Thursday, October 23, 2014

Living in a Battleground State

Granted, it's not like Pennsylvania in 1865.  There is only a war of words, not bullets and bayonets. No one is dying, except, perhaps, a small piece of myself... the piece that believes in the process.  Right now, the process stinks.

Martha McSally, the Republican, Tea Party supported candidate for the seat once held by Gabby Giffords, is using our former congresswoman's name and image in her ads.  There is a little old lady saying that "Gabby was independent ... and so is Martha ... and that's where my vote will be cast."  There are three sheriffs who appeared in an ad for Gabby's last run, who are now voting for McSally because the incumbent, Gabby's former director of community relations and her hand picked candidate in 2012, "is no Gabby Giffords."  A third ad reminds me that "Gabby Giffords supported border security measures," before it goes off on a rampage against our current Congressman.

I scream every time one of those ads appears on the television.  How dare they use her name?  How dare they show her photo?  How dare they use her record to bolster the campaign of a woman whose views are diametrically opposed to everything for which Gabby stood?  Reproductive freedoms.... sensible background checks for gun ownership... a benevolent attitude toward Dreamers and other undocumented denizens of our state... backing the Affordable Care Act..... McSally is on the other... the wrong... side of each one of them.

Gabby, too, was furious.  She created her own ad, starting the thirty seconds with an acknowledgment that "it is hard for me to speak," and going on to tear into the ads which used her image to support a woman with whom she has nothing in common.  It broke my heart to think abut the creation of that ad.  Taking time from therapy, learning a script, staying calm in the face of abuse of her persona, her reputation, her self.

With all she's been through in these past four years, I'm saddened that she has to defend herself in this way.  Even worse, the ads are clever enough to confuse a voter who might not be conversant with the issues and the personalities involved.  A cursory glance at the tv can easily lead to the conclusion that Martha McSally is closer to the positions held by Gabrielle Giffords than Ron Barber could ever hope to be. 

I scream.  I grit my teeth.  I throw (soft) things across the living room.  I am offended on Gabby's behalf.

The DCCC and the RNC and an assortment of PAC's are funding louder ads.  These screech about ObamaCare and privatizing social security and saving the A-10s at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.  My favorite one has about 200 words; 150 of them are Ron Barber/Nancy Pelosi.  I doubt that many listeners can accurately place Ms Pelosi in the governmental hierarchy; she's a lightning rod for "I hate Liberals" I suppose.  Still, the fact that Mr. Barber accepted financial support from a leader of his party seems to be enough to inflame Ms McSally's base.

I'd love to be able to vote for her.  She has had a stellar military career. She's been an educator in the military war colleges.  She's strong willed and intelligent.  Unfortunately, I disagree with her on everything.  Everything.  No exceptions.  And, perhaps, that's why I'm so offended by her advertising. 

Would I be more willing to accept her use of Gabby's fame  if I agreed with her positions?  I like to think not.

And so, in the long commercial breaks in the World Series (GO GIANTS!) and Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football, TBG sit on Douglas and grit our teeth. There is no attempt to teach.  There are no useful facts presented.  There is only divisiveness and distrust.

I know it's been this way since the beginning of time. I've read Cato.  I've seen the editorial cartoons from the Lincoln/Douglas race.  I know I'm na├»ve to wish for a more intelligent exchange of ideas.  Still, you can't blame a girl for hoping.... can you?


  1. What do the polling numbers say? Is McSally going to win? Her politics are just gruesome.

  2. Some of those ads were shown here in DC too. I'm sickened by them. It's almost as if McSally thought that since Gabby is recuperating that she wouldn't take notice that her name and image are being used to support someone whom is so diametrically opposite to her. This is the problem I have with Rethuglicans. They use imagery, songs etc... without permission. They are self-entitled. They can do whatever the Hell they want, but if anyone else does it, they will go after them. They are the biggest hypocrites.

    I'm sad that Gabby had to make that message, but hopefully, it will help Ron. Mis-informed voters can be easily swayed. That's why it's always important to know whom you are voting for. Just because McSally is a woman; doesn't mean she cares about women or issues important to women. In this day and age, I'm not even certain how any woman could be a Republican--it's voting against ones own self-interests.

    On that note, I'm back to work.

    Sending big hugs!

    Megan xxx

    1. There is so much wrong with her campaign.... I can't believe you saw those ads in DC, too.... it's a virus, spreading..... UGH!!!

  3. Reprehensible. The New York ones are equally disgusting.

  4. I am fortunate to not watch any regular TV; so am spared most ads. I still read the newspapers and it's equally upsetting. We have found comfort in donating to candidates all across the country. In our case thought it's all Senate as I think the House is a lost cause; so I'd be sorry at this candidate maybe losing to fraud, but we only have so much money and those dollars are being divided (other than in our own state, of course) between about six senatorial candidates where we gave a lot more than we expected. It is though comforting and whether say Tammy Grimes defeats Mitch McConnell (it's neck and neck), there is comfort in doing something rather than screaming. It's been a more expensive year for donating than I expected but a LOT is at stake not the least of which could be even more radical justices on the Supreme Court if Ginsburg does retire afterall :(

    1. We, too, Rain, have donated more this season than we planned and are equally as surprised. I've been donating to Americans for Responsible Solutions, Gabby and Mark's PAC, some local races, and Tammy Grimes.. the way I sent $ to Elizabeth Warren.

      Don't get me started on the Supreme Court :)


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