David Schweikert’s phones were deluged after his recent “demotion” by Speaker John Boehner. Caller after caller was outraged that he had stepped over the line and that we’re all going to have to pay with diminished clout for our state and no representation on the key Financial Services committee. Couldn’t he have just kept his mouth shut and toed the line, they demanded? Just kidding, of course. His phones did nearly crash but that was because of people universally expressing support and shared defiance. What else did Boehner expect? Did he really think his clumsy disciplinary efforts would make Schweikert change his ways or weaken his support at home? It’s not clear why Schweikert and his three compadres were singled out for the shabby treatment. He’s voted with leadership 93% of the time and several other GOP congressman had been at least as “renegade” in their behavior. But the whole episode says a lot more about Boehner then Schweikert. Not only is Boehner a ham-handed leader but his heart’s in the wrong place. If he really wanted to man up and fight the good fight against Obama and the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, he would treasure troops like Schweikert on his side. “Gee, Mr. President, that’s a great idea to raise taxes on job producers, increase spending and give you unlimited authority to raise the debt ceiling. The problem is, I don’t think I can get my vote folks to vote for it. You know what stubborn cusses they can be”. But that’s not Boehner’s game. Instead, he’s into preemptive capitulation and losing as gracefully as possible in the vain hope of escaping future blame for this economic catastrophe – in – waiting. That’s why Schweikert and the others are such irritants and have to be dealt with severely, as an example to others who might be thinking of not going along. Keep it up, Dave. In fact, pour it on. Your folks have got your back.
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Bio: Patterson is the volunteer chairman of the Goldwater Institute and past chairman of the Arizona Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
He has served on several community boards, including Goodwill of Central Arizona, Diamondbacks Foundation and Hospice of the Valley.
He is the state chairman for Americans for Tax Reform. Previously, he served as the President of the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council (public sector chair). He was the minority leader (91-92) and majority leader (93-96) of the Arizona Senate.
He is a registered Republican but not politically active. In addition, he was the organizer and lead tenor of the original Arizona Singing Senators.