Cave man

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Is anyone really surprised that Heller caved?

U.S. Senator Dean Heller’s mode of operation is to act like a freethinking individual followed by inevitable capitulation to the party line. In other words, he’ll do a little grandstanding first, but then he’ll vote however Mitch McConnell and other senior senate Republicans tell him to vote.

He pretended to have doubts about Trump’s cabinet, but he still voted to confirm the lot of them.

The most recent case was his vote on Tuesday, July 25, in favor of opening debate on repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The motion passed with the narrowest of margins, despite the fact that the Republicans’ replacement plan is murky at best, criminal at worst. Heller had expressed concerns about the bill, and many national political watchers who don’t know him as well as we do, thought he might be a NO vote. But, of course, he caved and voted to move forward with discussions of the bill.

Do you know what Sen. Heller won’t do? Listen to his constituents. He won’t even talk to most of us. Go ahead, call: 686-5770 in Reno or (202) 224-6244 in D.C. Let us know if you get ahold of him. We’ll be surprised.

Nevada is a purple state, but the majority of the state doesn’t support repeal of the ACA. And with his vote in favor of the repeal motion, Heller is even bucking Nevada Republican leaders, like Gov. Sandoval, who has said that he doesn’t support the Senate bill.

To be fair, Heller’s public statement about the vote was full of equivocating statements like, “That is why I will vote to move forward and give us a chance to address the unworkable aspects of the law” and the assertion that, “If the final product isn’t improved for the state of Nevada, then I will not vote for it; if it is improved, I will support it.”

But, experience tells us, no matter what the Senate Republicans come up with, they can count on Heller to pause for a second, make a very serious, puckered face, nod solemnly, mutter, “But am I doing what’s right for Nevada?” and then vote however the hell the Republicans tell him.