Remember that one time when Donald Trump gave the most presidential speech to a joint session of Congress that any president ever gave in the whole history of ever? Yeah me neither because I didn’t watch it. But Dean Heller did, because he was there (though he was probably playing Sugar Smash on his phone and not really listening). And Heller, or more specifically people who are paid to write things and say Dean Heller said them, issued a statement afterwards, gushing about how the emotionally mal-developed con man’s “bold agenda” will “ensure America’s best days are ahead.” The speech from a malignant boor on a mission to revenge-f**k the nation “marks a fresh start for a new Administration” that is the most corrupt, dysfunctional and hateful of any in any of our lifetimes, and “begins a new chapter in American history,” Heller’s writers said Heller said.
It was something of an echo of how Heller rationalized his rubber-stamp approval of the Foreclosure King as Treasury Secretary, remember? “We can either stare at the darkness of the past or we can focus our attention forward to the future where a strong economy and job creation are placed at the top of the administration’s new pro-economic agenda.”
In other words, Heller will grasp at almost any chance to pretend that Trump is something other than intellectually, psychologically, and morally unfit to be president.
But Heller’s willingness, even eagerness, to deliberately ignore the catastrophe that is Trump is not the most egregious, nor most outlandish, nor most hilariously yet depressingly mistaken thing folded into the little statement his office issued after Trump’s Big Night.
This is: “I promise to remain Nevada’s strongest voice and always advocate on its behalf in Washington.”
Yes. As Nevada’s only Republican in the Senate, and with GOP control of both Congress and the White House, no one is institutionally or structurally better positioned to be “Nevada’s strongest voice” than Heller. But by virtue of his spinelessness and untrustworthiness, his fear of scrutiny and his constituents, his default preference for the path of least resistance (often the path of least effectiveness) and his, well, general overall Hellerness — all of that precludes him from being “Nevada’s strongest voice.” As of right now, and for what it’s worth, that description might best fit the Republican governor, not the Republican senator.
Heller is a throwback to a time when senators from Western states spent what little clout they had to protect welfare cowboys from higher grazing fees. He could be in the U.S. Senate for another 25 years, and he’d still be a backbencher. He is not now and never will be “Nevada’s strongest voice.” But since Trump was elected, he has clearly distinguished himself as Nevada’s quietest.