Most states have a certain personality to them. California is the free-wheeling, progressive, hippie-infested home of Hollywood celebrities. New Hampshire is where the independent, liberty-loving spirit of our nation originated. Florida is where old people go to die. Texas is the last refuge of the cowboy. Utah is full of Mormons, Michigan is full of militias and nobody lives in Montana or North Dakota.
Our very own state of Washington has carved itself a nice stereotype as the home of coffee-drinking, socks-and-sandal wearing, perpetually drenched from rainfall people — although that stereotype does not fit the Palouse very well.
Arizona is now creating an interesting self-image that threatens to upset Texas’ claim on the swaggering cowboy mentality.
Arizona has declared war on President Barack Obama.
Arizona has become the anti-Obama state, and in doing so has put itself into a state of denial — pun intended.
Obama visited Arizona last week, where he was met on the airport tarmac by Gov. Jan Brewer. The two were caught on camera arguing, with Brewer pointing her finger at the president in an accusatory manner.
The two have admitted they got into a debate regarding Brewer’s book, “Scorpions for Breakfast,” in which the governor defends Arizona’s controversial immigration law. The same law being challenged in federal courts and that Obama has personally spoken against.
While not as exciting as the “Rumble in the Jungle” or the “Thrill’a in Manilla,” the “Dust-Up in the Desert” is just the latest in the battle about Arizona’s immigration law, which gives police the right to engage in racial profiling. But the Obama versus Arizona fight goes deeper than the differences between two political executives.
When Obama gave a commencement address at Arizona State University in 2009, the university refused to grant the president an honorary degree. Such an honor is commonplace for commencement speakers at most American universities, but ASU decided to forgo the tradition in Obama’s case.
“His body of work is yet to come,” ASU spokeswoman Sharon Keeler said, according to The Huffington Post.
This despite the fact that Obama, at the time, had been a U.S. senator, the first black president, wrote two best-selling novels and taught constitutional law.
The list of people ASU has awarded an honorary degree upon is not that impressive. In fact, there are no presidents anywhere on the list.
Barry Goldwater received an honorary degree from ASU in 1961, three years before his unsuccessful bid for president. He lost to a guy who abused his pet beagle and turned the Vietnam War into a hopeless mess, Lyndon B. Johnson.
Another salvo fired in the war involved a case of ill-advised social networking that came to the attention of U.S. Secret Service last week. NBC News and The New York Times reported Facebook photos were posted on two profiles depicting a group of young men holding up a bullet-ridden t-shirt with Obama’s face and holding assault rifles. The profiles belonged to two Arizona natives, one a Peoria police officer.
This is much worse than posting photos of yourself holding a plastic red cup with a glazed look in your eyes. Those might get you in trouble with your employers and your kindly old aunt, who you foolishly accepted a friend request from, but they will not attract the attention of the U.S. Secret Service.
Arizona is testing the president, challenging him. I am sure of it. The state’s citizens want to see just how far they can push Obama before he snaps. The tarmac incident with Brewer gave us a glimpse of what might happen.
What Arizona seems to have forgotten is Obama is no pushover. He is the leader of the free world. He killed Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi, which is only a slight exaggeration. He managed to sneak into the country from Kenya and convince enough people that he was not a Muslim in order to win the presidency.
Did I mention his presidential opponent was a Vietnam veteran? Obama, despite having the middle name “Hussein,” defeated all-American John McCain, who endured torture during his service to his country.
Obama is a master political technician. He will shake-off Arizona like a bad habit, just like he did with Donald Trump and the birthers.
Arizona has picked the wrong president to mess with. I almost feel pity for Arizona. Almost.