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Editor’s Thought Bubble: This is hardly the time for this discussion

By: - January 26, 2021 9:04 am

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Winter in Arizona should have shattered any sense of complacency we had about COVID: Cases, hospitalizations and deaths quickly accelerated in November, far surpassed the earlier summer peak in December and continued unabated into January. But none of that seems to make a damn bit of difference for many of our Republican leaders, who seem content to act like the prospect of a deadly pandemic is more of a nuisance that provides an opportunity for political grandstanding than a public health crisis that will define their legacies.

Beginning in the spring, a group of GOP lawmakers who chafed at Ducey’s executive orders limiting restaurants and bars began making noise about overturning his emergency declaration. For many of them, the objection was issued more in COVID-denialism than in a purely philosophical disagreement with how Ducey was governing.

Those arguments failed in the moment, and the fact that lawmakers are continuing them now — amid the absolute worst we’ve seen in this pandemic — is frightening. On Monday, a Senate committee passed a measure that would end Ducey’s emergency declaration so that the GOP-led legislature can force him to cater to their whims.

Ducey’s leadership in managing this pandemic has left so much to be desired, with more than 700,000 Arizonans having fallen ill and more than 12,000 dead. And I can’t imagine how much worse it would be if there were 47 more Republican legislative chefs in the kitchen.

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Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications, the Yellow Sheet Report and Arizona Legislative Report. Under his guidance, the Capitol Times won numerous state, regional and national awards for its accountability journalism and probing investigations into state government operations.