DGA Memo: The Nevada GOP’s Commitment to Losing
In 2016, Nevada Republicans succumbed to the siren song of far right policies, culture wars, and divisive rhetoric.
The results were abysmal. Democrats swept every targeted race, from electing Senator Cortez-Masto to winning 3 of the four congressional seats to taking back both houses in the state legislature, the Republican playbook was an epic failure.
Most organizations would take the stunning lack of results as a wake-up call. Not the Nevada GOP, however.
Instead of engaging in some much needed self-reflection, they have doubled down on an out-of-touch agenda to pay fealty to Donald Trump. Just take a look at the star-studded lineup of fringe extremists they bringing into Nevada.
For a Lincoln-Reagan dinner in Minden, Republicans brought in convicted-criminal and Trump acolyte, Sheriff Joe Arpaio to rally the troops and “raise as much money as possible” with the help of Arpaio’s negative press. Sheriff Joe has long history of racial profiling and he was proud to declare his “Tent City” a “concentration camp” after 157 inmates died in his custody.
If you don’t think the Nevada party supports his views, here’s how Assembly GOP Leader Jim Wheelerrecapped the event: “You couldn’t even walk through that room last night,” he said. “I’m surprised the fire marshal didn’t close us down.”
Not to be outdone by the Douglas County GOP, the Washoe County Republican party invited none other than convicted-felon, birther, and morally reprehensible human being Dinesh D’Souza as the special guest to their Lincoln Day Dinner. Adam Laxalt proudly attended, presumably cheering on D’Souza’s nonsensical conspiracy theories.
Did Adam Laxalt confront D’Souza about his politicization of the Las Vegas shooting? Will he condemn D’Souza’s abhorrent comments to the high school victims of the Parkland shooting?
Not to be upstaged, the largest county party, the Clark County Republicans, decided the best person to speak to them about the future of the party was retired Congressman and current crank, Allen West.
West has said voters who supported President Obama were a “threat to the gene pool,” called for censoring the media, and most recently trafficked absurd conspiracy theories lumping the shooter “with five Americans of Middle Eastern descent who claimed connections to terrorist groups.”
While the aforementioned trio is reflective of the current state of the Nevada Republican party, Adam Laxalt made it clear where he was in 2016 when he invited Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke to appear as a special guest at the GOP Basque fry. This is the same man who allowed at least five people in his custody to die under his watch from 2016, plagiarized his master’s thesis, and has now joined D’Souza in calling the Parkland survivors staged.
What It Means
Adam Laxalt and Nevada Republicans are doubling down on the divisive rhetoric and policies that led to historic losses in 2016. It is time to stop asking when the Nevada Republican party will change, and start talking about what Republican party has become.
It is a party that supports a right-wing extremist, Adam Laxalt, as their gubernatorial nominee. Someone who opposes gay marriage, opposes a woman’s right to choose, and would restrict women’s access to contraception and preventative care. Someone who against raising workers’ wages, and he has vowed to repeal funding for education.
It is a party that honors birthers, men who disregard civil liberties and allowed people to die in their custody, and the fringe element of society that questions the motives and validity of high school students who just watched 17 of their friends die.
Their commitment to remaining completely out-of-touch with mainstream Nevada, and thus, continuing to lose election after election would be admirable if the fringe right characters they are bringing into the state – and the one they want to elect governor – weren’t so wrong for Nevadans.