Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Monday's Senate debate reduced to an analogy. unflappable is to unhinged as Sinema is to McSally

McSally & Sinema Debate
McSally & Sinema Oct 15 2018 Debate

McSally, Sinema trade barbs, stress voting records during their only Senate debate reports Cronkite News (via the Tucson Sentinel).

In a debate peppered with accusations of lying and treason, U.S. Senate candidates Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema took shots at each other Monday in their only public debate of the 2018 election, each calling out the other’s voting record as proof that the other candidate is not a true representative of Arizona.

Sinema used the debate, which was broadcast live on Arizona PBS, to portray herself as an independent, echoing the campaign ads supporting her candidacy. She painted herself as someone willing to step over party lines, embracing the fact that she had voted largely with President Donald Trump’s agenda since 2017.

“Over the past six years, I’m proud to say I’ve taken the time to learn and grow and occasionally even change my opinion,” said Sinema, who has served three terms in Congress. “Over time, I think it makes sense for individuals, who are willing, to learn and to grow.”

She attempted to dodge questions about how she would have voted during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing, calling the event a “circus.” She expressed disappointment with the way the Senate handled the confirmation, but ultimately said she would have voted no because it appeared to her that Kavanaugh lied under oath.

McSally spent much of the debate on the attack, fighting against both her opponent and the moderators – “Arizona Horizon” host Ted Simons and Arizona Republic/azcentral.com reporter Maria Polletta. Answering the first question about her relationship with Trump, McSally said she took offense to the idea that she had been a critic during the 2016 campaign.

“I never endorsed anyone for anything, whether president or dog catcher, and I just continued with that path,” she said. “But he’s now in office and is the president of the United States and we have this historic opportunity to move America in a new direction.”

She defended White House policy, including the separation of undocumented children from their parents at the southern border, saying the administration’s hands were tied by the law.

“The law in the books is to enforce the law,” McSally said.

As the debate weaved through topics ranging from health care to immigration, McSally fought back against questions about her voting record and stances on those issues.

When asked about her motivation for voting to allow internet service providers to sell private information online, McSally denied acting on behest of corporate political action committees and said such accusations had been debunked. She had received more than $40,000 in campaign contributions from the telecom industry when the vote was held.

“What are you even talking about?” McSally asked. “Of course I did not do that. And this has already been debunked. This is, again, what this campaign is all about, coming up with these lies and attacks that are fear tactics. I’m actually a privacy hound.”

McSally described herself as anti-abortion but refused to give an answer when pressed about whether she would support the repeal of Roe v. Wade.

“I am pro-life and I have a very strong pro-life record,” she said. “I would support (Supreme Court) justices that are looking independently at the Constitution and the laws that we make, and that they will have a good decision-making process because of that.”

By the end of the hourlong debate, McSally was visibly frustrated, not answering a question about climate change and instead turning to her opponent and asking whether she would apologize for 2003 comments about the Taliban that McSally described as treasonous.

So let’s look at that accusation. Howard Fischer (Capitol Media Services) reports how Martha McSally accuses Kyrsten Sinema of backing “treason” in Senate debate.

PHOENIX — Republican senatorial contender Martha McSally said Monday that Kyrsten Sinema, her Democratic foe, is guilty of “treason.”

Near the end of their hour-long debate, McSally brought up a radio interview Sinema did in 2003 during her anti-war days. Asked if it was OK to fight for the Taliban, Sinema had said, “Fine, I don’t care if you want to go do that.”

Much of the campaign against Sinema has been focused on who she was more than a decade ago, including her opposition to war in the Middle East. McSally hopes to convince voters that Sinema, since being elected to Congress in 2012, is not the moderate that she proclaims.

After the debate, Sinema brushed aside the questions of what she said years ago.

“Martha’s chosen to run a campaign that’s based on smears and attacks and that’s her choice,” she said. What happened in the past, Sinema said, is history.

“Over time I think it makes sense for individuals who are willing to learn and to grow,” she said.

Sure, but Scriber thinks there is no apology necessary. It’s one thing to root out the taliban and go after Osama bin Laden who masterminded the 9/11 attack. It’s quite another to invade Iraq on excuses ranging from quite flimsy to mostly false to outright fiction. A lot of us were opposed to Bush’s war which he paid for by adding more to the deficit.

The Wall Street Journal reported a study showing that the U.S. Spent $5.6 Trillion on Wars in Middle East and Asia.

The cost of the wars also include borrowing money to pay for them,[Sen. Jack Reed (D., R.I.)] said. According to the [study][brown], the accumulated interest expenses on the future cost of borrowing money to pay the wars could add an additional $8 trillion to the national debt over the next several decades. “Even if we stopped [the wars] today, we would add $7.9 trillion to the national debt,” Mr. Reed said

Wikipedia lists the Financial costs of the Iraq war. The estimates are eclipsed by the Brown University study cited by Sen. Reed. For example: “According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report published in October 2007, the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost taxpayers a total of $2.4 trillion by 2017 when counting the huge interest costs because combat is being financed with borrowed money.” Ten years later we know the cost is triple those estimates.

On that basis alone, any thinking person would have to question, if not oppose, the Mideast wars.

McSally might want to rethink her accusation and consider Trump defending Putin’s attack on our democracy and the Russian interference in our election. Now that, it seems to me, is treason.

AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona agrees in A desperate Martha McSally accuses Kyrsten Sinema of ‘treason’.

… if you want to talk about “treason” Martha, you should take it up with Putin’s puppet traitor Trump who is coming to Mesa to campaign for you on Friday. Trump fails to defend America against Russian attacks; there is a word for that. Helsinki is now synonymous with Munich for appeasement.

Trump is expected to stump for McSally on Friday in Mesa, the same day that former president George W. Bush – responsible for the unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq – is scheduled to hold a fundraising breakfast for the Republican candidate in Scottsdale, according to the Arizona Republic.

Martha McSally is unfit for political office. She has been a complete failure as my representative in Congress. She does not deserve a promotion to U.S. Senate. Go away, never to be heard from again.

David Gordon at Blog for Arizona summarizes the debate this way: In Monday’s Arizona Senate Debate, it was a Tale of Two Temperaments: Poised versus Unhinged

Scriber agrees. For example, at the end of the debate when time had run out, the moderators tried to close it down as McSally shrieked “Military, military.” Sinema was unflappable.

Democratic nominee Representative Kyrsten Sinema came across as poised, prepared, mature, approachable, bipartisan and wonky. On issue, after issue, be it healthcare, Brett Kavanagh, border security, climate change, or the economy, she skillfully laid out for the audience her positions and why she supported or opposed differing policy initiatives or nominees. She conducted herself professionally when attacked by her opponent, calmly refuting each assertion brought on by her.

In sharp contrast, Representative Martha McSally came across as unhinged, inflexible, bombastic, animated, and untruthful. On issue after issue, she continually parrotted Republican talking points on the border, health care, the economy. taxes, and Brett Kavanaugh. She brought up Nancy Pelosi (the Republican boogeyman of the last 12 years) at least twice and when it came time for her response to the topic of climate change, she immediately demanded to shift the topic to the military where she regurgitated all the proven misleading, inaccurate, and false accusations against Representative Sinema, even “slinging mud” by accusing her of treason for remarks made in 2003 (long before the Democratic Nominee ever held office).

Here are useful links from Gordon: a fact-check and the debate itself

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