In 2010, in the heat of the Tea Party wave that swept such world-class geniuses as Rand Paul and Alan West into Washington, there were a few politicians who were just too extreme or too mentally incompetent to win election. One of those, running against Gabrielle Giffords, here in southeastern Arizona, was a guy named Jesse Kelly.
Now, I would never say that Jesse Kelly is too dumb to hold political office. The Texas Governor's mansion has some incredibly low intellectual standards, for instance. But Jesse Kelly is, by far, the dumbest politician I've ever seen open his mouth in person.
If he ever had a chance of winning national office, that Tea Party wave was it. But Jesse couldn't cut it, even then. Now that Gabby is leaving Congress to focus on her recovery, he has announced his intention to run again.
For those not "fortunate" enough to have seen Jesse in action, I can only give you some examples, and maybe a metaphor or two. Jesse's intellectual role model is Moose, from the Archie comics--and I don't mean if Moose was a real guy. I mean some lines and blobs of color on a piece of paper.
I saw Jesse in a debate with Gabrielle Giffords, though "debate" isn't really the right word for an event at which one person was talking about the real world and one about a world that never existed outside his imagination. On the stage of a public high school in a military town, Jesse delivered his best zinger--and you could see how proud he was of getting the words in the right order: "The government has never created a single job!"
Now, this was in a city called Sierra Vista, home to Fort Huachuca. Fifteen thousand people iin this city of 50-60,000 are employed directly by the fort. Those who aren't are largely employed by the various local and state schools, county government, or Border Patrol, or they're employed in industries that serve those government employees. 99% of the households in the city contain someone in them who works for the government directly or indirectly, and of the other 1%, the households on each side of them do.
And Jesse himself has never, as an adult, collected a paycheck that didn't come from the government. He was a US Marine (and an Iraq War vet, and I salute his government-employed service there), and then he came home and went to work for the family business, which is a construction company that builds and repairs sewer lines. You know who buys sewer lines, don't you? Jesse doesn't.
But he's not just stupid, he's also hateful. Jesse warned us, as election day neared, that the Democrats were planning to bus people in from Mexico to vote. Now, where he got that idea, nobody knows, because the Democrats certainly hadn't thought of it. In fact, it would be impossible for a Mexican to just walk up to a polling place and vote, and even more impossible for him to step off a bus of other Mexicans and vote. Now, it is possible that Jesse was too stupid to understand the realities, but it's more likely that he just wanted to stir up distrust of any American citizens of Hispanic descent (of whom there are many in southern Arizona) who might have showed up at the polls.
So Jesse is barely intellectually capable of tying a shoe, but he's going to run for Congress again. In a year that definitely will NOT see a Tea Party wave. That might just be his worst decision yet.
In the meantime, Gabby and her friend, Republican congressman Jeff Flake, have just introduced what will be Gabby's final bill, to increase penalties on drug smugglers who use small aircraft to bring drugs across the border. Like the one that dropped a load on the property next to mine, a couple of years ago. Because Gabby and Mr. Flake know what kinds of vehicles bring what kinds of objects across borders--unlike Mr. Kelly.
If you know Jesse, tell him to give up his pipe dream and stay home. His moment came, he wasn't up to it, and he lost. Going out in public again will only embarrass the teachers who allowed him to pass second grade.