They’ve yet to literally sympathize with Nazis on TV, as their president has done. But Nevada Republicans are obviously impressed by the default Trumpist strategy of deliberately pitting Americans against each other by whatever means are at hand, no matter how corrosive and despicable.
And so, upon consideration of the most pressing challenges and urgent priorities facing working Nevadans, and after pondering how to convince voters that the GOP has the policy prescriptions to best address those priorities, Nevada Republicans decided ah screw it let’s just go with anger and hate.
I guess they’ve figured that’s the best they’ve got.
Let’s suppose the nefarious plot to recall three Democratic state senators is wildly successful and effectively gives Republicans a pilfered senate majority in the 2019 legislature. Let’s further suppose the governor in 2019 is Trump kindred spirit Adam Laxalt. Democrats would still control the assembly. Situational principles and their historical willingness to cave notwithstanding, elected Democrats presumably still could be counted on to block much if not most of what would surely be an industry-coddling, worker-punishing GOP frenzy of privatization, minority voter suppression, education and social service dismantlement, and white identity culture war.
For what it’s worth, I’m guessing the recalls are too much of a batshit radical political tactic for most voters to swallow, even if Democratic turnout when the presidency isn’t on the ballot is as low as Republicans obviously hope and expect. But that’s just a guess.
In the meantime, the more trenchant matter is the calculation driving the GOP’s craven shenans.
Through an email from his political industry consultants at November, Inc., Republican senate leader Michael Roberson gave full-throated support to the recall scam. Roberson, whose hyperbole knob has been dialed to 11 ever since losing a GOP primary to Danny Tarkanian last year, said the recalls were necessary due to the “breathtaking pro-felon and anti-business priorities” of Democrats during the 2017 session.
More likely, the recalls aren’t being driven by Democratic priorities, “pro-felon” or otherwise, but by Roberson’s. And no Roberson priority — with the exception of what’s good for Roberson — is more urgent than stoking irrational white fright of sanctuary cities.
Education, public transportation, health care, a justice system that preys on the underprivileged, wages, working conditions and income inequality … Nevada has many urgent priorities. A constitutional amendment banning sanctuary cities isn’t one of them. (Please see UNLV law professor Michael Kagan’s piece on the sanctuary city “phantom menace,” it’s a must-read). But preventing sanctuary cities is the one cause that Roberson is spearheading, and for which he chairs a political action committee.
And while Roberson and other recall backers have been less than specific — if they’ve spoken at all — when making a case for recalls, this is what potential recall petition signers are being told, as reported by the Indy:
Henderson resident Cathy Kama, who is not a registered Democrat and identifies as nonpartisan, said that a signature-gatherer who knocked on her door Thursday afternoon cited the reason (Sen. Joyce) Woodhouse was being recalled as a “sanctuary city” bill that the Democratic senator supported and that he appeared to frame the recall as if Woodhouse had gone back on a promise to voters.
The recall effort is at the heart of the Nevada Republican state-level agenda going into the 2018 cycle. And there is reason to believe that at the heart of the recall effort is a deliberate strategy to whip up white rage and paranoia over an imaginary threat.
Trump would heartily approve.
By the way, Laxalt, the rising (shooting?) star and Adelson toady to whom Roberson has attached the whispy traces of his once-rising political trajectory, filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of Nevada — on behalf of you — in his capacity as attorney general, in support of letting the Trump administration kill California’s sanctuary cities law (Republicans love “states’ rights,” except when they don’t). There is every reason to expect that yelling “boo!” at white people over sanctuary cities will be at or very near the center of Laxalt’s gubernatorial campaign.
Anyone in either party who has paid any attention to the recall sham knows it’s all about politics and has nothing to do with policy. There is nothing new about politicians ignoring things that actually matter if they believe some bullshit non-issue has more legs.
But the current president of the United States has to be dragged and nudged into grudgingly admitting that um, OK, Nazis are bad, probably, but maybe not all of them, etc. And he’s proven himself incapable of saying Nazis are bad without also going out of his way to coo sweet nothings to his fellow Nazi sympathizers, while at the same time nurturing white America’s casual sense of entitlement and, yes, supremacy.
You’d think that the Trump example might instill some heightened responsibility and caution among Nevada Republicans — that they would want nothing to do with exploiting white rage, resentment and racism for political gain. Instead, they’re taking the Trump example and running with (on) it. Not only fetishizing the contrived threat of sanctuary cities — of “the other” — but making it a cornerstone of their agenda, their identity — their point — Nevada Republicans are consciously echoing the divisive and disgusting tactics so beloved by their divisive and disgusting president.