Nevada Race For US Senate Strangely Lacking In Amusing Weirdos

Nobody in a chicken suit this year? UNFAIR TO BLOGGERS!

Here's the good news about the 2018 race for US Senate in Nevada: Republican incumbent Dean Heller is the only sitting Republican senator from a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016, and all the forecasts have Nevada in lists of seats most likely to flip this fall. Heller's likely Democratic opponent, congresswoman Jacky Rosen is already tied with Heller in most polls and she has solid support from the party and from fundraisers, even though she's a a freshman in the House. While the primaries aren't until June 12 (early voting started Saturday), there's little doubt the candidates for the general election will be Heller and Rosen.

But Nevada is nonetheless really disappointing us this year: unlike recent Senate elections, there aren't any prominent out and out goofballs running in the state that preemptively banned people in chicken costumes (and other furries) from the polls in 2010. The chickens came out to roost or roast dingbat wingnut Sue Lowden, who said during her scrambled attempt to beat Harry Reid that Obamacare had to be repealed because in the good old days people could just barter a chicken for a doctor appointment. Lowden later clarified she'd never meant BarterCare as an actual policy proposal, but nonetheless lost to Sharron Angle, who proceeded to say her own dumb thing about voters seeking "Second Amendment remedies" if teabaggers weren't happy with the results of elections, just as the Founders intended. Angle was back again in 2016 with another doomed campaign, during which for one bright shining moment her campaign staff accidentally made anime porn a campaign issue after they linked to what they thought was a mainstream Republican's website but turned out to be, yes, a hentai site. Heck, despite the name, hentai doesn't even have anything to do with fuckin' that chicken.

And so we have a too-close-to-predict contest between Heller, who narrowly won a full term in 2012 after being appointed to serve out the remainder of John Ensign's term in 2011. Ensign, you may recall, resigned from office nearly two damn years after a wonderfully stupid sex scandal in which Ensign had an affair with an aide's wife, then tried to cover the whole thing up with payouts to both the mistress and her husband. Oh, yes, and the hush money was paid by Ensign's parents. Also, too, Ensign had actually proposed to his already-married lady love at the National Prayer Breakfast, because in olden times, Republican sex scandals were a lot more fun to write about. THAT IS THE KIND OF WEIRDASS POLITICAL SHIT WE EXPECT FROM YOU, NEVADA.

Dean Heller, by contrast, isn't a sexytimes hypocrite; he's merely an amorphous blob who wants simultaneously to suck up to Trump voters while pretending he's "moderate" enough to attract swing voters in a decidedly purple state, while having all the charisma you'd expect from the mashed potatoes at a seedy off-the-Strip hotel's all-day buffet in the late afternoon. Some Heller Highlights include that time he bravely said he just couldn't vote for the Republican Obamacare repeal bill -- and then voted for the far worse "skinny repeal" like a chickenshit -- that was the one that died when Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and John McCain voted against it. Heller later tried to blow the right by signing on to the also-terrible Graham-Cassidy bill that would have killed the ACA -- compasssionately! -- by turning both the individual exchanges and all of Medicaid into block grants. Happily, that one went nowhere, although it did at least generate some very sad trolling by a deleted commenter who insisted it could miraculously result in Single-Payer in some states, if only liberals were willing to slash coverage for all the other states. Oddly, he didn't persuade anyone. Maybe he was Dean Heller?

Lately, Heller has tried to at least get his name in the news by predicting Anthony Kennedy might retire from the Supreme Court, a prediction based in wishful thinking that the chance to nominate another Gorsuch might excite Nevada rightwingers. Heller has also been doing his very best to not be especially specific on immigration -- he'd like to keep the basest voters in his camp, but also suggested to Donald Trump that it would sure be helpful if Trump would hold off on demanding funding of the border wall until after November. And when the Reno Gazette-Journal asked candidates to answer a questionnaire on immigration and other issues, Heller's campaign just didn't reply at all.

In March, Heller received one big boost from Donald Trump: Trump persuaded perpetual candidate Danny Tarkanian, who had been running to the right of Heller, to drop his Senate bid and run instead for the House. Now Heller faces only some nobodies who aren't even all that amusing, including a lady whose sole YouTube ad sounds like it was recorded in a dolphin tank and some guy whose Twitter feed is all retweets of Trump and some strange tweets yesterday in which he said, among other things, that Kim Jong Un has "hidden agendas, and other whirls of dervish," and, uh, this thing:

But not a chicken suit in the bunch.

The likely Democratic nominee, Jacky Rosen, on the other hand, favors an "earned path to citizenship" for migrants who are currently undocumented, as well as relief for both Dreamers and recipients of Temporary Protected status that Trump is trying to take away. She defends Planned Parenthood, voted against the House's attempts to gut Obamacare, and would like to see Medicare for all become a reality. She supports a national ban on bump stocks, high capacity magazines, and assault-style semiautomatic rifles, which in the past might have been politically untenable in a Western state, but may look damned attractive following the Las Vegas Massacre. And can we talk healthcare again? Rosen has been hammering Heller on his refusal to say whether he's still in favor of repealing the ACA, and hopes she can make Nevadans' support for good, affordable healthcare a major issue for the fall campaign. So do national Democrats; Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said last week the DSCC is all-in for Rosen, and believes a win in Nevada (plus holding on to all those red-state Dem seats) will be key to taking back the Senate this fall. And for all his talk of moderation, Rosen told the New York Times, “Dean Heller last year voted 96 percent of the time with Donald Trump, and he’s never voted against a Trump nominee."

Get those wallets out and send Jackie Rosen some money, will you? Dean Heller's no moderate, but if Donald Trump had't cleared Tarkanian aside for him, not even his own party would be supporting him. Nevada can do far better than a guy who's too chicken to own his party's repulsive policies. Hey, we bet there are plenty of chicken outfits available to rent.

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[NYT / Reno Gazette-Journal / Nevada Independen / Las Vegas Review-Journal / Nevada Independent / Jacky Rosen for Nevada]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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