We’re “mad as Hell, and we’re not going to take this anymore” — Peter Finch in the classic film “Network”
Saturday was another bleak day for Sen. John McCain, as he was again the object of growing internal Republican fury exhibited in the overwhelming voice vote in favor of censuring the longtime politician for a litany of grievances, including a “record [which] has been disastrous and harmful to Arizona and the United States.” He has been in Washington since 1982.
From the onset the air was thick with anticipation as the specter of John McCain dominated the annual Statutory Meeting of the State Committee of the Arizona Republican Party — as yet another resolution to censure him grabbed the attention of the 1,210 state committeemen, who were called to elect Party officers* and consider a group of resolutions. The statewide total of elected state committeemen is 1,688.
Most Arizona GOP grassroots activists only know the haughty McCain as an image on their flat screen, since he is disinterested in attending gatherings over which he has no control. Junior Sen. Jeff Flake was also noticably absent. Other state elected officers including the Republican Governor, Attorney General, U.S. Representatives, AZ House and Senate leaders, GOP intra-party leaders and popular Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio appreciate the meetings as an opportunity to engage with the committeemen — who are the only party officials directly elected by Republican voters.
Just two weeks ago today, Maricopa County Republican elected precinct committeemen gathered in Phoenix and voted to censure John McCain. That resolution, expressing deep dissatisfaction with Arizona’s senior senator passed overwhelmingly — 1,150 in support with only 351 opposed.
State committeemen are elected from among precinct committeemen within legislative districts statewide. Their names initially appear on primary election ballots.
Supporters of the resolution had to collect 200 signatures of state committee members before the resolution could be debated or voted on today as they bypassed the usual procedure required for resolutions to be heard.
Members of the Santa Cruz County Republican Committee recently voted to censure Sen. John McCain. They joined Maricopa, Apache, Cochise, Gila, and Mohave counties — all of which have passed Censure Resolutions.
Similar action has been taken by Republicans in South Carolina against Sen. Lindsey Graham, John McCain’s longtime doppelganger. That censure resolution, which passed by 78%, cites 30 examples of Graham violating the Republican Party platform.
This film clip from the Hollywood classic “Network” describes the frustration of Arizona Republicans. Peter Finch won a posthumous Academy Award for his performance portraying television anchorman Howard Beale who had also had his fill.
*In the staggered term elections, former AZ Senate President Russell Pearce was easily reelected as First Vice Chair of the State Party. Second Vice Chair is Parralee Schneider. Assistant Secretary is Deborrah Miller and Assistant Treasurer is John Stevens. Alberto Gutier won reelection as Sergeant-At-Arms by 100 votes after an endorsement by Sheriff Arpaio.