Here is what’s wrong with Nevada Democrats.
In a national report issued by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kids Count, Nevada ranked 48th in the well-being of children. It was at the bottom in education, 49th for economic well-being, 46th in health, and all the way up to 41st on such family and community issues as teenage birth rates and the number of children in poverty. One in four Nevada children live in poverty.
From Washington, D.C., two quotes appeared in the Las Vegas Sun. Senator Harry Reid said of debating gun control in the wake of the Aurora, Colo., massacre, “I think we should just wait for a reasonable period of time before people go around saying what we should and what we shouldn’t do.” Rep. Shelley Berkley, who hopes to join Reid in the Senate, agreed that “I just don’t think this is the time to reopen any political discussions. ... We can have a more substantive conversation when this tragedy is behind us, and right now it’s still pretty raw.”
When Gov. Brian Sandoval said Nevada shouldn’t expand Medicaid, Reid said that would be “foolish.” He’s right. But April Mastroluca, who chairs the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee, and is running against Bob Irwin for District 29 told the Review-Journal, “I don’t think it would be in our best interests to expand right now.”
That covers education, gun control and health care. But there’s another issue at play here, too.
Berkley told the Reno Gazette-Journal, “I will be coming up to Northern Nevada quite often so that people can get to know me and learn a little bit about me and develop a familiarity with me, like so many people have down in Southern Nevada.
And there is only one way to do that: They have to see you, they have to talk to you, they have to feel you and they have to touch you.”
As everybody except those in Witness Protection know, Berkley is in a tough race with Sen. Dean Heller, a Northern Nevadan to his toenails. Heller ran statewide in 1998 and 2002 for secretary of state; Berkley never has run a statewide campaign and presumably is known to many Northern Nevadans only as a force of evil because she comes from Las Vegas, which many Northern Nevadans consider the Death Star.
All of which leads to a couple of conclusions:
• Harry Truman reportedly said something like this: Give a Republican a choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, and he or she will vote for the real Republican. Nevada’s children and educational system are in the sorry shape they’re in because we have tried to do everything with minimal government spending and staff and an appalling lack of innovative thinking, putting band-aids on amputations and cutting not just fat, but muscle, bone, and major arteries. That includes medical care. Sandoval crooks his finger, and Democrats in the state seem to have rolled over and play dead. To expand that analogy, if Democrats don’t stand up and fight on those issues, then just call in the dogs, because the hunt is over.
• The Reno-Carson City metropolitan area needs to see Berkley for a little while. Then she needs to high-tail it to Southern Nevada and tell everybody that what Heller knows about Southern Nevada wouldn’t fill a thimble, and he isn’t going to do anything to help this area deal with those problems. And if he does anything, he’ll take care of his friends up north. Clark County has 72 percent of Nevada’s population. That anybody from outside Clark County, Democrat or Republican, can win a statewide election against a Southern Nevadan is a tribute to how little attention Clark County pays to the world, and Nevada Democrats need to figure that out.
That’s what’s wrong with Nevada Democrats. For now.