Random thoughts on the midterm elections

An out-of-state friend once

asked how I can stand living in Arizona, with all the political crazies running around. After last week’s election and the basically total repudiation of vile Trumpism, my answer is “quite proudly, thank you very much.”

• On Nov. 15, the day after they called the race for Katie Hobbs, I ran some early-morning errands so that I could listen to Tucson’s very-own version of Father Coughlin as he veers further and further off the rails, heading down that one-way, dead-end street that leads to Nutsville.

Of course, Kari Lake got cheated. She was going to win in a landslide. There’s no way she could lose. There’s no way that any of Donald Trump’s hand-picked, election-lying candidates could lose…except they pretty much all did.

It was quite enlightening listening to him trying to explain what happened. It was vote by mail. It was an algorithm. It was cured ballots. It was faulty counting machines. It was Jewish space lasers. It was everything but the truth, that being that the majority of Arizona voters were so turned off by Lake’s vulgar regurgitations of Trump’s lies that they were willing to vote for milquetoast Katie Hobbs.

He’s usually fairly in control when leading his echo-chamber audience through their daily regimen of xenophobia and falsehoods. But this day, he lost it. More than once, he said that Lake had lost, but then he would backtrack and say, “No, no, she didn’t lose. If you think that Katie Hobbs won that election, you’re an idiot.”

He even went so far astray as to call a Maricopa County election official “effeminate” and then ridiculed the guy by speaking in a faux-gay, lisping voice. What is this, the 1950s?

Father Coughlin is always talking about how his kids play soccer or hockey. What will happen when those kids play on a team? Every time they lose, they’ll say the other side cheated? The victory was stolen from them?

Real athletes — and leaders — when they lose, they take that ass-whuppin’ and go home. Then they work even harder so they don’t take another whuppin’ next time. Losers, on the other hand, blame the refs, the scorekeeper, the weather, the field, the crowd, the ball, whatever. A loser is not defined by losing a game (or an election), but rather by refusing to accept the loss in an honorable manner.

• One of the dumbest things to come out of Blake Masters’ failed campaign was the late push with mailers and street signs everywhere asking “Are you better off today than you were in 2020? (If no, vote Blake Masters for Senate.)”

What a stupid question. Just about everybody is better off than they were in 2020. Think about it. Two years ago, we were all walking around like masked zombies. Hospitals were overflowing, Americans were dying by the thousands every day, quacks and Dr. Oz (if you’ll pardon the redundancy) were selling snake oil called hydroxychloroquine, and the life-saving vaccines weren’t ready yet.

Restaurants were closed, you couldn’t go anywhere to work out, movie theaters were shuttered. You couldn’t find toilet paper in the stores, and if there was a slim chance of getting some, you had to get up at 4 in the morning and stand in line for two hours waiting for the store to open. And even then, all they had was the off-off-brand that might as well have been advertised as “Like Sandpaper…Only Flimsier.”

Unemployment was at 20%; doctors and nurse were being pushed to their limits; and the entire economy was in the toilet. There were no sports and schools were closed.

So yeah, we’re way better off than we were two years ago. Sure, there’s inflation, but that’s just the byproduct of an economy that is roaring along too well (which ours is).

One other thing: I ran into someone who knew Blake and me from our shared time with Green Fields basketball. She asked, “Don’t you think it’s amazing that Blake could get 46% of the votes (in the Senate race)?”

The answer, sadly, is no. You know how Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) wrote “Green Eggs and Ham” using only 50 different words just to win a bet? Well, you could get any random white person and have him use only the words “border,” “Second Amendment,” “fentanyl,” “socialism” and “critical race theory,” and that dude is going to get 40% of the vote, guaranteed.

Blake got the other 6% by using Peter Thiel’s millions to blanket the airwaves with slick ads and by blaming gun violence on Black people. Put it all together and you have just enough to lose by six figures…in Arizona!

• I thought that Katie Hobbs was a weak candidate. The GOP could have beaten her if they had nominated a cardboard cutout of Betty Crocker. Instead, they chose to go Full Frontal Dark. Kari Lake completely bought into the hatred. She was sneering and condescending and often delusional. In the end, Katie Hobbs didn’t win; Kari Lake lost. And, in a most-delicious twist, it was Lake who lost to a cardboard cutout of Betty Crocker.

After she lost, Lake tweeted “Arizonans know BS when they see it.”

That’s true. Why do you think that so many of them voted against you?