Xenophobia, self-adulation and delusion are just some of the repulsive dishes offered at ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce's radio cafeteria of hate, which airs Tuesdays and Mondays at 7 p.m. on Phoenix's KFNX 1100 AM.
The disgraced Mesa pol, who lost by 12 points to now-state Senator Jerry Lewis in a historic recall election in Legislative District 18 last year, recently scored a gig as president of the nativist-shill organization Ban Amnesty Now.
With it came the one-hour show sponsored by BAN, formerly hosted by BAN's founder, erstwhile Arizona GOP executive director Sean McCaffrey.
I tuned in to Tuesday's show, expecting the worst, and I was not disappointed. Pearce ranted and fumed about illegal immigration, interrupting his tirades occasionally to take calls from listeners who were full of hero-worship for the corrupt, hate-filled first vice-chair of the state Republican Party.
Latinos were, of course, completely demonized as a criminal element. For instance, in denouncing the National Council of La Raza, the most influential Latino organization in the United States, Pearce labeled it a "crime-promoting organized crime syndicate."
The undocumented did not fare any better. Pearce blasted migrants crossing the southern border as a security threat unrivaled by any other.
"Right now, the greatest threat to America is not Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan," he growled at one point. "It's what's coming across that border...Gangbangers. Child molesters. Drug smugglers. Human smugglers."
When a caller offered his impression that most illegal immigrants here in the U.S. hate Caucasians, Pearce dismissed the entire population as one belonging behind bars.
"They've started out as lawbreakers," Pearce told the man. "They're criminals. They have violated our laws, they've trespassed in our nation. And they have attitudes."
Pearce was flush with bogus talking points to "prove" that his breathing-while-brown legislation Senate Bill 1070 had driven down crime in Arizona, despite the fact that the law's most significant portions have been enjoined by the federal courts.
"According to the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association," Pearce swore in relation to 1070, "the largest law enforcement association in the state of Arizona, they have an unprecedented drop in crime in the city of Phoenix, a 30-year low."
This is what you might call magical thinking in reverse. How can a law signed in 2010 that's been mostly enjoined cause a 30-year low in crime?
As I've pointed out at length in a past blog post addressing this shibboleth, FBI crime stats show that violent crimes in the nation, this state and Phoenix have been trending downward for years. SB 1070 has nothing to do with it, no matter what the nativist wingnuts at PLEA aver.
Nevertheless, Pearce attributes all good things to forcing the undocumented in this state to "self-deport," a dubious catchphrase that began as a joke and is now parroted by Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney.
Arguments for and against the enjoinment of SB 1070 will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in April. Pearce predicted a majority decision in his favor.
One of Pearce's guests via phone for the evening was former Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado, an avowed nativist, who insisted that the struggle against illegal immigration was in fact "a matter of the survival of Western Civilization."
Tancredo explained, "I say that, Russell, because we are losing what it is to be an American. If we lose that, we lose the glue that's supposed to hold us together in this country, Western Civilization goes with it. Whether it's radical Islam that takes over or something else."
"Radical Islam"? Who knew that Hispanics were mostly Muslim? You heard it here first.
Tancredo and Pearce also engaged in an aural love-fest better left for a room at a Best Western.
"I want to thank you for being the patriot that you are and your friendship," Pearce grumbled softly to his compadre toward the end of Tancredo's call.
"My pleasure," Tancredo replied, his heart in his throat. "I will do everything that I can both for you and for America. It's almost doing it for the same thing, it's synonymous. You do it for Russell Pearce, you're doing it for America."
Pearce had to pay the bills as well. In addition to airing commercials for such august sponsors as an RV show and a 12-step program for compulsive gamblers, Pearce chatted for several minutes with a representative of Krazy Kyote Activities and Tours, allowing her to tell him all about the thrilling getaways to Sedona her company offers.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Some callers mentioned Pearce's historic November trouncing by a fellow Republican, giving the show an occasional morose tone.
Said Glen from Phoenix of election night, "I sure was sad when I saw that picture of you and Sheriff Arpaio, not the sadness that you lost the election, the sadness that you saw the human race going down a notch."
Another supporter told Pearce he had donated to his campaign, prompting a twisted analysis from the host.
"It was an [open] primary," Pearce explained. "It was an election where the Democrats refused to enter their own candidate, endorsed the Republican that was running, and as a result you got mass voter--the open border Libertarians and the Democrats [sic], all they needed [was] a few Republicans to join that crowd to prevail."
In reality, the Democratic Party did not endorse Pearce's rival in the recall election, and Pearce's fellow Republicans turned on him in droves, driven in no small part by the sleazy way in which the Pearce campaign was run.
Not to mention the sham candidacy of Olivia Cortes, pushed by Pearce's family, friends and supporters in a failed plot to "dilute" the vote and grant him a win.
An ABC 15/Capitol Times poll released days before the election showed members of Pearce's own party divided, with 45.6 percent going for Lewis and 45.3 percent going to Pearce.
In addition, the poll revealed that Lewis led Pearce among their fellow Mormons, 47.5 percent to 45 percent.
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Pearce fought against the recall tooth and nail, challenged it in court, heavily outspent his rival, and still lost by double digits.
The true test may come later this year, when its anticipated Pearce will run again for state Senate in the newly created Legislative District 25.
Till then, Pearce will continue to pollute the airwaves with his anti-Latino rhetoric. At the age of 64, he's too old for a new leaf. Hating on Hispanics is all this pathetic clown has got.