You know, when I heard a few days ago that beleaguered freshman Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was thinking from switching from her unpleasantly (to her) competitive AZ-09 seat to the much more suitable (for her) AZ-07 seat, I was… skeptical. Basically, the long-time Democratic incumbent in AZ-07 (Ed Pastor) is retiring after this term, and while I can understand Sinema’s presumed logic there (it’s a hardcore D+16 seat; whoever wins the Democratic primary there probably wins the election) the truth is that a lot of people in the Arizona Democratic party would rightly see the switch as a net loss. This is a bad year for a Democrat to win an open R+1 seat, which is what the situation would be in AZ-09 if Sinema switches: if that happens, the Democrats go from having a tough fight that they might win to having a tough fight that they’d likely lose. I assumed, in other words, that basic tactical reality would inform the Congresswoman’s choices.
Arizona’s Ninth District is a new one created because of redistricting, and it’s shaping up to be one of the interesting races* this cycle: not least of which is because the Democrat tapped for it is, well, nuts. I spoke with Vernon Parker – the non-crazy one – about the race:
*Also possibly one of the nastier ones, alas. This flyer is reportedly being sent around, showing a picture of Vernon Parker that was noticeably darkened. Which is a horrible thing to accuse the Arizona Democratic party of – only, the Utah Democratic party did pretty much the same thing to Mia Love. It’s heart-breaking that there are still sad, ignorant people out there who think that this sort of thing actually works…
The national party is kind of excited about this particular race and candidate:
“This week brought more disappointing economic news, and more reminders that President Obama’s weak leadership and failed policies have hurt small businesses and driven jobs overseas,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said. “We need principled leaders who will come to Congress and join Republicans in the fight to help create a better environment for jobs growth by addressing our looming debt crisis and stopping all the looming tax hikes which, according to Ernst & Young, could destroy up to 700,000 jobs. Vernon Parker is an independent thinker and a rising star in the Republican Party who is committed to listening to the people of Arizona and restoring the American Dream. I’m sure Vernon will do a great job outlining what is at stake in this election, and I’m looking forward to hearing his address.”
…for a variety of reasons. First is that Parker was a pretty good catch for this race: he’s a local mayor with national experience in the federal government under both Bush administrations, as well as being one of the NRCC’s Young Guns. Second? His opponent, Kyrsten Sinema, is high-functioning crazy.
Actually, before we do that, let’s take a quick look at the Republican candidate: Vernon Parker. Former local mayor, experience in DC, no crazy eyes: OK, done.
It’s difficult to sum up a person in a few words – unless, of course, if the person in question is a socialist-shading-to-Commie nutjob who managed to somehow win a primary in what was supposed to be a new swing district. Then it’s easy. It’s also Kyrsten Sinema, who is currently leading in the contest for ‘Democratic candidate for the House with the craziest eyes’ this election cycle. To give you a taste of what we’re talking about here… well, here’s a quote about how Sinema feels about stay-at-home parents*:
“These women who act like staying at home, leeching off their husbands or boyfriends, and just cashing the checks is some sort of feminism because they’re choosing to live that life. That’s bullsh*t. I mean, what the f*ck are we really talking about here?”
I don’t know, Kyrsten: what are we talking about here? Is it “what’s wrong with a Democratic primary system that lets people like you win?”