Arizona GOP Rebukes John McCain? Not Quite

Two right-wing news websites, Breitbart and the Drudge Report, have riled up their followers with headlines about the Arizona GOP issuing a "formal rebuke" of Republican Senator John McCain.

There's one critical bit of information missing from the "news" there. When you read the story, you'll see it's actually the Republican Party of Arizona's 26th Legislative District -- a district so liberal that one of its representatives gave a tribute to atheism and Carl Sagan instead of the daily prayer before a meeting at the state House of Representatives last session.

See also:
-Atheist Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Session
-Breitbart (Falsely) Claims Joe Arpaio Did Nothing but Help Solve Sex-Crimes Cases
-Breitbart Myth: Janet Napolitano Signed Arizona's "Stand Your Ground" Law

Yeah, in a district where that guy (Democratic Representative Juan Mendez) got elected, the Republican Party denounced John McCain. Not that sexy, huh?

The other elected representatives in LD-26 are Democratic Representative Andrew Sherwood, and Democratic Senator Ed Ableser.

The district's so liberal that it voted to put Ableser in the Senate, rather than re-elect Jerry Lewis, a Republican who made national headlines for defeating villainous right-wing Senate President Russell Pearce in a recall election before redistricting put him up against the Dems.

There's a narrative growing on these right-wing websites that Arizona Republicans really don't like McCain. Breitbart's last piece was titled, "Arizona Republicans seek distance from 'out of step' John McCain." The phrase "out of step" was attributed to "a high-ranking Republican source close to the state's U.S. congressional delegation," whom Breitbart represents as most Arizona Republicans. It also pointed out that among dozens and dozens of links to news articles on the Maricopa County GOP website, several were negative of McCain. It doesn't exactly seem like the smoking gun.

Now, it's front-page news that Republicans in a very liberal district issued a "Resolution of Rebuke of United States Senator John McCain."

The reason for the rebuke isn't exactly sexy, either, as you can read below:

Resolution of Rebuke of United States Senator John McCain

WHEREAS, Senator John McCain unilaterally negotiated with the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to secure Republican votes necessary to pass a number of controversial Presidential nominees.

WHEREAS, President Obama nominated:

Gina McCarthy for head of the Environmental Protection Agency, an environmental bureaucrat who supports anti: job/consumer policies.
Richard Corday to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFRB), an unaccountable, unconstitutional agency created by the Dodd-Frank legislation.
Thomas Perez as Labor Secretary who has a known record for abusing power as Maryland's Labor Secretary, handing political appointments to Big-Labor bedfellows.

WHEREAS, Senator McCain provided the votes necessary for the confirmation of the above nominees.

WHEREAS, Senator McCain's "deal" was nothing more than capitulation to the Senate Majority Leader, giving him everything he asked for.

WHEREAS, Senator McCain claims in defense of his actions, that they were taken to prevent the Senate Majority Leader from "going nuclear" and illegally breaking the Senate rules to pass these nominees.

WHEREAS, the position of Legislative District 26 republicans is that senators should call the Senate Majority Leader's bluff and force him to get the votes necessary from members of his own party.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Senator McCain do the following: cease deal-making and negotiations for Republican votes that undermine the Senate Republican Leader.

FURTHERMORE, the conduct of Senator McCain, is unbecoming a Member of the United States Senate, weakened the Senate Republican Leader, and is hereby strongly rebuked and condemned.
The headline was kind of catchy, but the actual facts of what happened hardly pass for news, let alone national news, or every Republican in the state furious over McCain's actions.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley