Paranoia in Arizona

Updated

COMMENTARY

Martin Bashir
Martin Bashir
on The Last Word

Arizona has been reliably Republican for decades, but all the polling suggests that this coming November the state is likely to be in play. The current Real Clear Politics average has Mitt Romney leading the president by just 4 points, 46 to 42.

And this might explain the worst outbreak of paranoia since the Salem witch-hunt trials.

Let’s start with Republican Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who is also co-chair of Mitt Romney’s Arizona campaign.  He announced on Friday that the president may be excluded from the state’s ballot. (But it’s not his fault, blame the birthers.) Bennett demanded, as Arizona secretary of state, that Hawaiian officials verify the authenticity of the president’s birth certificate.

In response, officials over there— wearied by this lunacy— have asked Bennett to verify that he has the authority to make such a demand.

If you’re waiting for the Romney campaign to condemn the behavior of their Arizona state co-chair, then make yourself comfortable because you may have to wait for quite some time.


Meantime, the state’s other misanthrope, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has decided to send his cold case posse direct to Hawaii. Assisted by one actual deputy, paid for by local taxes, the team is also dedicated to cracking the case of the presidential birth certificate. And Sheriff Joe doesn’t care about the criticism. He said,  “it’s one deputy…so what?”  adding that the cost will be reimbursed.

 

 

But at least this deluded and deranged conspiracist is asking the right question: so what, indeed?

So what if denying what everybody already knows, that the president is indeed an American, embarrasses your state?

So what if your actions as secretary of state bring you such ridicule that nearly 15,000 people sign a petition requesting that your office investigate whether Mitt Romney is a unicorn? (That’s a real petition by the way.)

So what if Ken Bennett and Sheriff Joe achieve the remarkable feat of making Arizona Governor Jan Brewer seem positively dignified. It appears the fear of becoming Arizona’s next Jan Brewer was too great for secretary of state Bennett. Late this afternoon, Mr. Bennett was excoriated on a local radio show and apologized for being Arizona’s latest embarrassment.

Joe Arpaio and Arizona

Paranoia in Arizona

Updated