Its a very busy day here in bankruptcy world, but I want to lay out a couple of quick thoughts regarding the Arizona primary. Yesterday, a public hearing was held in the Arizona State Legislature concerning irregularities and problems with the recent primary election. A whole bunch of very pissed off voters put the GOP members of the Legislature and especially the Arizona Secretary of State (who is ultimately in charge of elections) on blast for the ridiculous delays and problems with voting in the primary. The Arizona legislature, with the Secretary of State, reduced the number of polling places from 250+ statewide in 2008 to 60 for the recent primary election (and presumably for the general). This is, without question, bullshit. It is at best, negligence in the aim of saving the State some minor budgetary expenses related to conducting elections, and more likely (and much worse) active malfeasance on the part of statewide GOP lawmakers to suppress the vote by making it extremely difficult and time consuming to vote. The actions taken by legislators and the Secretary of State absolutely should be decried and investigated, and if found to be intentional to suppress the vote, should be rejected for the undemocratic, reprehensible bullshit they are.
What, however, is not appropriate, is intra-party fighting among Democrats. After Bernie Sanders lost the Arizona primary by a significant margin (Clinton won by 72,297), there were suggestions both veiled and open by his supporters that the problems with the voting process were a direct result of meddling, tampering, chicanery, or outright fraud by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. These suggestions are scurrilous and ugly. They are an outright attack on the integrity of the party and the process, and they should be rejected wherever they pop up. They also illustrate the absolute worst aspect of the Sanders supporter base's willingness to believe GOP lies and propaganda about Hillary Clinton. I understand that people have policy differences, that people may disagree with her performance as a Senator, as Secretary of State, or would simply prefer a candidate that is farther to the left of her. That's all fine and perfectly reasonable. What isn't reasonable, and what, frankly, is a terrible look for Sanders supporters is parroting the same smears about dishonesty and self promotion that the GOP has been running for 25 years, even though none of Clinton's opponents have ever been able to produce concrete evidence backing those claims. Policy disagreements are one thing, baseless, un-evidenced smears are quite another, especially when they so frequently come wrapped up in misogyny.
If Sanders supporters and Arizona democrats of all stripes want to be mad about the way the Arizona primary was conducted, good. They should be, we all should be. Democracy was clearly damaged that day. But direct your anger at the party responsible, the Arizona GOP.