It takes something special to be involved in politics. The temptation is to say something about cojones, but we’ll leave that to Anthony Weiner. Rather, in Nevada, sometimes, you just have to be willing to be a bit ridiculous. The silly season is upon us again, perhaps due to the summer heat, with more than a few examples of political numbskullery popping up lately:
• Right-wing think tank The Nevada Policy Research Institute recently posted a fundraising plea on Facebook saying, “A liberal County Commissioner, Tom Collins, is attacking NPRI by calling us ‘Evil ! Very Evil !’ Help us fight back by chipping in $5 to support our ‘Very Evil !’ work.”
NPRI defines anyone to its left—or about 95 percent of the thinking world—as liberal. But Collins? What liberal shoots trees? It gets sillier: NPRI has been attacking the school district for not providing them with email addresses for teachers so that it may message them and tell them to drop their union. Perhaps NPRI is not aware that almost every teacher can be reached through school websites accessible to the public.
• Governor Brian Sandoval sent out a fund-raising letter that included the claim that he has blocked four Democratic attempts to raise taxes. Never mind that he signed two continuations of taxes that could have been sunseted—after the Nevada Supreme Court held that one of the ways he planned to raise money for the state, by taking money from Clark County, was unconstitutional. He also talks about “liberals’ attacks on the Second Amendment” and other nonsense that in Nevada usually are found only in Review-Journal editorials.
Steve Sebelius noted in his R-J column on the subject that Sandoval could easily raise money on what he really has done. It would be easy to attack Sandoval for being silly, except that Democrats are too busy cowering in fear at the thought of running against him—and that is sillier.
• Dean Heller announced on the Senate floor that he doesn’t like the Obama administration using celebrities to hawk the effects of the Affordable Care Act. “That tactic has been used before. In the 1950s and 1960s, Hollywood and some athletes were used to sell and glamorize tobacco products. Today, Hollywood and some athletes are being used to peddle the Affordable Care Act, perhaps to make up for past sins.”
Right, because there’s no difference between promoting a deadly poison and supporting a program that allows people with pre-existing conditions to get health insurance.
Oh, and if Heller wants to know who helped “sell and glamorize tobacco products,” he can go to Google Images and type in “Ronald Reagan Chesterfield.”
• On July 27, the Review-Journal’s banner headline proclaimed, “Sorting out health mandate: How much will Obamacare cost you? Individual buyers may feel sharp pain.”
It’s also possible to report that it will cost a lot of individual buyers no pain, but it’s a reminder of two things: One, most R-J headlines on the subject have been anti-Obamacare. Two, a New York Times editor generations ago said that he didn’t care who controlled the editorials as long as he controlled the front-page headlines.
The R-J’s parent company reassigned the newspaper’s longtime publisher and editor after their embarrassingly biased coverage of the 2010 Senate race between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle. But it appears the paper still has some work to do on the credibility front…though it’s pretty good at being silly.