Presidential historian: Martha McSally’s unhinged outburst proves GOP has become a ‘monarchist party’ and ‘cult of personality’
U.S. Congresswoman Martha McSally speaking with supporters at the 2018 election eve rally hosted by the Arizona Republican Party at the Yavapai County Courthouse in Prescott, Arizona. (Gage Skidmore)

Presidential historian Jon Meacham is known for looking at the big picture, and he did exactly that on Tuesday during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when he analyzed Arizona Sen. Martha McSally’s recent outburst at CNN reporter Manu Raju.


Last week, Raju asked McSally if she wanted new evidence to be included in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. And the Arizona Republican angrily responded, “You’re a liberal hack. I’m not talking to you. You’re a liberal hack.”

According to Meacham, McSally’s outburst wasn’t an anomaly or an isolated incident but rather, was designed to express her unwavering devotion to Trump. Such behavior on McSally’s part, Meacham told hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, is characteristic of a “monarchist party” and a “cult of personality.

“The forces of isolationism and nativism,” Meacham explained, have been a part of U.S. history for centuries — and those forces are “always going to be with us.” But in the Trump era, according to Meacham, they are more prominent. And McSally, Meacham stressed, is pandering to an us-versus-them mentality when she attacks a CNN reporter for asking a question that wasn’t out of line in any way.

“If you don’t want testimony, it’s because you don’t want to hear what they’re going to say,” Meacham asserted.

McSally, who lost to Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in the 2018 midterms but was later appointed to the U.S. Senate seat in Arizona formerly held by the late Sen. John McCain, is up for reelection in 2020 and has been narrowly trailing former astronaut and U.S. Navy captain Mark Kelly (the likely Democratic nominee) in various polls.

Scarborough was highly critical of McSally’s attack on Raju, telling Meacham and Brzezinski that it shows how Republicans are “so removed from the reality of their times.”