Maybe our governor needs a refresher in high school civics

President Donald Trump and Gov. Doug Ducey at a White House meeting on June 13, 2019, where Ducey talked about the state's occupational licensing recognition law. Screenshot via YouTube

The very first bill that Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law, less than two weeks after taking the oath of office, requires Arizona students pass a civics test before they can graduate from high school. 

“How can we expect (young Arizonans) to protect the principles on which this country was founded, if we are not preparing them for that task right now?” he said in that speech.

After his flippant dismissal this week of the scandal that has engulfed the Trump administration and kicked off an impeachment inquiry, perhaps he needs a refresher civics class.

Ducey on Wednesday waved away the steps being taken to impeach President Donald Trump for withholding military aid from Ukraine unless that country dug up information on his political enemies – and then covering it up. 

My compatriot at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, John L. Micek, nicely summed up just how flagrant an abuse of power this is:

(T)here is something so singularly offensive about Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, his utterly transparent request for help in digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and son Hunter — not to mention Trump’s offer to detail Attorney General William Barr to that effort — that every previous assault on our Democratic norms by the narcissistic 45th chief executive just looks like an amateur hour performance in comparison.

But Ducey can’t be bothered with thinking about such things. Nor can he imagine why Congress would want to.

For our governor, the constitutional check against an abusive executive is “not what (lawmakers) were elected to do.”

“People were elected to actually do the people’s business, and they’re falling short of that responsibility in Washington,” he told reporters after a public appearance Wednesday, per The Arizona Republic

In this extraordinary moment, some 32 months into an extraordinary presidency that has been defined by behavior that has tested – and seeks to destroy – the very guardrails established by the Constitution, Ducey sees nothing out of the ordinary.

This impeachment inquiry, you see, is “typical congressional behavior.” 

The most troubling thing about this week’s news to Ducey is that now Congress is distracted from the Important WorkTM of “getting stuff done.”

By contrast, the Republlican governors of Massachusetts and Vermont have publicly supported the impeachment inquiry. 

“Congress has a solemn responsibility to every American to fulfill its role in our government system of checks and balances,” said Vermont Gov. Phil Scott.

And Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said the week’s revelations are “a deeply disturbing situation and circumstance and I think the proper role and responsibility for Congress at this point is to investigate it and get to the bottom of it.”

Of course, Baker and Scott haven’t tied their fates to Trump like Ducey has. After spending the first two years of Trump’s presidency doing everything possible to avoid being linked to the standard-bearer of the GOP – he had to win re-election in 2018, after all – Ducey has spent much of 2019 aligned with our narcissist-in-chief.

Our business maven governor supported Trump’s threat to close down the U.S. Mexico border  and he stood with Trump’s call to implement tariffs on Mexico, our largest trading partner.

And who can forget the Trumpian govern-by-tweet episode in July when Ducey threw in with the own-the-libs crowd and torched a package of tax give-aways to Nike because he didn’t like their decision to not sell a shoe featuring an American flag.

It’s not surprising that Ducey wants to once again distance himself from Trump. I’m sure he’d like to return to the time when he could call Trump a diversion. But when the nation’s founding principles are at the core of a political scandal involving a president he’s so suddenly and publicly embraced, he doesn’t have that luxury.


  1. Excellent thoughts and commentary, Jim. I too wondered what the hell Ducey was talking about when he says that it is not a legislative duty to investigate abuses by the executive branch. I guess it is a good thing for him that the AZ legislature is overloaded with his GOP buddies, which means that he won’t have to worry about an investigation.

  2. Maybe you need a refresher course in journalism since you are now censoring comments you disagree with. Doesn’t look like you are keeping the faith with your high falootin Birthday statements.

    • Every comment is manually reviewed before it is posted. Someone isn’t checking for comments 24 hours a day. No one in censoring you, you’re not being persecuted, we’re just doing other things.

  3. Thank you for writing this. The point of politics is power, and we have to look at the end result. For the GOP, it seems, the point is not programs that benefit anybody except the 1 percent. The downside of this, of course, is failed trade policies and catastrophic international relations, a growing federal debt and crippling financial repercussions that will impact the American people for years. Trump’s minions guide is supporters down a path that will have impact for years, but the rich folk will still be able to check their stock prices from the yachts. All we can hope, finally, is the people realize these people are not on our side.

  4. Asserting that RINOs are Republicans is insulting to those who support the Republican Party Platform. Also, I recognize that your biased perspective requires you to overlook facts in lieu of fabricated assertions, but investigating framed charges – that have now been debunked – is a long way from impeaching a President.

  5. Debunked!! Are you blind phil!! Really!! The republican party needs to remember what happened in the 2018 election when we the people voted the proper balance of power to DC to be there for this exact purpose. We dont trust chief, so we elected the house of reps to a democratic majority just in case. There is an implied power from “do a favor”. Coming from our chief that no other leader in the free world has. Like the best bully around trump reminds his victim how much they get. Then he reminds victim of the possible threats. Then skates the law with wording that skates the edge of proof with just enough implied inference to what he really wants. Then jokes about others who suffered the fate of not remaining loyal to his agenda. His manipulation goes even deeper by playing around with the “promised gift, for favors” to ensure his implication came throw loud and clear. Then why did they move the transcript to hide it. Then not release the word for word transcript? But a close to edited version? He knows the play with words to manipulate a direct statement to implied inference. Thats what is so scary about this guy. He has been using the same bully, manipulative and implied inference for years!! Then if the victim doesnt seem to get it. He sends in his most loyal lawyers whom he has enough dirt on. they make sure the implied inference got through. Thats the role of his lawyers so he can hide behind client lawyer privilege to avoid telling the truth. As President this man has been given even more power to imply demands more clearly and hide behind executive privilege. If he has perfectly innocent motives then he would not use privilege the way he does. Let the democratic process proceed and the balance of power our founders hoped for reveal the truth. The Muller report couldn’t prove criminal behavior. But it did question the motives clearly about this president. We haven’t forgotten how incriminating that whole scandal is. If he’s so fantastic and honest then release the hidden recording of call. Or is he using Nixons playbook to avoid exposer. We might have to wait fifty years to learn the truth.


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