Not to put too fine a point to it, but Representative Mark Amodei (R-NV2) has never been what a person might call a pillar of political strength and a standard for articulation in the English language. This is shown yet again in his interview with the Reno Gazette Journal editorial board:
“U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., said Wednesday that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump could only end up as one of two extremes if elected: a “smoking black hole” or the “next messiah.”
Amodei goes further and explains why he might back the possibility of a “smoking black hole.”
“You have to have some respect for the process, and I’m a process guy,” Amodei said. “It’s like, (voters) picked this guy, they picked him in Nevada, they picked him in most of the states, he’s the nominee. So when you say, ‘Well, he wasn’t your pick,’ it’s like, I know that, but it is a team sport and I know what it’s like to be on the team that isn’t in the administration. And that’s – quite frankly in this day and age, or at least in the five years I’ve been around, I’d like to try being on the team in the White House.” [RGJ]
There’s some unpacking, as there always is, to be done with this Amodei explanation. First, as his opponent Chip Evans points out, Amodei is betting on the “next messiah” rather than the “smoking black hole.” Evan’s was blunt: “Shame on Congressman Amodei! No head of a business or head of a family would ever make a bet that risky, where the outcomes can be so extreme.”
Then there’s politics as a team sport. No matter how extreme, Amodei will play on The Team for the Sake of The Team, and for ‘team’ read Party. There’s little way to interpret this statement other than “Party First.” All that “Party First” has gotten us so far is obstructionism, and obstructionism has yielded nothing but gridlock. But, there’s more …
Amodei is playing the role of the perpetual optimist, Trump will get better. That was July 27, 2016.
“Trump was showing some signs of improvement, Amodei said. The selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as the vice-presidential nominee was one the Nevada congressman said he liked. Pence’s experience both as an executive official and a member of the U.S. House provided some much needed balance, he said. Even in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Trump showed some signs of self-awareness, Amodei said.
“I really like the part where he goes, ‘I want to thank the evangelical community for their support … I’m not sure I deserve it,’” Amodei said. “Now that shows me a guy who’s got a little bit of circumspect. We need to see some more of that out of you, big guy. … That warms the cockles of my heart and I’ve got a pretty cold heart.” [RGJ]
Perhaps Rep. Amodei’s cockles are getting colder? And, no, we’ve not been watching a presidential candidate with “a little bit of circumspect.” On July 27, 2016 candidate Trump was busy confusing vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine with former New Jersey governor Tom Kean, [Politico] hardly the first of his gaffe-a-matic productions for the campaign. [NPR]
Tennis fans who think that no one can make more unforced errors than those occurring in the Kafelnikov v. Vicente 2000 French Open match, which might be a record at 112, may take heart that the Trump bluster machine will continue at pace. The Khan family assault, the Announcement he would not release his tax returns, cramming two mistakes into one comment about the situation in Turkey, his unawareness that Russia wasn’t already in Ukraine (Want to fly into what’s left of the Donetsk Airport?), his comment about NATO commitments, his sniping at House Speaker Paul Ryan, the amusingly ungrammatical tweet about Bernie Sanders, taken along with the comment that the New York Times “doesn’t write good,” should all leave tennis fans full of cheer that their favorite players don’t make anywhere near the unforced errors of the Trump Campaign.
And yet, Mark Amodei, Representative to Congress from Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District wants ever so desperately to be a team player for a man whose sense of teamwork, especially as it applies to foreign policy is:
“Trump replied: “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things. I know what I’m doing, and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people, and at the appropriate time I’ll tell you who the people are. But my primary consultant is myself and I have, you know, a good instinct for this stuff.” [MJ/ Morning Joe March 2016]
As the campaign season heats up will Representative Amodei’s cockles cool off? Or, will he continue to watch Trump’s unforced errors and give candidate Chip Evans an opening?