Jesse Kelly

At this point, the last man standing in Arizona’s eighth congressional district is a loser named Jesse Kelly. His victorious opponent, three term congresswoman and astronaut’s wife Gabby Giffords is in critical condition in a Tucson hospital. Like me, Jesse is a US government trained killer. Unlike me, he’s unconscionably proud of it. I hope the FBI is taking a close look at Jesse and his tea party combat seminars as they try to unravel the circumstances leading up to the assassination of U.S. District Judge John Roll, the mass murder of five bystanders and the mortal attack on the congresswoman. Here’s what Doug McEachern wrote about Jesse in the Arizona Republic a few months ago… (emphases added)

The Angriest Successful Primary Candidate I Ever Met is the GOP nominee.

Just as Democratic Congresswoman Gabby Giffords hoped, Jesse Kelly beat former state Sen. Jonathan Paton, the heavy favorite in the GOP primary.

I met Kelly in an Editorial Board meeting. Honorable fellow: war veteran, like all the district’s GOP candidates. Indeed, he was a Marine combat platoon leader, the most dangerous job on earth. He is an honest conservative. And a really, really angry guy.

When asked about priorities, he gave an answer that, while perfectly suitable for a former Marine officer, it seemed a bit over the top for a prospective member of Congress: “We’ve got to kill all members of radical Islam.”

And, when asked if he could work with Democrats in Congress: “I hope there’s no Democrats left in Congress when I get there.”

Look, I like shock theater, too. And I’ve been known to be a bit edgy at times. But Kelly is that rare conservative who takes politics so personally that he has morphed into his worst enemy. Like far-left liberals, he doesn’t believe his political opponents are merely wrong; they’re evil: “I think liberals are destroying the nation. We had better go fight them in Washington before they destroy our children’s future.”

No wonder Giffords is smiling these days. Kelly dissed candidates endorsed by Sarah Palin as people “who will sell our principles down the river.”

Kelly is such a loser that he was only able to take second (“worser”) place on Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World.” Of course it should be mentioned that Olbermann was suspended the day after this broadcast because he contributed to Congresswoman Giffords’ campaign. Ahh, ethics…

The Arizona Massacre

In February, when U.S. District Judge John Roll presided over a $32 million civil-rights lawsuit filed by illegal immigrants against an Arizona rancher, the Marshals Service was anticipating the fallout.

When Roll ruled the case could go forward, Gonzales said talk-radio shows cranked up the controversy and spurred audiences into making threats.

In one afternoon, Roll logged more than 200 phone calls. Callers threatened the judge and his family. They posted personal information about Roll online.

“They said, ‘We should kill him. He should be dead,’ ” Gonzales said.
Arizona Republic, July 7, 2024

It’s easy to look for someone to blame. A Federal Judge, a nine year old child and at least four others are dead. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords lies gravely wounded in critical condition in an intensive care unit. More casualties have been reported. The shooter, Jared Loughner, is in custody.

What set him off? It’s glib to blame Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin or any of the shock jocks that routinely clamor for liberal blood. It’s tempting to pick a favorite story line and grind that ax. What if Judge Roll was the target, and Loughner worked for parties who had lost cases in his court room? What if Gabby Giffords, a NARAL supporter, was the target, Judge Roll and the others simply collateral damage? What if Loughner was simply batshit crazy and went out gunning for politicians this sunny Saturday morning? If somebody gave this gold standard mook a bag of bullion, loaded him up and set him loose, what are the odds that we’ll ever know anything about the back story?

Jesse Kelly, a wholesome anti-abortion tea-partying right-wing Christian whack job, Giffords’ Republican opponent in the last election, had scheduled some kind of never-say-die loser-fete for January 15. My guess was it was the kick-off fund-raiser for his 2024 campaign. Seems to have been cancelled at this point. I emailed him this morning regarding his intentions given today’s tragedy, and while I haven’t received a reply, the web page has been edited and all mention of the “exciting announcement” (except the URL) has been redacted.