to firearms. So, yeah, he probably wants to "grab guns" from deranged people. That's not a bad thing. Kelly himself is a gun owner but he understands improved gun safety laws won't infringe on his Constitutional rights.
Kelly's wife is former congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Eight years ago, Giffords was meeting with constituents at a Tuscon Safeway when some asshole shot her in the head. Six people died, including a nine-year-old girl, and 15 others were injured. Arizona Republicans should at least remember Giffords exists and that an asshole shooting her in the head is probably why she's not personally spanking McSally next year.
Giffords herself was on Sarah Palin's "crosshairs" map that targeted Democrats who voted for the Affordable Care Act. Palin's Twitter rallying cry was "Don't retreat, instead -- RELOAD!" Gifford's office was vandalized after she helped Barack Obama impose the tyranny of health care on innocent Americans. This March 2010 clip of Giffords discussing the incident should infuriate you. Her remarkable recovery from near death is inspirational, but we should never forget what Giffords lost -- what was taken from her because of some punk with a gun.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords On Sarah Palin's Rifle Crosshairs Graphic youtu.be
Palin's "crosshairs" ad was at least before the Tucson massacre. Ward is officially tackier than Palin, which is an embarrassing distinction. Yet Ward is shocked -- shocked! -- that her violent rhetoric disgusts decent people.
Our boss at another job years ago used to call the conference space "the war room" because.... well, he was a man. Anyway, there was no reason to believe he literally wanted to discuss military strategy. We were an online media publication. We had the benefit of metaphor. But fundraising emails from the GOP aren't a hip-hop diss track. We're less willing to assume "stop you dead in your tracks" is just hyperbole. Gun lovers are already not so subtly hinting that they're going to shoot anyone who tries to legally take away their assault weapons. We'd prefer if people with guns were extremely literal.
We imagine it bugs the hell out of Republicans that Democratic politicians have all this personal, real-world experience documenting that guns are terrible. Maybe the GOP should find some of those fabled "good guys" with guns to run for office. They can boast about the lives they personally saved with their machine guns instead of all the bacon they cooked.
Meet Republican candidate Ted Cruz and his machine-gun bacon youtu.be
Ward probably doesn't personally wish for some nutjob to shoot Kelly in the head. But she chose to focus on his gun policies as the singular threat he poses to Arizonans. He's still a Democrat. That means he's pro-choice. He likes public schools. He probably even opposes child labor. There are several avenues of attack that the Arizona GOP could take against him that don't involve reminding us of his wife's permanent disability from an assassination attempt. Giffords and Kelly deserve respect and compassion, even from a political party that nominated Donald Trump for president.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.