If a state that for generations has elected the socialist Ted Kennedy now rejects his handpicked successor, who but the national party and its policies can field the blame?
The biggest Democratic “leader” – and I use that term loosely – in the United States Senate is Nevada’s own Harry Reid, facing what was considered, even before this East Coast debacle, a desperate bid to retain his Senate post.
Government-run healthcare, which Reid has taken on as his personal crusade, pinning his political future (and his party’s) on its successful implementation, is floundering. His concessions to the insurance industries, pharmaceutical companies and their wealthy backers have made a mockery of the process. Trying to please everyone, he instead pleases no one.
The defeat in Massachusetts is a bell-weather event, a watershed in the Obama presidency. With a 3-1 Democrat to GOP registration advantage, with every major state office in Democratic hands and all 10 congressional seats, this defeat in the one party Democrat dominated state of Massachusetts sent a nationwide shockwave.
The smugness felt after Obama’s stunningly large margin of victory over presidential competitor John McCain was supposed to be a signal of the nation shifting to the left. The old days represented by the antiquarian McCain were now dead. The liberals were looking forward to another four-term Franklin Delano Roosevelt era with European style healthcare as their leadoff batter.
Yet, only a single year in, it’s all rapidly unraveling. The seemingly unstoppable mystique, the seductive charm, the “hope” and “change,” have morphed into despair. And Reid’s own government healthcare bill is the hemlock they are willingly slurping down.
Reid is expected to spend at least $25 million, setting a new Nevada record for a soul-selling war chest. Yet his predecessor Tom Daschle of North Dakota played the same game and lost.
But, having watched Reid for more than 30 years – actually more than 40 years – never ever underestimate his political ability. He may be badly wounded, but he has risen from the ashes of certain defeat more than once in his (politically speaking) career.
And he may have some unexpected help. The GOP is prepping up for a divisive primary, with several good candidates representing different wings of political thought set to do battle.
Sue Lowden, a former beauty queen, seems to be the choice of the party hierarchy. But, as Chairman of the GOP her abuse and outright robbery of the fair and square election of the Ron Paul delegation at the GOP convention earned her a passel of mortal enemies. The bitterness lingers, and memories are long. The election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts came largely from the independents, people not registered in either major party, and Ron Paul’s philosophy is both powerfully pervasive and popular with them.
Truth is, in hindsight, given an Obama – McCain – Paul race today, Paul’s numbers would probably shock the orthodox party hacks.
Danny Tarkanian, running on his father’s basketball coaching legacy, is a strong contender. Mark Amodei is currently not polling well, but is in fact a highly credible candidate if he can get enough dough to get some statewide (read that Clark County) recognition.
My favorite remains Sharron Angle, politically attractive to traditional “moral” conservatives and the darling of the Ron Paul wing of the Nevada Republican Party. Soft-spoken but with a voting record showing consistently conservative values, Angle could do Reid in if she can tap into the huge pool of remarkably bitter Nevadans humiliated over Reid’s embarrassing national flops.
In Nevada we have our own version of the Nelson Rockefeller wing of the GOP who would rather, Barry Goldwater-like, see their party defeated than allow a true conservative to win. If Angle wins these backstabbers will be equally if not more dangerous than the Reid weenies in her front.
But first the primary in June….
Ira Hansen is a lifelong resident of Sparks and owner of Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.