Arizona Grudges and the Poison of Bitterness

The state of Arizona sports many aspects of scenic beauty and grandeur. Of special note, the city of Phoenix rises from the desert as a testimony to what resourceful human beings can do when given an opportunity to “take dominion” over the forces of nature.

I’ve greatly enjoyed speaking in many settings in the Grand Canyon State and have a son who manages a business in the capital suburbs.

So what’s up with the Arizona grudges that are poisoning our nation?


What grudges you ask? How can a bitter heart in the sunny state of Arizona bring disastrous results to a nation of over 326 million people?

I offer two names as evidence.

Sen John McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake.

For most of my life I considered John McCain, who recently passed away at the age of 81, a modern-day military hero.

I believe most Americans agree.

How can you argue with 23 combat missions fought during the chaos of the Vietnam War, 17 awards and citations for valor and heroism, and five years spent as a POW at the Hanoi Hilton including torture? McCain even refused early release and chose to wait until all his buddies were freed from their hellhole.

In the late sixties and early seventies, John McCain served as a great patriot.

I was not as fond of his government service as I was of his military valor. He shared  a decent voting record that was generally conservative for most of his career, but his combative style, infamous temper, and tendency to go “maverick” when it suited him tarnished his statesman image.

To his credit, near the end of his government service, he championed the Iraq War “Surge” which led to the liberation of the nation. We owe him a debt of gratitude for that courageous action– going against the anti-war tide of the times.

On the other hand, just one year before he died, Sen John McCain made a grave mistake due to a grudge. Because of a running feud with President Trump–started by McCain when he called Trump supporters “crazies”–and deepened by the president when he dissed on McCain’s military service (“I like people who weren’t captured”), John McCain turned bitter and unleashed it on a nation–not just a president.

He cast the deciding vote against repealing Obamacare–all because of personal animus toward the 45th president. (When John McCain passed away on August 25, 2018, President Trump also missed a opportunity to deal with his own personal bitterness toward the senator.)

The number one pledge of the Republican Party in 2016–the one that swept Donald Trump to a historic victory over highly favored Hillary Clinton–was repealing the Affordable Care Act (and “Build the Wall.”) Promising to do what the American people knew was necessary, the R’s retained the House and Senate and took over the presidency.

It appeared that the big government, one-size-fits all, immense drag on the economy called Obamacare was toast. The voters had spoken. Trump would follow through. We all thought this ill-conceived stepping stone in the government takeover of health care would die a sudden death. Good riddance.

But no. Senator John McCain, resisting the will of millions of American voters, arrived in the nation’s capital showing the signs of cancer treatments and cast the deciding vote against the repeal of Obamacare.

The result? Millions of people still struggle with sky-rocketing premiums, the health care system remains in disarray, and President Trump has been forced to try and eliminate the effects of the AFA through a thousand cuts instead of an instantaneous burial.

Shame on John McCain. He acted like a hero once, but in 2017 he played the part of a villain that hurt millions of Americans.

All because of a personal grudge–simmering in the hot Arizona desert.

During the Vietnam War John McCain put country before self, the defense of the nation before ego. In 2017 he reversed that order and placed himself and his personal grudge before the needs of his countryman.

John McCain began well. But he didn’t end well. Bitterness poisoned his legacy and hurt an entire nation.

Now to the next Arizona grudge–Senator Jeff Flake.

I don’t really know the history of Jeff Flake’s personal grudge against President Trump. But last week, Senator Jeff Flake threw a major monkey wrench in President Trump’s desire to renew the American nation by appointing Constitutionalist judges to the U.S. Supreme Court.

He personally delayed the vote of highly qualified Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Adam Shaw, of Fox News tells the story:

“Democrats were on the other side, coaxing him to put off the vote. Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, a longtime friend, broke in: ‘This is a mess,’ he said, and to lift the cloud over Judge Kavanaugh, an investigation was necessary.”

“Mr. Coons and Mr. Flake squeezed into an oversize phone booth — a few still exist on Capitol Hill — to make the call. They needed privacy rather than a landline, so held a cellphone on speaker between them. [Rod] Rosenstein told them the F.B.I. could complete a background check in a week, although it was unlikely to unearth much more than was already known.”

“Minutes later, Mr. Flake, a pained expression on his face, returned to the committee room and made the announcement ensuring that the F.B.I. investigation would go forward — and once again upending Washington.”

Another Arizona grudge would cripple our highest court.

The New York Times shared another factor in Jeff Flake’s betrayal, but failed to state the honest context:

“By 9:29 a.m. Friday, one minute before the scheduled start of the Judiciary Committee meeting, Mr. Flake’s office sent a statement by email with a subject line that left no doubt about his position: ‘Flake Will Vote to Confirm Judge Kavanaugh.’”

“But moments later, as he boarded an elevator on his way to the meeting, Mr. Flake was confronted by two women, Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher. The video of the encounter went viral.”

“’I have two children,’ one of the women yelled at Mr. Flake as an aide said he needed to go. ‘I cannot imagine that for the next 50 years they will have to have someone in the Supreme Court who has been accused of violating a young girl. What are you doing, sir?’”

Mr. Flake looked dejectedly at the floor of the elevator as the second woman lectured him. ‘You are telling all women that they don’t matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them, you are going to ignore them,’ she shouted. ‘That’s what happened to me.’”

“’Look at me when I’m talking to you,’ she added.”

These two women lobbying Jeff Flake against Judge Kavanaugh sounded very American, passionate, citizen-politics oriented.

But the Fake News NYT failed to tell you two important details:

  • The whole thing was a pre-arranged set-up with a CNN camera-man.
  • And Ms. Archila and Ms. Gallagher represent groups funded by George Soros.

It was a deceptive set-up.

Thus, a weak-kneed, fool-able Republican from Arizona with a personal grudge against President Trump gave the “Progressives & Media Circus” another week to unfairly pummel a highly esteemed public servant without due process and ANY corroborating evidence.

Remember Michelle Malkin’s wise words: Don’t believe the gender. Believe the evidence.

What a national tragedy that one Arizona grudge cripples health care and another hamstrings the Supreme Court.

Make sure you deal with bitterness in your own life. It’s a worse cancer than John McCain experienced and makes a mockery of Jeff Flake who is leaving the Senate because he can’t win in his own state.

Hebrews 12:15  tells us the absolute truth:

“Guard against turning back from the grace of God. Let no one become like a bitter plant that grows up and causes many troubles with its poison” (Good News Translation).

Live a life filled with grace and forgiveness, regardless of your notoriety. Forgive and you will be forgiven (Matthew 6:14,15).

And pray for truth to prevail in the United States Senate this week.

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