Nobody in so-called conservatism gets to say, "Oh, the conspiracy-addled racism is an outlier position." Republicans keep campaigning on it, and the base keeps voting for it. State Attorney General Mark Brnovich, running against Masters, couldn't muster even 20% of the vote. Brnovich was punished by the state's fascist base for not helping Donald Trump spread election hoaxes used to justify a coup attempt. He was punished for not assisting in an act of sedition.
That was a theme for Arizona Republicans. Republican Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers testified to the House committee investigating Trump's coup, again making it clear that Trump and his allies were simply lying about an election he lost. For refusing to support a treasonous conspiracy, Republican voters booted him from office, because Arizona Republican voters are ... pro-sedition.
They weren't "confused." They weren't taken in. They backed Team Sedition, they still back Team Sedition, and they're still purging the party of anyone who isn't a democracy-contemptuous fascist.
White nationalist Rep. Paul Gosar walked away with two-thirds of the vote in his own primary. Gosar's congressional behavior has been so odious that he's been stripped of committee assignments and, at this point, has been reduced to ever-blabbering congressional paperweight. But his voters find the "white nationalist" part more important than the "functionally useless" part.
Were voters confused on what Gosar stands for? Not even a little. Arizona Republicans want the conspiracy theories, the performative cruelty, and the fascism-laced, militia-adjacent white supremacy. That's the Republican base now.
It keeps going. Supporter of All Possible Election Hoaxes Kari Lake appears to be squeaking out a win against Republican primary opponent Karrin Taylor Robson in the race to take on Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs. Lake has made a name for herself, as with the others, by propping up Donald Trump's treasonous election hoaxes. Lake spent her campaign promising that she'd respond to those hoaxes by eliminating mail voting, by throwing out all the tabulation machines—basically, by making it difficult to cast a vote and nearly impossible to count them.
Lake spent recent days vowing that if she didn't win her election, that just meant that "fraud" happened yet again, which she said "we" were "already detecting," thanks to her "cyber folks." Lake was also losing in the early results last evening before overtaking her opponent in later counts.
What's this? The votes flipped during the night? Does that mean Kari Lake is the beneficiary of fraud?
She's not confessing to that, of course, because she's just a dime-a-dozen conspiracy crank who lies for a living. She already said that she'd call "fraud" if she didn't win and wouldn't make a peep if she did, so there you go. Again: Arizona conservatives voted for this. The more someone lies, the more they like 'em. The more laws someone promises to do away with in order to achieve a Great Trumpian Future, the more Arizona Republicans purr with pleasure.
That brings us to the last act of brazen fascism of the desert evening. That bozo. You know the one. The fake-ass Arizona pseudo-cowboy who fled to the state after he botched everything in his life it was possible to botch back in Michigan.
Oh, Mark Finchem. I suppose a state that would willingly send Paul Gosar back to the House despite Gosar's family repeatedly pleading with voters to stop voting for the crank would have no problem with the almost cartoonishly hollow Finchem. Finchem is an election conspiracy theorist and ... not much else. He will now be the Republican nominee for secretary of state, after running on promises very similar to Lake's because there's basically no election conspiracy you can throw at him that he won't nod his head to and champion from that day forward. (He also seems the most likely candidate to end up in a federal prison if he wins in November and actually starts making good on his promises. Just a hunch.)
If elected, both Lake and Finchem have expressed a willingness to overturn elections in the manner Donald Trump attempted. Trump wanted state Republicans to simply declare that the election results were invalid because unspecified, invisible "fraud" happened and therefore, state Republican officials would simply declare that the Republican won.
The Arizona Republican base loves that idea. A seditious conspiracy to topple America is what most animated them in each of these races. It wasn't a minor part of a candidate's platform that Republican voters begrudgingly overlooked; in race after race, they voted for those promising to do the most damage to American elections in service of reining in "immigrants" and "Black people" and other enemies.
This is the part where nearly any national news report would bend over backwards to portray the Republican base that voted for these crooks and conspiracy promoters as Good People, despite having no evidence that any of them are Good People and a lot of evidence that they are sedition-backing hoax-loving racist bags of spite who know what each candidate stands for, go to the polls, and vote for the people promising to hurt or overturn elections that don't go the Republican way.
There is no need for this. It is selling a hoax. The evidence that Arizona Republicans do not want fascism is as anecdotal as the Trump camp's claims of ballots being smuggled into election centers in pizza boxes or repairmen's trucks. That does not mean that the whole state is irredeemable—most Arizona residents didn't vote for these people. But the Republicans who came out to vote were unambiguous in voting for the hoax promoters and the people promising they would refuse to acknowledge future Republican election losses if they could invent a reason not to.
The Arizona Republican Party has, like the Republican parties in many other states, been so captured by anti-democracy hacks and hoaxers that there is no room for anyone not on Team Sedition. It cannot be fixed, but the Americans who back it need to be humiliated into oblivion. Believing lies for the sake of a mail-order meat salesman you once saw on television, or backing a white nationalist who tells you that non-white immigrants are coming into the country due to a plot by global elites to dilute good American whiteness: This is a failure of a movement. It is simply cowardice, lashing out. It is a fascist movement inventing enemies to justify cruelties that they have been itching to do for decades, and now see as tantalizingly close.
In Arizona, that turns November into a referendum. There's no reasoning with people who don't care whether their politicians lie to them about matters as big as democracy itself. They can only be beaten. It's up to all the voters in the state who cannot stomach America's fascist turn to reject the Republican base's choices, as Kansas voters rejected Republican theocratic whims there. The only way to stop this movement of fascist hoax-promoters is to tear the movement to pieces in the voting booths so there're no scraps large enough to be recovered.
Trump and his followers proved on Jan. 6 how dangerously close they came to overturning our democracy. Help cancel Republican voter suppression with the power of your pen by clicking here and signing up to volunteer with Vote Forward, writing personalized letters to targeted voters urging them to exercise their right to vote this year.
Multiple Arizona Republicans are already suggesting Tuesday's elections are rigged if they don't win
GOP gubernatorial hopeful Kari Lake peppering speeches with echoes of Trump’s election fraud claims
Ad from Peter Thiel-funded Arizona Republican echos 'white replacement' and 'invasion' conspiracies
Arizona GOP censures one of their own: Jan. 6 witness who dared to tell the truth