Gov. Brian Sandoval delivered his common sense, philosophically conservative, State of the State address Monday night. And by Tuesday morning the Democrats, with no plan or vision of their own, came out swinging; ripping the governor and his fiscally responsible budget a new one in legislative committee hearings almost before the rooster crowed.
Welcome to the Big Leagues, Guv!
So while Democrat leaders were fighting and kvetching during press interviews and legislative proctologic exams of the governor’s budget, what were Republican legislative leaders doing?
Did they issue any press releases or statements supporting their fellow Republican governor’s vision and proposals? Nope.
Did they embrace a proposal to create a Spending Reduction Committee to adopt the SAGE Commission recommendations and help fight the Democrats’ claims that there’s nothing left to cut in the budget? Nope.
Did they band together and issue a joint statement declaring they were backing up their fellow Republican governor’s commitment to not raise taxes or fees, thus taking the question completely off the table for the duration of the legislative session? Nope.
In fact, just the opposite. Assembly Minority Leader Pete “Tax My Meat” Goicoechea, who last year voiced support for taxing groceries, has publicly stated he might support higher taxes if he doesn’t like the budget cuts.
Did they whimper, whine and complain that Democrats, in strongly questioning administration officials about budget cuts, were being “rude”?
Lord, help us…yes. One of them actually did do THAT. Good grief.
This it yet another example of Democrats playing by the Marquis de Sade’s rules while Republicans play politely by Marquess of Queensberry rules. And it further explains why Republicans in the Legislature continually get their political teeth kicked in session after session after session.
Republicans and conservatives love to hate Democrat political strategist James Carville, one of the architects of the 1992 Bill Clinton presidential victory. But you gotta admire his bare-knuckled, no-holds-barred political tactics, which usually steamroll sugar-and-sweet Republicans in these kinds of legislative battles.
In Carville’s “12 Rules for Sticking it to Your Enemies,” The James writes: “Make sure you go on the offensive right away. It’s hard for somebody to hit you when you’ve got your fist in their face. And when your defenses are crumbling, the best thing to do is go on offense.”
Exactly. Especially when you’re in the minority. This is no time to curl up in a ball and suck your thumb. Now’s the time for legislative Republicans to take a stand and swing back. Sandoval has drawn a line in the sand with regard to tax and fee hikes. Are legislative Republicans with him…or against him?
Gut-check time. How many Republicans in Carson City have the stones to stand with their governor…and say so publicly?