Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Does Joe Heck Support Sharrontology or Not?

Most of the time, I feel like I'm learning something when I read Ralston. However, today seems to be one of those exceptions. Why? Here you go.

State Democrats have long lamented their gubernatorial contender’s last name, which has wounded him (perhaps fatally) and surely will be used in GOP media starring their U.S. Senate candidate.

So now they are doing what any righteous political organization would if such shameful guilt-by-association tactics were used by the opposition: They are doing it, too.

Faced with an overwhelming deficit in the governor’s race and close contests for U.S. Senate and Congress, the Democrats are employing one of the few tools they have to try to score political points: A GOP triumvirate that has slightly less potency than Obama-Reid-Pelosi, but may have marginal utility.

Guilt by association? Shameful? Really?

Titus could well be seen as a slight underdog to Joe Heck in her swing district, having been pulled across the finish line in 2008 by the Obama wave. It’s clear she and her allies think they have to tarnish him by morphing him into Angle at every opportunity, especially on the issue of Social Security.

Tarnish him? So Joe Heck is some precious treasure that no one dare touch, lest we risk tarnishing?

Maybe we need to put aside the hyperbole and look at the facts.

What Heck has said himself is bad enough. He supported enshrining discrimination in our state constitution. He doesn't think it's his job to care about our jobs. He voted to deny many thousands of young women protection against the dangerous HPV virus and cervical cancer. Trust me, I have no problem critiquing Heck for everything he's said himself.

However, let's not forget that he also endorsed Sharron Angle in July at the Nevada GOP Convention.

"The primary's over. We now have to rally around a slate of candidates up and down the ticket -- Sharron Angle all the way down the ticket."

I don't see how this is NOT a ringing endorsement of Sharron Angle.

And less than a month ago, Delen Goldberg, one of Ralston's journalist colleagues at The Sun and no pawn of any campaign, compared and contrasted Heck's agenda to Angle's.

And indeed parts of the candidates’ platforms are similar.

Heck and Angle believe education decisions are best made at the local level, and both advocate dismantling the Education Department as a Cabinet-level agency. Both have said it’s not the government’s role to create jobs, although both have clarified their positions, saying government instead should create an environment with reasonable regulations and a stable, fair tax base to help the private sector create jobs. Both candidates also oppose abortion, but Heck believes exceptions should be made to save the life of a mother or in documented cases of rape or incest.

Yet there are key differences.

Angle favors privatizing Social Security, saying she wants to “transition out” the current system, while Heck wants a voluntary second option for investing. He would like to see a Social Security program in which people can choose to invest their dollars in diverse markets. Employers would continue contributing to the existing Social Security system.

So there's a small difference in that Heck just wants to starve Social Security to death by encouraging the gambling of people's retirement insurance on Wall Street, while Angle wants full on elimination ASAP. Whoop-tee-doodle. Even Ralston himself called Heck's position "unworkable" just today!

Meanwhile, Heck refuses to say whether or not he disagrees with the other insane things Sharrontology has said. He won't comment on Sharrontology saying she doesn't want loving gay couples adopting kids in need of a home. He won't say anything about Obtuse Angle wanting to deny LGBTQ Nevadans any and ALL civil rights, as well as her taking money from a group endorsing the death penalty for "homosexual sodomites". He won't comment on Angle's desire to deny working moms the right to work and the ability to provide for their families. He still won't say whether or not he agrees with Angle that our schools don't deserve $83 million to stay open and keep teachers on the job. And he still hasn't condemned Angle and her talk of "Second Amendment Remedies" and "domestic enemies sitting in the walls of Congress".

Again, he endorsed her in July. When she was riding high, Joe Heck seemed to have no problem riding on Sharron's coattails. But now that more and more Nevadans are questioning her extremism, he's running away from her and acting like anyone asking him about his past unwavering support for her and her extreme agenda is "shameful".

So sorry, Jon Ralston, but I don't see anything "shameful" about asking Heck if he agrees with Angle. Rather, what I see "shameful" is Heck dodging the tough questions and acting like his own past statements were never really uttered.

I guess Angle isn't the only Nevada Republican betting on amnesia...

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