(Chuck Muth) – Republican U.S. senate candidate Danny Tarkanian is starting to resemble the proverbial blind bank-robber: You know somebody is going to get shot, you just don’t know who.
Every day Danny’s campaign is out there conducting wild, political drive-by shootings – directed mainly at fellow Republican candidate Sue Lowden. But even casual observers and grassroots activists are being hit by Tark’s stray bullets.
Now, before I go any further, let me first disclose that I am one of those “crazy” people who believe Nevada will be just fine without all the “clout” Democrat Sen. Harry Reid supposedly brings to our state thanks to his inside-the-beltway position of Senate Majority Leader. As such, I have contributed financially to Tarkanian’s U.S. Senate campaign, as well as those of Sue Lowden and Sharron Angle.
Make of that what you will.
Anyway, Tarkananian’s scorched earth “political purity” attacks – usually half-truths, outright falsehoods and misleading distortions – are providing ammunition that Reid will use against Lowden next fall should she become their party’s nominee.
Danny claims Sue Lowden supports bailouts. She doesn’t.
He claims Sue Lowden supports “pork” and earmarks. She doesn’t.
He claims Sue Lowden supports tax hikes. She doesn’t.
He claims Sue Lowden supported removing the pro-life plank from the Republican Party platform. She didn’t.
He claims Sue Lowden is the Republican “establishment” candidate. She’s not.
Indeed, at this rate don’t be surprised if Team Tarkanian claims Sue Lowden supports dirty water, dirty air, kicking puppies, starving senior citizens and denying children the right to watch SpongeBob SquarePants before the primary is over.
These “hack” attacks, by the way, are very Reid-like. You may recall that when Lowden first entered the race last fall, the Reid camp claimed she opposed mammograms for women while serving in the Nevada state senate in the early 1990s. She did no such thing.
Anyway, the problem for Republicans is that Tarkanian’s non-stop and intellectually dishonest attacks are sowing bitter seeds of irreconcilable differences within GOP ranks, which will make it extremely difficult for the party to put Humpty Dumpty back together again after the June primary.
This is not unlike the situation Republicans in California faced way back in 1966.
As political strategist Bill Pascoe recently blogged, Ronald Reagan was running for governor back then and was facing a liberal Republican in the primary. George Christopher, “like many liberal California Republicans, had little respect for Reagan as a political player,” Pascoe noted. “Consequently, much of Christopher’s early primary campaign was a negative campaign aimed right at Reagan’s fitness for office.”
Much like what Danny Tarkanian is doing to Sue Lowden today.
Recognizing that such attacks spelled sure-fire electoral defeat in the general election, then-California Republican Party Chairman Gaylord Perkins issued what is now universally referred to as Reagan’s 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”
Following that declaration, Christopher was unable to continue his attacks on Reagan, who went on to win the primary, the general election and ultimately become president of the United States. How ironic, if not blasphemous, that Danny Tarkanian now has the chutzpah to characterize his campaign against Sue Lowden in 2010 as Ronald Reagan’s “final campaign.”
Frankly, as campaigns go, this one is purely JV, if not schoolyard. In fact, maybe I should put this in sports lingo so Danny’ll have a better chance of understanding.
There’s nothing wrong with playing hard. However, you can’t hit someone out of bounds, below the knees or from behind. Those are called “fouls.” And if the Nevada GOP U.S. senate primary race was a basketball game, Danny would already have fouled out. But since it’s not, he’s still on the court tripping people, kneeing them in the groin and throwing wild elbows.
Perhaps it’s time for Nevada Republican Party Chairman Chris Comfort to “pull a Perkins” and really do something to win one more for the Gipper by blowing the whistle on Tarkanian and telling him to knock it off. Before it’s too late.