TL;DR: Some friends of mine spent every penny of their political capital endorsing leftist Democrats who will never, ever love them back. Un-endorse, give them the cold shoulder, but we have to draw the line somewhere.
“Stop it. Get some help.” These are the words of Michael Jordan in a PSA from the 80’s that is now a meme. I echo these words to the perpetually online Republicans who are endorsing Democrats for whatever reason.
First, I want to clarify that I have a profound and deep respect for Republican political consultant Pete Ernaut and for fellow Republican operatives, Amy Tarkanian and Elliot Malin. I also sent this article to them ahead of post-date. We live in unprecedented political times and people deserve a little leeway with their decision-making during a time of massive political realignment.
That said, I believe these and other Republicans are being played. Please stop publicly endorsing Democrats.
They will never, ever love you back.
I know it may seem that our crop of candidates this year has given you no other choice, but do NOT take the bait. There are other ways to work inside of our party to do the right thing in the face of this recent rash of bad ideas, bad policy, and bad candidates. The purpose of a political party is to provide the lowest common denominator for voters. That also means that we have to deal with… the lows. We gotta draw the line at supporting the other team. You might get points on Twitter and a mention here and there by journalists hungry to feed the anti-Trump narrative, but in the end it only hurts the other Republicans on the ballot fighting for their lives in tough races across the state.
Making an un-endorsement is fine,
but explicitly supporting Democrats crosses the line.
The millisecond you become unuseful to their well-funded, well-entrenched machine, they will discard you. And now, the Republicans, who you probably agree with 60-80% of the time, can’t trust you either. Do you really think I’m excited to vote for some of these folks like Jim Marchant who made it through the primary this year? A guy who threw in with Sidney Powell and Mike Lindell following the 2020 election and has no coherent answer as to how HE made it through a (in his estimation) fraudulent primary but Gilbert didn’t? I wake up in a cold sweat three nights a week thinking about who I will vote for in that race. I’m no huge Adam Laxalt booster either. His behavior after the 2020 election isn’t much better than Marchant’s to those of us that need our candidates talking about issues that affect real people like inflation, school choice, and individual freedoms. But we must work within the party we have, not the party we wish for.
Don’t get me wrong. Republican leaders have every right to withdraw their support for certain candidates because of allegations or serious concerns about their viability. While the outcome of “un-endorsing” our candidates is often negative (see 2016), it allows voters to be aware of issues with our people without giving them license to support the Democrat candidate.
Even publicly announcing that you are withholding donations and support for certain people on the ballot is an acceptable form of protest in this age of upheaval. But while Elliot and Amy have made it clear their endorsements are singular, the effect of their choice is not. Supporting Aaron Ford or Cisco Aguilar or Zach Conine will free up funds for those Democrats to spend their cash down ticket in races that are crucial in our fight to regain some legislative relevance in the state.
Instead, focus on the positive.
No one is saying we must ignore these problematic folks and the direction they are trying to pull the party. There is an alarming number of activists and candidates who harbor outlandish beliefs and exhibit an affinity for protectionism and strong man leaders like Brazil’s Bolsonaro and Hungary’s Orbán. This is the absolute wrong direction we should be heading. We are in a time when independent voters are sick of top-down mandates and one-size-fits-all decision-making that Democrats loved during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are begging us to put up sensible voices like Joe Lombardo, April Becker, Tina Brown, and Heidi Kasama if only for the chance to get some fresh thinking on how to fix our state and country. There are 20+ other promising candidates who desperately need your help around the state.
If you are tempted to steer voters to Democrats, re-focus on the viable candidates who are trying to win instead. See a tweet about Jim Marchant’s latest remarks? Donate to the Mark Robertson for Congress campaign. Annoyed that someone crazy got another platform to share their out-of-touch conspiracy theories? Go on a precinct walk for Tina Brown. Someone you know is wearing a shirt that equates Biden with Adolf Hitler? (We really have to stop doing this, folks.) Buy them some Lombardo “Keeping Nevada Safe” merch instead. The media are always working overtime to make sure you don’t know that for every Jim Marchant in the Republican Party, there is a Tim Scott.
Focus on the positive Republican opportunities we have, not the past. The primary is over. Voters have made the decision. It is our job to ensure that the bad Republican candidates are outnumbered by good Republican elected officials in 2023 and then ensure that those winners can help voters choose better candidates in the next round. Sure, journalists will lambast you for sacrificing the state in lieu of hyperpartisanship, but I will remind you that Twitter isn’t a real place and they won’t be happy with you until you’ve divorced yourself from every Republican since Lincoln.
Remember that the Democrats never have to do this.
It seems that no matter how beyond the pale and egregious the Democrats’ actions are, they never seem to find a reason to cut off their members. In fact, it seems, the more out-of-the-mainstream someone is, the more they are rewarded. See the recent hiring of one of the most pedantic and non-mainstream pro-Communism Twitter warriors I’ve ever encountered by the Nevada Democratic Party. Ruben Kihuen, who resigned in response to sexual misconduct allegations against him by a female campaign staff member? He’s got a wonderful job working for a healthcare company. Steven Horsford, who cheated on his wife and lives in Virginia? All signs point to his re-election as a member of Congress. The list goes on and on.
Along those same lines, Masto is no Manchin. If she or any of these Democrats were some maverick, buck-the-establishment free-thinkers I would understand the actions. Not Masto. Not Ford either. Ford’s tenure has been marked by very little if we’re honest and what little there is were things like signing Nevada on to a blatantly anti-Asian lawsuit against Harvard.
Cortez Masto votes with Biden 92.3% of the time. 92.3%! Anything you hear in the news about fighting the administration on ANYTHING is political theater. These Democrats are mainstream leftists who shuttered our schools, drained our bank accounts, and closed our businesses. The poor saps that believe anything other than that are either being easily fooled or willfully working for the other side.
After the mishandling of the pandemic and post-pandemic by Democrat leadership, I am begging people to not reward them with another term in office. Vote for who you would like in November, but don’t punish our down-ballot candidates by driving money to Democrats who have turned their backs on Nevada’s families time and time again during the pandemic and during the other foibles of the Biden administration.
As long as people like Amy and Elliot are registered Republicans, they are more than welcome to stay in the party and participate. The Douglas County Republican Party’s excommunication of Amy and Danny Tarkanian was a silly move. If there is room enough for unhelpful, unproductive, and destructive people like Joey Gilbert and Washoe County’s math-challenged Robert Beadles, there is room enough for these folks, too. We should be fighting to win as many of these disillusioned independents as possible even if that means there will be lapses in their judgment along the way.