“I think the people from Alaska will never forgive her for what she did.” The preceding was President Trump’s take on Murkowski’s “no” vote for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. I think our Groper in Chief might have actually hit on something here, something other than a porn star. According to an ADN article written by Associated Press reporter Becky Bohrer; Alaska’s GOP leadership is deciding what sort of response is appropriate. Party chairman Tuckerman Babcock says the committee is weighing all possibilities from issuing a statement to withdrawing support for the Senator and asking her to not run as a Republican in 2022. Babcock went on to say the party had, in the past, taken the more extreme option with state legislators, who chose to cooperate with (ugh) Democrats. That sort of thing leads to legislating rather than the scorched earth politics we now enjoy. The 2016 primary where Babcock and the party actively participated in the ouster of moderate Jim Colver and replaced him with the more partisan (manageable) George Rauscher comes to mind.
There you have it Senator Murkowski. You will march in step in nice even rows and columns. You will do what you are told with eyes fixed firmly on the party agenda, glancing away only long enough to check your playbook. You will not vary from your assigned course or there will be consequences. Who do you think you are? An independent member of a representative democracy!?
Our half time ex-governor has also tweeted on this issue. On Friday Sarah Palin chirped: “Hey @LisaMurkowski — I can see 2022 from my house…” Let’s think about Senator Sarah Palin for a second. She should help bridge the divisions in that broken legislative body. I’m sure she’s just the ticket for Babcock and his merry band of vandals. Then there’s always Joe Miller. Fourth times a charm, eh Joe.
So it seems the party leadership is not happy with Murkowski. Actually that’s to be expected. Even in less partisan times, Murkowski’s break from the party agenda would raise a few eyebrows. What’s different here is the rigid, idealogical conformity demanded by an increasingly zealous leadership, complete with the threat of political shunning.
As for the people of Alaska, that may be a different story. Unlike the President, I won’t presume to speak for my fellow Alaskans. I will, however, remind President Trump that Alaskans tend to think for themselves. In fact, more than half the voters up here, 55.25%, are registered as Independent. Only about a quarter are self-confessed Republicans. While voters here do tend to tilt red, there is a strong Libertarian slant to that leaning. They tend to chafe at the reins of party dictates and aren’t shy about letting you know. That being said, there are probably quite a few voters that aren’t thrilled about Murkowski’s decision. On the other hand (You knew there would be an “other hand”. I am a liberal after all) there are undoubtedly a number of voters who will vote for Murkowski precisely because of her stand.
There is something else you may not be considering Mr. President. With Kavanaugh now sitting on the Supreme Court, there will almost certainly be a challenge to Roe v Wade coming to the court. If that decision should be overturned, and women lose the right to choose, it will put Alaska in a difficult position. I’m not sure you’re aware of this Mr President, but we are kind of isolated up here. I know reading is not your thing, but you don’t really have to read this. You just have to look at a map. It’s pictures Mr. President. Don’t be scared.
So if abortion rights are thrown back to the states, and if our Republican legislature, George Rauscher et all, should severely restrict the right to choose, that would make things very difficult for Alaska’s women. We are literally thousands of miles from the nearest state. It’s not like we can just get in the car and go.
If that were to happen before the 2022 election; the independent, self-reliant, “you’re not the boss of me”, proclivities of the Alaskan voter would be all over this. That coupled with Kavanaugh’s position on native rights, and his belief that the President can’t, or shouldn’t, be subject to not only civil but criminal indictment or investigation. This is position that puts the President outside the reach of the law. And his proclamation that he would essentially get even with perceived political enemies. These are the issues that got Murkowski’s attention. These are the issues that made her vote the way she did, and these are the issues Alaska voters are aware of.
So don’t be too quick to judge the mood of Alaska President Trump. You don’t know us. You don’t know the state, you don’t know the people, and you don’t know what you’re talking about.