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Rather Reid than Angle
by Jake Highton
Oct 16, 2010 | 836 views | 2 2 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In politics you often vote against someone rather than for someone. So it is with the Reid-Angle matchup Nov. 2 for U.S. senator from Nevada.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is weak.

He tolerates the filibuster that repeatedly defeats progressive legislation. He does nothing to rid the Senate of its dreadful “hold” whereby just one senator can stymie good appointments.

He panders to the anti-Muslim voter. He is dullness personified. In debate he stumbles and fumbles like Presidents Reagan and Bush II.

But Sharron Angle is so appalling that even a sensible Republican cannot in good conscience vote for her.

She is an ignorant Teabagger who says that Dearborn, Mich., home of many American-Muslims, is governed by Islamc law (Sharia). It is not.

She is horrified by a specter of government taking over health care, which is already one of the worst in the Western world. Angle wants to cut taxes—except for the rich.

She wants to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency and the Education Department. She opposes Title IX, which has tremendously increased the number of high school girls and college women in sports. She decries entitlement programs that “make government our God.”

“We have become a country entrenched in ideology, an ideology of dependence on government,” Angle says.

She laments that the jobless are spoiled, making more money on unemployment than they would working.

She says it might be a good idea to phase out Social Security and Medicare. If the GOP fails to recapture Congress next month, why, there are “Second Amendment remedies.”

An überfundamentalist Christian, Angle sees God’s will in everything. Rape-caused teenage pregnancy? God’s plan. Same-sex child adoptions? Ungodly.

Like so many Republican anti-abortionists, Angle couldn’t care less about human needs after babies are born.

And, oh my, she says wives should stay home with the children. Let their husbands earn the money because that “is the acceptable thing to do,” she declares.

Angle is so “far out” she calls Reid a left-winger who advances President Obama’s “anti-freedom agenda.” She sees Obama and the Democratic Party as socialists.

An old saying in sports is: “I’d rather be lucky than good.” Reid is lucky to have such an archreactionary opponent.

Since Reid holds a powerful national position it would be criminal if voters banished him. In backward Nevada, however, such an outcome is possible despite its unlikelihood.

Two cheers for Rory

Rory Reid, son of Harry, is no great shakes as a candidate for governor. But at least he is a Democrat. His rival, Brian Sandoval, is a Republican.

With rare exceptions Democrats are better than Republicans: far more understanding of how most people live. Besides, the election of Reid would give the state Jessica Sferrazza as lieutenant governor. She’s an unabashed liberal.

Dean Heller — alas

Democrat Nancy Price is far better qualified than Republican Rep. Dean Heller to represent Nevada’s Second District in Congress. But in northern Nevada Jesus Christ couldn’t beat Heller.

His seat used to be held by the dim-witted Jim Gibbons, which says everything about northern Nevada’s regressive politics.

Appoint judges

Ballot Question 1 would restore some sanity to Nevada politics if voters approve the appointment of judges rather the foolish business of electing them.

That sounds terribly undemocratic. But nine out of 10 voters know nothing about candidates for judgeships. They cannot make an informed judgment.

Voters don’t need to be told who to vote for in high visibility races such as for the presidency. But the public gets almost no press discussion of the merits of judicial candidates.

If voters do reach the bottom of the ballot, where judicial candidates are “hidden,” they might say: “Oh, that’s a good Irish name, I’ll vote vote for him.” Or: “That’s a woman, I’ll vote for her.”

Identity politics is poor politics, which is why no woman should vote for Angle.

Judicial candidates also get huge infusions of money. It’s justice for sale. Kris Pickering, Nevada Supreme Court justice, spent $1.3 million in a 2008 race, about a third of it of her own money.

First, it’s an obscene amount. Second, it demonstrates how baleful money is as “the mother’s milk of politics.” Third, it undercuts judicial independence. Fourth, it is unseemly.

Nevada judicial appointment is a variation of the Missouri Plan that has been so successful for 70 years. It was instituted because of the baneful influence of political boss Tom Pendergast of Kansas City, Mo. 

Twice the Nevada Legislature has approved judicial appointment. But it is not law until voters say yes. They should say yes.

Jake Highton teaches journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. Contact him at
Comments-icon Post a Comment
October 19, 2010
For any newspaper to endorse any candidate is ridiculous. How did this all start? I know it has been going on for years but what happened to unbiased reporting? Does every single newspaper get bought off by candidates every election? What a joke.
October 19, 2010
Nevada deserves Angle; if she is elected Nevada will merely be voting their true conscience.
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