Two deaths and an inauguration

“What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas.”

As of this writing, former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein was executed, former President Gerald Ford died, and former Congressman Jim Gibbons was sworn in as the Silver State’s new governor.

The fact that former President Ford had the decency to die in the same week as Hussein’s execution simply gave some anti-war types a convenient excuse for flying flags at half mast. That, and it gave Democrats time to further nuance their positions about terrorism.

The media was surprisingly restrained over airing the Butcher of Baghdad’s final moments—which involved “a short drop and a sudden stop.” (It was also captured on a witness’s cell phone video camera.) Feigning hand-wringing angst, most news outlets opted to show before and after shots of Hussein’s neck in a noose rather than the complete video since that would have been too “disturbing” to their viewers.

A pity they haven’t been able to feign any similar angst over taping flag-draped coffins being off-loaded from military transports. It seems all they can do is carp about being denied the ability to do so rather than engaging in any meaningful dialogue over whether broadcasting such images would be in bad taste—let alone sufficiently newsworthy.

And, of course, the cut-and-run crowd would have us all believe that despite Hussein’s well-deserved fate, Iraq was—and still is—a mess, and we have no business being there.

Also not surprisingly, the media (and friends) fawned all over President Ford’s statesman-like “healing of the nation” by prematurely pardoning Richard Nixon and his role in the Watergate affair—rather than let the country “suffer” through the impending criminal proceedings.

You may recall that the nation was so grateful for this that they checked their brains out before entering their polling stations and voting Ford out of office in favor of the peanut farmer from Plains, Ga.

Jimmy Carter was so grateful that he acknowledged Ford’s contribution to his election during his inaugural speech, wherein he said, “For myself and for our nation, I want to thank my predecessor for all he has done to heal our land.” To which he could have also added, “And get me elected.”

That brings me to Gov. Jim Gibbons. Silver State Democrats would have you believe that the man would suddenly check his brain out to sexually proposition and/or assault a 32-year-old cocktail waitress in a Las Vegas casino parking garage just three weeks short of the election.

His losing opponent, Assembly Leader Dina Titus, has called for an independent, sour-grapes investigation, claiming that the Las Vegas Police Department may have been influenced in its handling of the allegations.

Of course, the alleged victim’s lawyer has also accused the Las Vegas Police Department of giving Gibbons preferential treatment. (Her lawyer apparently is a Democrat who supported Titus—a dueling conflict of interest.)

And, coincidentally, Gary Peck of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada has also called for an independent investigation. No news on his political affiliation, but I’m guessing it starts with a “D.")

So a man who spent four years in the state Assembly and 10 years in the United States Congress—with nary a moral issue—suddenly is a perv?

At a minimum, I’m guessing some people would like Las Vegas to re-think its marketing campaign.