Speaker of Arizona’s House speaks up

In an article called “Ousted Republican reflects on Trump, democracy and America: ‘The place has lost its mind’” by Ed Pilkington of The Guardian, long-time Republican Rusty Bowers reflects on his actions that led to his failure to win reelection in the GOP primary. Who is Bowers?

Per the article, “Rusty Bowers was speaker of Arizona’s house of representatives when he stood up to the former president’s demand that he overturn the election result. He paid the price but has no regrets.

Rusty Bowers is headed for the exit. After 18 years as an Arizona lawmaker, the past four as speaker of the state’s house of representatives, he has been unceremoniously shown the door by his own Republican party.

Rusty Bowers shakes hands with Adam Schiff at a January 6 hearing in June.

Last month he lost his bid to stay in the Arizona legislature in a primary contest in which his opponent was endorsed by Donald Trump. The rival, David Farnsworth, made an unusual pitch to voters: the 2020 presidential election had not only been stolen from Trump, he said, it was satanically snatched by the ‘devil himself.’

Bowers was ousted as punishment. The Trump acolytes who over the past two years have gained control of the state’s Republican party wanted revenge for the powerful testimony he gave in June to the January 6 hearings in which he revealed the pressure he was put under to overturn Arizona’s election result.

This is a very Arizonan story. But it is also an American story that carries an ominous warning for the entire nation.

Six hours after the Guardian interviewed Bowers, Liz Cheney was similarly ousted in a primary for her congressional seat in Wyoming. The formerly third most powerful Republican leader in the US Congress had been punished too.

In Bowers’s case, his assailants in the Arizona Republican party wanted to punish him because he had steadfastly refused to do their, and Trump’s, bidding. He had declined to use his power as leader of the house to invoke an ‘arcane Arizonan law’ – whose text has never been found – that would allow the legislature to cast out the will of 3.4 million voters who had handed victory to Joe Biden and switch the outcome unilaterally to Trump.

Bowers has a word for that kind of thinking. ‘The thought that if you don’t do what we like, then we will just get rid of you and march on and do it ourselves – that to me is fascism.‘”

The article goes into more detail about Bowers’ long-time fealty to the Republican party. It also speaks of a man who campaigned for Donald Trump. Yet, per an attorney who worked for years for Trump before the White House, “if you are on Donald Trump’s good side, don’t get used to it.” At some point, you won’t jump high enough or genuflect low enough to suit the would-be-king acting former president.

What saddens me is to be loyal to Donald Trump requires you to believe his deceitful words and actions, even when you know they are not true. I am sure there are fans who still think every word he says is true, but I do believe that is naivete. I think far more go along with the lies because it is easier than being courageous and standing up to the lies. Plus, courage often means you are more alone in your quest, as it is a rare attribute.



17 thoughts on “Speaker of Arizona’s House speaks up

  1. That sentence by Bowers that you highlighted says it all, doesn’t it? And today I’m looking at Brazil and Bolsonaro and wondering how long until the U.S. becomes Brazil if sanity isn’t soon restored. Good post, my friend.

    • Jill, thanks. I read today where a political science professor said those folks who are saying we are a banana republic because the FBI raided the house of a former president have got it backwards. We are NOT a banana republic because the raid occurred after a warrant was obtained from a judge. That actually is an entirely appropriate and accurate retort. Keith

      • No, America is a banana republic because almost half its citizens believe it is better to follow a lying, cheating, pussy-grabbing con-artist grifter than voting for someone who actually wants to improve their lives. It makes one wonder how long they’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid.

      • That’s exactly right! We were in more danger of becoming a banana republic a few years back when we had an uneducated person who cared not one whit for the law of the land or the people. I, too, see shades of fascism in the Republican rhetoric and it worries me. We need them to be a serious and viable party, but today … they are not.

      • Jill, well said. Sadly, those elements are there, but they take a page from the narcissist playbook and blame the other side for their own faults. So, some GOP folks are surprised when a conservative pundit says the party is “in decay.” It is hard to admit there is a problem when so many don’t believe it. Keith

  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    This election cycle is unique in so many ways, but one thing that disturbs me is watching the Republicans literally ‘eat their own’. If one doesn’t fully go along with the ‘party line’, which is whatever the former guy says it is, then they will receive no support, will be vilified and likely fade into political obscurity. Meanwhile, folk like Marge Greene and Herschel Walker will step in to further downgrade the GOP. Our friend Keith’s post today shows us an example of that and a hint of where it might lead. Thank you, Keith!

      • Awwww … it always makes me smile when you call me a peach! You’re right … there’s an irony there in that I chose two Georgians to mention, and then shortly after re-blogging your piece, I ran to the grocery for a few things and got behind a massive pickup truck with Georgia plates! Perhaps I should play “Georgia on my Mind” for my music post?

    • Janis, I hope you are right. I typed the following on Jill’s reblog.

      Bowers is yet one more person who has devoted his life to the Republican Party, who even campaigned for the former president, but is persona non grata because he said he would not cheat for Trump. Yet, his opponent who says the election was “satanically snatched” from Donald Trump is the preferred kind of statesman. By itself, that one example speaks volumes at how untethered to the truth the GOP has become. Keith

  3. But. This has not been universal. Kansas, for one. Maine, for another. Where people were more angry at Republicans for NOT dealing with guns and for the awful Roe V Wade SC decision and for forcing those judges on America. There IS pushback. Maybe not enough … but just maybe …

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