The Grand Chasm State

While The National Razor seeks to analyze and address public affairs at every level of society, it is based in Phoenix, AZ.

So, following Tip O’Neill’s premise that “all politics is local,” here is a look back at the last month in the health insurance reform debate as viewed through the lens of the Grand Canyon State, which always seems to be preternaturally relevant to the national discourse these days.

 

AUGUST 7

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-AZ1, held a poorly-executed town hall where frustration reigned more than discourse. Kirkpatrick would avoid taking a position on the public option throughout August.

VIDEO

 

AUGUST 15

The Arizona Republic‘s front page story details the sources of funding and organization behind the Tea Baggers, in advance of President Obama’s visit to Phoenix to address the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention.

ARTICLE

 

AUGUST 17

A thorough video account of the numbers present on both sides across from the Phoenix Convention Center, where the President addressed the VFW convention inside. Note that the cluster of people holding yellow flags is the extent of the Tea Bagger presence, while between two and three thousand supporters of health insurance reform turned out.

VIDEO

 

AUGUST 18

A balanced account of the demonstrations from AmericanCatholic.org

ARTICLE

 

AUGUST 25

Sen. John McCain, speaking of the right-wing activists who have been causing havoc at town halls nationwide, declares, “I think you might be seeing the beginning of a peaceful revolt in America” at a town hall in Sun City, AZ.

VIDEO

 

AUGUST 26

News broke on this day that the man who was toting the AR-15 assault rifle at the Phoenix Obama event belonged to a Tempe, Arizona church whose pastor was recorded as advocating the death of Barack Obama. The controversy in its entirety was covered by CNN’s Rick Sanchez and an Internet group called The Young Turks . Both skew toward the hyperbolic. Rick Sanchez covers death threats against POTUS pretty alarmingly, and the Young Turks show has full audio of the Steven L. Anderson hate rant (literally, the topic was hate). 

That evening, Sen. McCain held a town hall in Phoenix where he ejected a woman from the audience for reasons that have never been resolved (judging from her outfit and general behavior, it is likely she was Code Pink) – 24 hours after praising town hall disrupters.

VIDEO

 

AUGUST 31

Congresswoman Gabby Giffords holds a town hall in Tucson, where the audience seems ambivalent to the point of confused at times. The video is snarky and falls well short of the ironic wit to which it aspires, but is informative none the less.

VIDEO

 

SEPTEMBER 4

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, a Republican, said Obama’s address to the nation’s children would “promote a worship-like reverence.” The Huffington Post’s Dawn Teo provides the coverage.

ARTICLE

 

SEPTEMBER 9, 2009

Sen. John McCain, in a display of his much-touted bipartisanship, offers President Obama a standing ovation.

VIDEO

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