|A-10 Thunderbolt "Warthog"|
By Tom Walker
Martha McSally has shown flashes of courage in the past.She was the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, logging nearly 100 combat hours in her A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft, which is nicknamed the Warthog because of its resemblance to that fearsome critter.
The Warthog is a close air support aircraft designed to blow up tanks, armored vehicles and anything else that needs blowing up with weapons that include an armor-piercing 30 mm rotary cannon. You do not want to be in a tank seeing that cannon coming toward you.
The jet itself is pretty impressive, able to fly with major damage -- one of its two engines blown away, for example, Meanwhile, McSally herself was protected by a titanium steel cocoon. Perhaps the most courageous part of all this was the aircraft itself.
|U.S. Rep. Martha McSally|
But McSally distinguished herself in other ways during her military career. While stationed in Saudi Arabia, she challenged a Pentagon policy requiring servicewomen to wear Muslim garb when traveling off-base. Specifically, they were supposed to wear the abaya, a black head-to-toe robe that is perceived as a sign of subordination to men.
For eight years, McSally fought to get the policy changed, eventually with a lawsuit against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. “And I won,” as she exclaimed in political campaign commercials that in 2015 won her a seat in Congress, from Arizona’s District 2, which includes part of Tucson. Including my part of Tucson.
Unfortunately, since then McSally has elected to wear the political equivalent of the abaya, cloaking herself head-to-toe in subservient garb to follow House Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican majority in Congress. Last week, she voted in favor of the shameful healthcare bill that would take away the health insurance of some 24 million Americans while giving a tax break to the wealthy, especially billionaires like President Donald Trump.
And now that Congress is in recess, McSally has gone into hiding, refusing to take part in town hall meetings with her constituents. After all, they’re angry and might say ugly things about her. And she’d have to stand up there on a stage and take it, without a titanium steel cocoon for protection.
Alas, the Warthog Warrior has become the Cowardly Lion.
Someone, however, held a town hall last night in Tucson: U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat who represents the 7th Congressional District in Phoenix. Gallego is one of many Democrats around the country who are shaming House Republicans who backed the American Health Care Act last week but now are refusing to hold town halls to defend their votes.
McSally’s office made a meek response to Gallego’s foray into District 2, chiding him for holding a political rally outside his district “instead of spending his time serving his time serving the constituents in his own congressional district.”
Well, I’m a District 2 constituent, and I don’t think I’m being well served at all by Rep. Martha McSally. I have to say, I didn’t vote for her any of the times she ran. And I definitely won’t vote for her in 2018.
Hide in your abaya all you want, Rep. McSally. It won’t protect you from the backlash over your cowardly Trumpcare vote.