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Democrats Keep Giffords’ Arizona Seat

Posted on the 13 June 2012 by Anthonyhymes @TheWrongWing

One of the saddest stories in American political history came from the rampage at a shopping mall targeting Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords last year. After being shot in the head and spending much time recovering in the hospital, Giffords has slowly been getting back to what will have to suffice as her new normal. She, her team, and spectators, were shot by a crazed gunman who was taken into custody. In a special election to fill her seat after her resignation, Ron Barber, the Democratic candidate, mercifully defeated Jesse Kelly, a frequent Republican challenger. 

arizona special election

It takes more than a lunatic to keep her down

There is no true way to explain why the deranged often explode into fits of anger and attacks. Jared Loughner, a young man with a history of problems, purchased fire arms and launched the infamous assault against Giffords, killing six. His motives have proven muddy. What was much clearer was the importance of the special election to fill Giffords’ congressional seat. As with all politics in the United States, the country paid a lot of attention to this election, to see if Democrats would finally see some light and what the outcome might mean for Obama’s reelection chances.

Arizona is not typical of America. They possess some of the most lax gun laws in the country, and on some streets it can still feel like the wild west. Arizona is ruled by a shrinking white majority that parades its racism and homophobia proudly across their chests. While the balance of population will, in the near future, tip in favor of Latino families, both immigrants and descendants of immigrants, currently Arizona is running as fast as it can towards irreversible conservatism.

Just as in the Walker recall election in Wisconsin, out-of-state money played a large part as both Democrats and Republicans poured in funds to vie for the open seat. The Republican preference of states’ rights is rapidly evaporating due to the heat and friction caused by unlimited political donations. It seems that no election happens on the state level anymore, since the biggest influences and enablers often come from out of the state. While it might be too soon to see this, the trend will continue towards cities, counties, and villages.

It would have been just too bad if Kelly had taken Giffords’ seat and the Democrats had lost it. If anything, since it was inexistent gun laws that enabled the rampage in the first place, Republicans who fought hard against gun control shouldn’t have been able to take the seat at all because Giffords resigned do to her injuries from the attack. That is not to say that all gun owners should pay when one crazy person shoots someone else, but the politicians who enable attacks like this to happen by encouraging gun ownership and discouraging controls for everyone should.

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