By Ronald Sampson
It’s been a rough time for Governor Katie Hobbs. I’ve been plenty willing to levy complaints about her for a few different reasons starting with her campaign (especially her unwillingness to debate) and continuing into her initial inability to delegate responsibility effectively (read all the good and the bad here). She has earned plenty of legitimate criticism…which is why the illegitimate criticism becomes profoundly annoying for those who appreciate some degree of high-mindedness in their politics.
Enter the Arizona GOP, which has used every avenue possible to not only criticize her, but to hurt her ability to do her job. All is fair in love, war and politics. But the GOP’s newest line of attack against Hobbs is frankly, absurd. They are now attacking her for high gas prices.
Granted, high gas prices have historically been the lowest hanging fruit of political criticism for the GOP, and sometimes it’s warranted. One could certainly surmise that the Biden’s administration push into clean energy and reduced emissions has had an upward effect on gas prices. And in more regional situations, such as Washington state’s cap-and-trade policies which have pushed up its gas prices to at or near the highest in the country. While reality is nuanced, these are at least partially legitimate complaints.
So why is Governor Hobbs to blame for high gas prices in Arizona, according to Republicans? Because the EPA didn’t grant the state a waiver, and she didn’t sufficiently push back on them by requesting one. Mind you, “requests were considered in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022 due to fuel production issues, but no waiver was ever requested, even in 2018 when another oil company requested then-Gov. Doug Ducey’s administration request a waiver.” So the GOP is expecting Hobbs to push back harder on the federal government than Governor Ducey ever had.
Yes, politics is often a game of assigning blame, and liberties are ALWAYS taken. But how are we supposed to take this party seriously when it is so incredibly detached from the truth and reality? After it went down the rabbit hole of election denialism (and in the wake of the guilty pleas of one of its biggest cheerleaders, Sidney Powell), it is equal parts pathetic and sad for those of us who want to vote FOR a party, not against the other.
The Arizona Republican Party truly needs some reflection as it has lost its way. Instead of realizing that it has lost numerous statewide elections because people were sick of conspiracy theories and unserious candidates attempting to be Trump clones, it seems to simply double down. There are many people who want to vote for the adult in the room, if only the GOP would offer one.