(Mark Noonan) – Elizabeth Crum noted here at Nevada News and Views that when we Republicans vote in the upcoming primary, we are likely to select Brian Sandoval as our gubernatorial standard-bearer. When we do this, some of us are going to be thinking that this is the lesser of two evils. Unless Mike Montandon can pull off the mother of all upsets, that is very likely to be the case.
How did we come to this sorry state of affairs? How did we get a conservative governor who ran afoul of common decency? How did we get such governor seeking re-election? Why are we likely to be stuck with a guy (decent and honest enough, to be sure) we don’t really trust to be a conservative/populist tribune in Carson City? Simple, really – we let it happen.
I’m a Catholic and so well-versed in both sin and redemption, so please don’t get me wrong with what I’m about to say. I assure one and all that I am no saint and, on balance, might even be in morally worse shape than Governor Gibbons.
That said, when the stories first broke of his marital troubles and the hijinks surrounding same, the call should have been very loud and very clear from all Nevada GOPers – leadership and rank-and-file – that Gibbons should have resigned. Failing that, at the very least, he should have announced that he would not seek re-election.
The dynamics of the Republican gubernatorial race are entirely set by the fact that Gibbons is a movement conservative who is flawed, and thus movement conservatives are not willing to fully back him. But neither are they willing to back a man who may prove another RINO. So, conservatives are split and the possible RINO will slip in. And this possible RINO might even lose to what is otherwise a pathetic, joke-candidate in the form of Rory Reid.
We let it happen. We sat back and either did nothing, or made excuses for bad behavior. We’re doing it in the Ensign fiasco, as well and the ultimate result of that might be a Democrat winning Ensign’s Senate seat in 2012.
We cannot expect that our politicians will be saints, but we must expect (demand!) that when they screw up, they head out the door. It is not asking too much of our elected officials that they keep their promise to their wives for the duration of their term in office. Anyone who can’t keep such a promise – aside from proving that he won’t be able to keep his promises to the people, either – has demonstrated an inability to be a worthwhile public servant.
A lot of Republicans will choose between what they perceive as the lesser of two evils. Let this be a lesson to us to seek out men and women of sterling character. Let us extract pledges of honesty or resignation. Let our party apparatus gear up primary challenges for those in office who fail the basic tests of public morality.
Here in 2010 we Nevada Republicans should be poised for a complete sweep. We’ve got as the Democrat leader the very worst Senate Majority Leader in American history. Running for governor we’ve got this good-for-nothing Senator’s son hitching a ride on daddy’s power and money.
Democrats around the country are rightly being pounded for the failures of liberalism which have really come home to roost these past three years. And yet we’re going to have to fight hard to win and we may yet lose. And we may lose, in the end, because Gibbons and Ensign poisoned the brand by not being able to keep loyal to their wives while we rank-and-file people didn’t run them out of a town on a rail (figuratively speaking, of course).
Brace up for the fight and let’s work for victory – but let us pledge each to one another that we’ll never let this happen again.