I’ve commented in this blog before about the state of Arizona – “state” as in the current condition of the state. It’s only competition in the level of “redness” between all right-wing states would be Utah, Idaho and possibly a couple of those southern redneck states like Mississippi or Alabama. But Arizona stands-out with it’s anti-immigrant trio of Governor Jan Brewer, Russell Pearce (Mr. Papers Please or SB1070) and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Unlike other states I’ve visited, many Arizona Republicans wear their bigotry on their sleeve, unafraid of offending anyone, and I’d say eager to start a fight, better yet a gun fight, with anyone who dares to disagree. Displaying Democratic or anti-Republican bumper stickers is a guaranteed way to get your car vandalized.
So now we have another Arizona shooting by an angry, crazy man on the radical right, J.T. Ready, who shot and killed 4 family members and then killed himself. In the aftermath of the Gabby Giffords shooting, the radical right worked hard to paint the guy who shot Congresswoman Giffords as a “nut” who may or may not have seen Palin’s rifle cross-hairs on her infamous map prior to the shooting. This time, they can’t deny the shooter was one of their own. J.T. Ready was a former Republican Party official, a white supremacist neo-Nazi and anti-Semite, an anti-immigrant vigilante, and a person very close to former GOP state Senator Russell Pearce. In fact, Ready converted to Mormonism and was apparently ordained by Pearce. Now, I’m not saying that being a Mormon has any significance in the context of a mass murder, but I would bet the Romney camp cringed when they heard this mass murderer was a former GOP official and also happened to be a Mormon.
J.T. Ready left the Republican Party in anger around 2009, took a lead position with the National Socialist Movement (thought these guys hated Socialists?), and participated in events to support infamous Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In mid-2010, Ready left the NSM to form an anti-immigrant vigilante group to patrol the border with assault rifles and grenades and declare “We’ll kill them. We’ll kill the narco-terrorists.” And no, apparently Arizonians don’t have enough assault rifles with large capacity ammo clips; they need grenades, as well.
The radical right will surely claim that Ready is simply another “nut” and not representative of the Republican Party. But in my experience, he’s perfectly representative of many Arizona Republicans.
There’s a January 2012 report on Fox 10 News in Phoenix that claims Ready planned to run for Pinal County Sheriff as a Democrat, which I’m sure the right will latch onto. But running “fake Democrats” like Ready is a common tactic of the right used recently here in Arizona and currently in Wisconsin in the Walker recall.