Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Arizona Republican Senate candidate Jeff Flake: The Constitution isn’t sacred

It sounds like blasphemy coming from a Republican, especially one who is solidly entrenched in the Tea Party.  All we have heard from these far-right fruitcakes in the last couple of years is just how enshrined this document was and is meant to be.  Especially when it comes to gun rights and the 2nd amendment.  Although he hasn’t even won his primary yet, and it’s doubtful he could beat his Democratic opponent if he does, Jeff Flake is already attempting to manage his reelection.

Senate candidate Flake says he favors ending the direct election of U.S. Senators, and wants to repeal the Constitution’s 17th Amendment.

Jeff Flake...precisely

Flake now represents Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 6th Congressional District and is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Jon Kyl, another “flake.”  There is talk of his opponent in the primary, businessman Wil Cardon, giving up his primary fight; at the end of July Flake led Cardon by 22 points in the polls.  Assuming Flake wins the primary, he appears to be looking ahead to solidify a second term with the Arizona legislature behind him.

As a resident of the great state of Arizona, I cannot imagine putting a decision like naming a U.S. Senator in the hands of these legislative kooks.  I wish I could take credit for coining the term but Laurie Roberts, columnist for the Arizona Republic, gets the kudos for her series started recently called “DeKook the Capitol,” of course, referring to the Arizona Legislature, especially Republicans.  Over the last 3 years, this bunch, along with a completely incompetent Gov. Jan Brewer, has made the state a complete laughingstock.

Agreed, the 17th Amendment was not given to us by the Founding Fathers like the 2nd Amendment was; but it was passed by the Congress and on May 13, 1912 was submitted to the states for ratification and was adopted on May 31, 1913.  Tell me.  Is there a difference in the sacred value of a document created in 1787 with one conceived in 1912?  I think not.  Now if you are talking a U.S. Congress of the last few years, then, I would strongly question its ability to devise anything sensible and worthwhile.

Here’s what Jeff Flake is all about, according to the Payson, Arizona Roundup:

Flake advocated additional deep cuts in taxes and spending and the wholesale repeal of federal regulations. He said he opposed any restrictions on guns, ammunition or magazines, despite a string of recent shootings. He also said he favored eliminating both the federal Department of Energy and the Department of Education.

As is Mitt Romney, Flake is solidly behind GOP V.P. contender, Paul Ryan’s radical budget plan, covered in my Monday, August 13, post.  Democratic strategist, Donna Brazile, says that by selecting Ryan as his running mate, Romney has thrown, “…seniors under the bus and undermined their health security by ending Medicare as we know it.  It would increase health care cost for seniors, including those on fixed income, by thousands of dollars a year.”

Now I don’t want to turn this into a referendum for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment, but if the 17th Amendment is fair game, then so is the 2nd Amendment.  Therefore, when an ultra-conservative like Jeff Flake, a solid Tea Party patriot, comes right out and says we should repeal part of the U.S. Constitution, it gives us gun control advocates the right to stand up and say, by the way we have something else to propose that needs the public’s attention.

Like the number of deaths per year due to firearm homicides according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): 11,493.  That’s 3.7 per 100,000 population.  Like the fact that since I have been publishing a Monthly Shooting Report starting this past March, 432 have died from firearm homicides in 1,077 shootings.  And this only represents what is reported by the media which is very conservative. 

There can be no argument today against the fact that something has to be done about this and now.  And the 2nd Amendment may or may not be the answer.  But the Tucson, Aurora and Wisconsin massacres do rigidly point toward stronger firearms regulation.  Jeff Flake has opened a can of worms in the sanctity of a Constitution that many have claimed cannot and must not be tampered with.  The question is whether this is more important than American lives.                        

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