Sometimes there’s more to be observed than will fit in a short Tweet. For example, there’s Senator Dean Heller’s ad on my TV machine telling me that his opponent, Rep. Jacky Rosen, is “soft on MS 13.” It might be said the ad says more about Senator Dean Heller than it does about his opponent. Right off the bat there’s that conflation between immigrants and gang members. “Mexicans are rapists, drug dealers, and some, I suppose are nice people.” Exactly why Senator Heller thinks running ads with negative inferences concerning Hispanic individuals will play well in a state wherein 27.3% of the population is of Hispanic or Latino heritage remains a mystery. Secondly, it’s also confounding why Senator Heller’s campaign is replicating Trump’s ’16 talking points as if repetition is the sincerest way to victory. Trump did not carry Nevada. If the talking points didn’t work then, why are they supposed to work now? And this with Trump’s August approval rating in Nevada dropping by 4 points, and a disapproval rating of 50%. Finally, about 75% of the state’s population lives in Clark County (Las Vegas metro area). If the rules of arithmetic still hold that means the rest of Nevada’s miles and miles and miles of miles and miles and miles account for only 25% of the population — and the votes. Or, some 460,587 people live in Washoe County, and then it’s mostly wide open spaces. Acreage doesn’t vote. The Inyo National Forest area of Esmeralda County is beautiful, but if a candidate for statewide office spends more than eight minutes there going after the support of all 850 residents, he or she is quite likely to lose a statewide election. Likewise, if candidate A is talking about immigration and B is talking about health care; and the voters care more about health care… the results are obvious.
Frankly speaking the Senate race in Nevada is closer than it should be. Heller is an incumbent, well financed, and reasonably well organized. His opponent is a relative new face, a newly minted Congressional Representative, but also well financed and reasonably well organized. The incumbency factor should be well in Heller’s favor. However, the more he adheres to the Trumpian base with its attendant racism, anti-immigration policies, and pie in the sky economics of deregulation, the less he connects with Nevada voters. He’ll be very popular in White Pine County (9,811 population) but risks it all in Clark County (2.115 million population.)
While most eyes are watching the Kavanaugh debacle unfold on cable news and on Saturday Night Live, there’s that immigration policy story from the White House that just won’t go away. A federal district judge in California might be poised to do for the protected status changes the Trump Administration wants what a previous judge did for Muslim bans numbers one and two. There’s also the “public charge” rule change the administration wants that is set to make major steps in the Make America White Again policy, and these proposals merit more attention. [See more on this topic here.] Administration policies have also been especially harsh on women — why are we not surprised? At least one commentator has noticed Trumpian rhetoric sounds similar to KKK hypernationalism of the 1920s. White House advisers seem to come and go with revolving door regularity — but Stephen Miller remains forever. Wonder why that is?
Are we looking at the wrong analogy? Yes, Thomas Jefferson did his very best to be rid of Samuel Chase on the US Supreme Court. Chase remained on the Court, Jefferson remained annoyed. However, in modern terms should we be looking more carefully at the example of Abe Fortas, Johnson ally and a man who lasted on the Supreme Court from 1965 to 1969? Remember, there are some serious questions about Kavanaugh’s finances which, to date, have not been thoroughly answered. Someone is going to do a bit of investigative research and publish more information. The “bombshell” may be the charges of sexual misconduct leveled by women against Judge Kavanaugh; the larger delayed-action bomb (think of the aerial bombs dropped by British, American, and German bombers during World War II) may well lie in the more quotidian category of Kavanaugh’s personal debts and finances? Stay tuned.