Obtuse Angle

One indication of how uncomfortable Nevada Republicans are with their putative nominee for the U.S. Senate is the surrogates who speak for her. It’s not the party’s leading figures willing to do this difficult job, nor is it the skilled and capable figures. Her supporters speak volumes.

On Jon Ralston’s Face to Face program, for instance, former Nevada governor Robert List was hauled out to speak for her. He bewailed “the damage Harry Reid has done to this nation. I mean, he’s put America in the ditch, financially.”

It should be observed that Harry Reid does not need lectures on governing from someone who left office under a cloud of incompetence and did enormous damage to the state of Nevada.

It was List who nearly bankrupted the state as governor. He came up with the tax shift—the 1981 change in tax law that made state government reliant on the unstable sales tax, leading to four state budget crises in 30 years.

It was List who left a state treasury so empty that the state could not balance its checking account. A few days after he left office, the legislature had to transfer money from the pension fund to the general fund. So when he talks about driving “in the ditch, financially,” he’s an expert.

It was List who came up with the near-doubling of Nevada’s sales tax.

It was List who in 1979 invited the federal government to put the MX missile system into Nevada, an idea that would have tied up huge swaths of Nevada land, drained the state’s water resources, and enhanced the notion that Nevada is a wasteland. Fortunately, President Reagan stopped the proposal.

It was List who opposed creation of the Nevada consumer advocate’s office, which has saved Nevada utility customers millions of dollars.

It was List who opposed shutting down the sloppily-run Nevada dump site for chemical and low-level nuclear wastes at Beatty.

Three decades had to pass for people to forget List’s record enough for him to be elected Republican national committeeman from Nevada and emerge as a spokesperson for “leaders” like GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle.

The best List could come up with in describing Angle was to say she has a “good heart and good head.”

At one time, senior citizens in the United States lived their declining years in misery. That rarely happens anymore, thanks to Medicare. Sharron Angle wants to shut down Medicare and consign the elderly to their fate. Is this sentiment or sense? Is it her good heart or her good head that is at work here?

At one time, it was common for senior citizens in the United States to die in poverty. Social Security virtually put an end to that. Sharron Angle wants to tamper with this most successful of government programs and risk the future of seniors. Heart or head?

Republicans like List want Reid to be the issue, but as Nevadans learn more about Sharron Angle, she will also become the issue.