On to November’s reckoning

One of the many things about our beloved Arizona that make little or no sense is the fact that our political primaries are held in August — the nastiest month of the year. It’s not the hottest (it trails July and June, respectively), but it’s the most uncomfortable, what with the humidity that has been around for weeks and the heat that has been around for months. Plus, football is still a month away. If T.S. Eliot had been a Tucsonan, August would have been the cruelest month.

And so it was when I went to vote last Tuesday. Two hundred degrees, 140 percent humidity. It was a short walk from my car to the polling place, but by the time I reached the building, I was sweating like a hooker in church.

There was a young guy there wearing a badge that identified him as an observer for the Republican Party. I asked him if he wanted to watch me vote. Maybe the felt-tip marker I was using on my Democratic ballot might bleed over and taint thousands of Republican ballots, thereby stealing the election as, apparently, often happens. He appeared to think about my offer for a second. At least I think he was thinking; maybe he just had gas.

Donald Trump isn’t on the ballot this year, but his vulgar vanity and incredible stupidity are. Any candidate who says that Donald Trump really won the 2020 election is not to be taken seriously. They’re either an idiot or a liar. Or maybe a lying idiot.

Trump’s false claims are weak and pathetic, but not nearly as pathetic as people who are trying to get elected, not on the content of their character or any substantial personal achievements, but rather on their willingness to pass along the Big Lie.

As I write this a couple days after the primary, the race for the Republican nomination for governor still hasn’t been officially called, nor should it have been. Trump sycophant Kari Lake is leading Karrin Taylor Robson by about 10,000 votes, but there are still about 150,000 votes to be counted. It’s unlikely that Lake will lose the race, but I would think that someone for whom the word “fraud” constitutes half of her vocabulary would want all of the votes to be counted.

She took a cue from her Lord and Master and prematurely declared victory. Then she got her crackpot-radio suck-ups to falsely claim that Taylor Robson had conceded. Then — and this is classic — she took to Twitter to claim that her “victory” was a “landslide.” That would mark the first time that a landslide win went to someone who got less than half of the votes that were cast and held a tiny 2 percentage point lead over her closest competitor.

Still on a high, Lake held a press conference the next day and said that she had in her possession evidence of widespread fraud, but she wasn’t going to share it with the media. In her other hand, she had a list of 50 known Communists who are working for the state department. Just like Tail-Gunner Joe, she has no shame — or credibility.

If (when) Taylor Robson loses, she’s going to be driven crazy by the fact that Matt Salmon, who had dropped out of the race and thrown his support to her, still got over 25,000 votes. Those votes would have given Taylor Robson a comfortable win.

In the race for the U.S. Senate, it’s too bad that Martha McSally has stopped running for the office, because she’s really good at losing to Democrats. Incumbent Mark Kelly will be the Democratic nominee. He’s got a spectacular resume — Navy pilot, astronaut, great husband.

In November, Kelly will face Blake Masters, who talks and acts like he was built in a lab run by the Red Skull (although he occasionally seems quite lifelike). Actually, I’ve known Blake since he was in high school. I coached the Green Fields girls’ basketball team when Blake was a member of the boys’ team. The girls always had a better record. He was one of those guys who convinced themselves that the record discrepancy was due to the “fact” that every school had a good boys’ team but a crappy girls’ team. That should have been a sign.

Blake always seemed like a very smart, very serious guy with a bright future. But now when I hear him talk, I feel that attacking him would be like picking on the handicapped.

Richard Pryor used to do a bit where he played a wino watching a drug addict walking down the street. The wino says, “Lookit that boy; he used to be a genius! He could book the numbers, didn’t need paper or pencil. Now the fool don’t know who he is!”

Unless he has suffered irreversible brain damage recently, there is no way that Blake can possibly believe that the election was stolen, so he’s just lying. And ever since growing up in the civil rights era, I have always wondered what a politician’s kids think when they hear their dad spout blatantly racist language. Racists aren’t born; they’re taught. And right now, Daddy Blake is doing the teaching.

Sadly, when I see Blake, I hear the Klondike jingle, slightly modified. “What would you do-oo-oo, for a Senate seat?”

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