Photo Credit: DeeDee Garcia Blase
“Political combat is necessary and important for the nation, but it need not be self-destructive and nuclear. And one of the first Tip-Gipper deals demonstrates this—and shows how far off the track today's GOPers have strayed.” --David Corn
The Tea Party set our Nation backward with delays and it is time for moderate voters to take leadership and get the ball rolling again in the correct direction. Independents in Arizona make up the 2nd largest voting bloc in the State of Arizona, and we are a unique group of people who are sick and tired of the extremism we see on both sides of the aisle. We are tired of weak candidates and partisan party politics. We dream of the day when our American government can work together again that is reminiscent of the Tip and Gipper days. I believe Hillary and McCain will be the new Tip and Gipper of the new millennium and both have a good history of working together despite their political ideologies.
Some wonder how I can be a Hillary Clinton supporter but not a supporter for candidate Ann Kirkpatrick. The answer is simple: Kirkpatrick could never lead other prominent Republican U.S. Senators to take another lead on immigration reform the way McCain has -- nor am I naïve to believe that she has special powers to do so as a democratic junior senator. I am sick and tired of waiting for the broken system to be fixed. On the other hand, McCain has solid proven history in trying to overhaul and fix the broken system since 2007. McCain is on the record for not supporting a piece meal immigration plan and is for overhauling the entire system once and for all because it is the federal government’s responsibility to fix what is broken under their jurisdiction.
It is important to remind ourselves how candidate Kirkpatrick was one of the few Democrats who added salt to Native American wounds in her handling of the “Arizona Apache land grab” controversy, and if she is weak on Native issues then I fear she will probably be weak on issues important to Chicanos and Latinos, too. Luckily President Obama quashed Kirkpatrick’s land grab assistance despite her additional anti-democratic maneuver even by congressional standards. Efforts in 2015 were made to include the Oak Flat area in the National Register of Historic Places, but Republican Rep. Paul Gosar and Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick opposed that move and have asserted that such a designation would not necessarily preclude mining activity on the land:
[T]wo U.S. House members from Arizona sent a letter to the National Park Service asking that the property in Pinal County be withdrawn from consideration for the National Register of Historic Places.
A Jan. 21  notice in the Federal Register lists the site for the proposed designation as Chi'chil Bildagoteel Historic District, Superior.
As a Chicana registered independent voter who has been advocating to fix the broken immigration system for over a decade, I cannot explain nearly enough the need for Republicans to continue to sign on in a bipartisan fashion to help fix the broken system. Therefore, I feel convicted to vote and support Sen. John McCain for re-election. It is impossible for immigration reform to pass without bipartisan support. Now most of my Anglo Democratic voting friends would disagree with me, however, I also know that the immigration issue is not their top priority on the political scheme of things like it is for me. Not only does legal immigration reform benefit our economy with better jobs – it will benefit our national security, and as a veteran I understand the need to know who is coming in and out of our country.
Against the wishes of some restrictionist and economic isolationist Republicans, Sen. John McCain helped lead the Gang of 8 in 2013 in hopes of fixing the broken immigration system with a legal immigration reform plan that must be solved at the federal level. As a P.O.W. veteran of our Armed Forces, McCain was one of the few Republicans who recognized our immigrant soldiers who paid the final price for our Nation when he said: “You're even going to meet some of the few thousand that are still green card holders who are not even citizens of this country, who love this country so much that they're willing to risk their lives in its service in order to accelerate their path to citizenship and enjoy the bountiful, blessed nation.”
What about the Supreme Court obstructionist thing?
Though McCain has a 92.8% chance of getting re-elected in our state according to Nate Silver's Five Thirty Eight Senate election forecast, he has recently ticked off some Arizona voters with his whole Supreme Court obstructionism idea once Secretary Hillary Clinton is elected as President. But what many people fail to admit is that McCain (along with several prominent Republican leaders) suggested the “obstructionist idea” after he stated he was no longer going to support Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump after a misogynist video was exposed pointing to a growing concern of his sexual predator nature against women. It was the right thing to do for McCain to denounce sexist ugly behavior. In our mostly red State of Arizona, McCain’s obstructionist statement helped reduced anxiety for Conservatives who cannot bring themselves to support Trump but are also worried about the judicial branch decisions that will be made by Hillary. Essentially McCain wants the world to know that he will provide checks and balances in very much the same way Democratic Leader Tip O’Neill did with former Republican President Ronald Reagan.
Nobody will truly understand “the Maverick” (and I stopped trying to understand politicians in general), but what I do know is that we can try to learn from past Reagan and O’Neill history. Thomas P. O’Neill III (Tip O’Neill’s son) wrote: “Famously, after 6 p.m. on quite a few work days, they would sit down for drinks at the White House. But it wasn’t the drinks or the conversation that allowed American government to work. Instead, it was a stubborn refusal not to allow fund-raisers, activists, party platforms or ideological chasms to stand between them and actions — tempered and improved by compromise — that kept this country moving.”
That’s what we need – to keep this this country moving and away from blocks and shutdowns.