Campaign ads from logic hell

Bad enough, the 2012 election season began 20 months early. Now Nevada’s having a special election season complete with tedious campaign ads in which a hopeful Nevada Republican candidate for U.S. Congress either 1) stuns us by warning of a Communist China take-over or 2) baffles us with mind-boggling federal budget math.

Last week, the Nevada Supreme Court debated the merits of an anybody-runs ballot royale versus candidates hand-picked by major parties. At stake, a Sept. 13 election to fill Dean Heller’s open Congress seat. Heller moved to the U.S. Senate after Sen. John Ensign resigned due to his sex scandal.

The judges’ decision hardly matters. The parties have picked favorites, money’s flowing in, and ad season begins.

The Republicans picked Mark Amodei, a former Nevada legislator with a conservative record that makes Gov. Brian “Whack-a-School” Sandoval proud.

Amodei fits the double-chinned white rightie role—ignore hard-working Americans and help the rich get richer. He aligns himself with Republicans who loathe government spending that helps human beings—women, children, schools, unemployed workers—preferring to spend on war, weapons and corporate welfare. Maybe I’m over-simplifying. Call it a gut response to Amodei’s nonsensical TV ads. You’ve seen ’em. One features a Chinese newscaster thanking Obama for raising the U.S. debt limit. Amodei makes deficit spending sound like a new plot by Obama to turn us into Commies. Really. Our government’s been in debt since 1791, when the Father of Our Country got a Mastercard. When we couldn’t afford wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—and tax cuts for the rich, George W. whipped out Daddy’s credit card and charged trillions. U.S. debt escalated from $6.4 trillion in 2003 to $10 trillion in 2008.

In a less-spectacular ad, Amodei talks to you, the voter, as the camera zooms in mercilessly on his earnest features. He suggests that spending $1.40 is a ridiculous proposition for individuals or businesses who have only $1 in their pockets. Obviously, Amodei’s never made a car payment, signed mortgage papers or charged a war on his Visa.

In both ads, Amodei fingers China as the nation that owns us—a slightly flawed red scare tactic. As of April, China owns 21 percent of our debt; Japan owns 20 percent. We also owe billions to the United Kingdom, Brazil, Russia, Saudi Arabia, even Mexico.

Should we stop taking out loans? You bet. But while Amodei complains about hypothetical businesses overspending, he fails to talk about businesses under-charging for services.

Some Republicans like to ramble on about running the U.S. government like a “business,” but what biz gives away freebies (tax cuts) to its wealthiest clientele and awards leftover revenue (your taxes) as subsidies to oil other large corporations?

The Republicans picked Amodei over Nevada Sen. Greg Brower and former USS Cole commander Kirk Lippold of Carson City. (Sharron Angle, you recall, had a conniption fit and huffed off till 2012.)

Lippold. Funny story. He’s the Navy commander whose ship was attacked by suicide bombers months before the Al Qaeda attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Seventeen dead. A Navy investigation found Lippold failed to observe half of 62 safety precautions. Didn’t keep track of approaching boats. Didn’t order up tools to repel possible attacks. Boom. Lippold wasn’t disciplined, and all was forgotten when airplanes rammed into the World Trade Center.

If the Court gives a thumbs-up to open elections, Lippold’s running. So are a couple dozen others—Republicans, Democrats, indies. But the parties have spoken so the faithful know where their money and votes are supposed to go.

Democrats are banking on fiscally responsible Nevada Treasurer Kate Marshall as a sane choice for Congress. Hmm. An articulate accountant who knows that a “business” needs to increase its revenue in addition to cutting its expenses? Not a bad idea if you decide to hit the polls Sept. 13.