Tucson Leftie Disgusted with Clean Elections.

Nintzel.jpg      This story by Jim Nintzel is priceless. I wonder what his position on clean elections was when it was first passed. Now that conservative Republicans are successfully using it he does not think much of the idea.

     For those of you in Maricopa County the Tucson Weekly is the Southern Arizona equivalent of the Phoenix New Times.

Thursday 9-21-06, 9:45 am


  1. Oro Valley Dad says

    They are learning now.

  2. This is a classic example of the law of unintended consequences. I believe it was Dr. Mark Osterloh, a Tucson doctor, who pushed hard for the Clean Elections law.

    I hear that Dr. Osterloh is now backing another initiative that will bribe people to vote by offering them a chance to win a million dollars in the lottery.

    Maybe in the next few years we’ll read a story about “right-wing” conservatives winning this lottery and using the winnings to elect more “right-wing” conservatives?

    Liberals still haven’t learned that when they hand conservatives a wacky liberal tool, conservatives will turn it around and beat them over the head with it.

  3. Randall Holdridge says

    Whatever else he may be, Jim Nintzel is ni “leftie”. He is petit bourgeois in every opinion he writes or utters in public, the very model of “moderate”.

    He’s wrong about clean elections, or at any event his analysis lacks depth. He thinks that “right-wing Republicans” are knocking off “moderate Republicans” because of clean elections. In fact, I’d wager that a close socio-economic study of the races he means would reveal something more profound; that people who pre-clean elections would never have been able to contend in Republican primaries now can.

    I think that comparison of a few of the SES indicators — education, income, club and church membership, hobbies and avocational interests — would prove my point conclusively. So, does Nintzel think that the democratic process is hurt by the participation as candidates in Republican races by lower SES individuls?

    You, Oro Valley Dad, will see that by this light Jim’s view is not only not “leftie”, but is in fact old-school noblesse oblige “rightie”, and of the most reactionary sort.

    Personally, I think this a very good thing happening to the Republican party, and it could be a very good thing in the legislature, too, if these new Republican voices had enough confidence to braoden their interests beyond social and sexual behavior to consider the interests of their SES peers in education, health care, justice, etc.

  4. Oro Valley Dad says


    “lower SES individuals” You must be kidding. I take it you did not attend many functions in District 26 during this campaign. I did and the last phrase I would use to describe the group is lower SES. Maybe you should stick to commenting on things of which you have some knowledge.

  5. Randall Holdridge says

    I stand by my opinion, which, as I said would have to be supported by careful analysis.

    I have no idea what you mean by LD26 functions or what you mean to be describing, but it’s clear you took personal offense rather than consider the argument I put forward, which is quite a serious one, one which no doubt PHD candidates in political science are squirreling away at right now.

    Rhetoric grad students may be doing the same thing, studying the diction, vocabulary, etc., etc., of candidate speeches, pronouncements, campaign publications; they may also be studying posts and comments on websites like this one to generalize about the political grassroots.

    Oh, but what do I know; you keep telling me I’m stupid, so I must be.

  6. Oro Valley Dad says

    I did not take personal offense. Nintzel’s article was mostly about LD 26. In that race Al Melvin knocked out Toni Hellon. I can tell you that Al is not from a lower SES than Toni and many of Al’s supporters were from a much higher SES than Hellon.

    You can talk in generalities all you want but I was being specific.

  7. Randall Holdridge says

    I think I’m getting why we’re not making contact, Oro Valley Dad.

    I’m thinking of SES in a much more textured way than you are, one born out of the context of a proto-Marxian understanding of class, such as arose out of the French Revolution and pioneering analysts of class in America and brought forward into our era by thinkers like Max Weber. (That’s why I see Nintzel’s analyses, for example as “rightist.” In the frame you’re advancing though, he’d be more like a Rockefeller Repuplican, which you see as “left”.)

    If I get your method correctly, it is somewhat more ideologically defined and anecdotally based, more “street level” if you’ll allow me the expression

    I’m not sure which context/method (probably both) was used by Kevin Phillips when he devised the Southern Strategy which won the Republicans dominance after the Goldwater debacle and Nixon’s 1968 resurrection, but I think you might agree that the strategy was based more on the subtle manipulation of class distinctions than it was on individual wealth per se.

    If you can allow that my context for thinking about this is at least respectable, then you’ll see that my original post was serious in its intent, and that the substance and tone of many of the comments on this site (for instance about Jim Click and Jim Kolbe and the old-time Republican magnates — whose sliping grip Nintzel apparently regrets, right?) would seem to confirm that it has serious implications and could possibly presage new shifts in party alignment, but more likely a gradual broadening of the interests of the “non-negotiable” conservatives such as this site primarily hosts.

    Are we communicating a little better now?

  8. Oro Valley Dad says


    I am sorry but you have me at a disadvantage. I have read your comments and have no idea what you are trying to say. Please forgive my ignorance. You might as well have been writing in Magyar.

    I missed the chapter on “proto-Marxian understanding of class” and I am not familiar with Max Weber. Is he the guy running for congress in New Mexico?

  9. Randall Holdridge says

    Sorry if I came off high-falutin’; I tried to imply that we were looking at the same thing through different lenses. It’s not that I have an advantage over you, it’s that we know different things.

    IMHO, contemporary American “non-negotiable” conservatives tend to view politics through an ideological screen, while most Democrats are inclined to see them through a policy screen. Both positions have focused interest groups circling around them, but what fundamentally separates them, all unaware, is mostly Rene Descartes (1596-1650): Descartes sought to advance the view that the only real authority is reason itself — and that all have equal access to that.

    This division of perspective has been absolutely critical since the time of the Protestant Reformation, and Protestantism proceeded out of this divide — distinctly on the left, leaving the Roman Church to ideas like hierarchical authority of the priesthood, Papal infallibility, the submission of an individual’s intellect and understanding to scripture and liturgy in an unknown language (Latin) and the dependency of each person on the sanction of Church authority. All scholarship and science and material progress was to bend its knee to this authoritative moral and physical certitude.

    Protestantism advanced a more intellectual, individualistic view of an individual’s relationship to the scriptures and to the priesthood, and to Divine Authority, and differences exploded in various sects, observances, callings, etc., and into a new tolerance of diversity — and not coincidentally, in the creation of the bourgeosie.

    These new intellectual freedoms — despite the bitter warfare that secured them — resulted in capitalism, the Enlightenment, the Pilgrim Fathers, the American and French Revolutions, the Federalist Papers, the struggle between Hamilton and Jefferson, Jacksonian populism, John Calhoun’s theories of minority consent, the Civil War, the Gilded Age, the Progressive trust-busting farmer-labor reaction, mid-20th century battles between capital and social welfare, etc., in short American political philosophy — which I happen to think is again at a turning point, unseen since the summer of 1968.

    Max Weber’s classic treatise on the American class system and its political implications, “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”, is a very shrewd book, like de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”, and it’s abundantly available. It’s not a partisan polemic; it’s the best kind of anthropolgical social science.

    Now into this arena, the “left” or “progressives”, or what you will, bring a faith in History (this is that old Hegelian concept of contrary forces resolving in synthesis, etc.), while the “right” continues to privilege “authority”, which while it’s no longer the Catholic or some divine right monarch, remains the antithesis to History.

    I don’t mean to be sermonizing or lecturing here, so I’ll leave this here, but you’ll be able to infer why I said Nintzel’s concern about clean elections is not a “leftie” position, and why I hypothesize that the appearance of the new “non-negotiable” conservatives as a consequence of clean elections could possibly lead to a widening of that movement’s concerns.

    I think I’ve made it plain enough that I believe that such a widening will occur, or this “non-negotiable” conservatism will be swamped by the tide of History.

    (Oro Valley Dad, I know you believe there are forces which will prevent this historical progress; so did Louis XV and George III and Tsar Nicholas and Hitler and (ironically) Stalin and Franco and Pinochet and Daniel Ortega; and I guess Fidel still thinks so.)

  10. Oro Valley Dad says

    Sophistry I say, sophistry with a small dose of guilt by association at the end (except have no association with any of those names.)

  11. Randall Holdridge says

    My mistake; when you claimed you lacked the knowledge and intellecutal equipment, I took it for a seemly false modesty. Sophistry, you say; I don’t think there is any political or intellectual historian across the spectrum, who would question the general construct of my presentation.

    The facts are constantly expanded and their interpretations are usefully disputed, but not by name-calling, and certainly not by idiocies such as the person elsewhere on this site who urges that Randy Graf learn temporarily to speak “Catholicese,” to achieve political advantage. What would Huss, Wycliff, Calvin, Luther, Cromwell, Milton, Winthrop, Bradford, Hutchinson, Penn, Williams, etc., etc., have thought of this surrender of principle?

    Now that, my friend, is sophistry, indeed the very apotheosis of sophistry.

    Sorry you objected to my list of those who believed their positions were by force of history intellectually and politically invioble; you didn’t think the list through, did you, or recognize is breadth from right to left? Far from suggesting guilt by association, or being directed personally at you in any way, it was an indictment of inflexibly blind anti-intellectualism across the board.

  12. Oro Valley Dad says

    Randall whatever point you are trying to make gets quickly lost in the verbosity of your argument. I don’t think Noam Chomsky is reading this blog.

    Why don’t you consider focusing your message so someone here would have the slightest idea what you are trying to say? We already got the point that you are learned and well read. Now tell us succinctly what you point is.

Leave a Reply