As if so often the case when it comes to Republicans, when they’re behind in the polls, they try to accuse their opponent of being less patriotic or inferior when it comes to how much they love their country.
That pattern was on full display Monday night during a debate between Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who are running to replace Jeff Flake in the United States Senate.
McSally accused Sinema of being guilty of “treason” because she dared to oppose the 2003 Iraq war. At the time, Sinema, who was an anti-war activist, was asked whether or not she would oppose someone joining Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. To the query, Sinema replied:
“I don’t care if you want to do that, go ahead.”
In response, McSally said Monday evening:
Rather than get flustered or respond in kind, Sinema calmly noted that McSally had “chosen to run a campaign like the one you’re seeing right now” and was engaged in “ridiculous attacks and smearing my campaign.”
But McSally’s comments raise a much larger issue: Is it treason to oppose a war you feel is unjust and uncalled for? After all, we now know the Iraq war launched by then-President George Bush was based on incorrect intelligence and outright lies by members of the administration, including Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and other top officials who warned of that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, including chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. No such weapons were ever found in Iraq.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who served in Iraq, defended Sinema for her 2003 remarks:
It was not treasonous to be against the Iraq War. I wish more politicians had listened to people like Kyrsten. We would have avoided needless deaths and the ensuing chaos that came. #AZSenDebate
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) October 16, 2018
It should be noted that President Donald Trump supports Rep. McSally, which is odd since he’s repeatedly said how opposed he also was to the second Iraq war. How exactly will he square this circle he finds himself in with the GOP Senate candidate in Arizona.
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