Candidate for governor asks Democrats to party like it’s, oh, 1992

First, in the race for governor, I’d like to see some polling of a hypothetical Democratic primary between Steve Sisolak and Chris Giunchigliani.

Meantime, while we wait to see if Giunchigliani or any other viable Democrats (a category that excludes Steve Cloobeck) get in the race, there’s this, from the R-J.

As for his priorities, Sisolak said he is committed to bringing more jobs to Nevada to diversify the economy and bettering education.

Those are valid priorities. They’re also, among politicians, exceedingly common ones, to the point of banality. And when politicians and policymakers put too much rhetorical reliance on them — as indicated by naming them first when asked about priorities — that’s a warning that (as I noted the other day) they can also be a distraction.

Education and economic growth and development are fine and wonderful things. But they are not going to transform an economy that relies on an army of poorly paid employees in unstable jobs with no benefits — i.e., about a third of Nevada’s workforce. Wages and working conditions in the real economy, the one people live and work in, combine with systemic malevolence to constitute our most urgent economic crisis.

Obsession with economic diversification and education — along with their inseparable partner in rhetorical distraction, “workforce development” — are, if not forgivable, at least understandable. Since the conservative ascendancy punctuated by the elections of Thatcher and Reagan, a prevailing and rarely challenged narrative has held that the highest and best role of government is to facilitate markets and help business. Sisolak is soaking in that narrative, as evidenced by his full-throated support of, and central role in, Nevada’s approval of the largest taxpayer subsidy in NFL stadium history.

But again, the self-described “centrist” is not alone. Several Democratic lawmakers also supported the stadium. just as they supported the Tesla giveaways, film tax credits and a host of other private sector benefits at the public’s expense.

Is Sisolak preferable to presumptive Republican nominee Adam Laxalt? Yes. Of course. Obviously.

But that’s a low bar.