History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. — Karl Marx
Nobody seems to be admitting to voting for Diane Douglas as Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction. But of the 36.42 percent of registered voters who cast a ballot, a majority backed Douglas over her opponent, David Garcia. Douglas had no experience beyond a controversial stint on the Peoria school board. Garcia is a professor of education, former teacher and Army veteran.
But there you have it.
Garcia, nationally respected, ran on a solid platform of improving Arizona schools, which consistently rank at or near the bottom nationally. Douglas, rhetorically challenged, ran against what she saw as the evils of Common Core, which particularly resonates with white suburbia.
It surely helped Douglas that Garcia had a Hispanic surname. It helped her most of all that she had an R attached to her name. For the majority of state voters, no matter the self-identified "independents," are Yellow Dog Republicans. In other words, you could run a yellow dog as a Republican and they would vote for it over the most qualified Democrat.
I write all this as prologue for the latest, but far from last, Douglas stepping-in-it event. She fired two state Board of Education staff members for the Thought Crime of being allegedly "liberal." My doubt about that was confirmed when the governor, wealthy Republican Douglas A. Roscoe Jr. aka "Doug Ducey," reinstated the pair.
You can read the hilarity here, as well as her clumsy climb-down. But what did voters expect?