Wednesday, August 29, 2012

No Se Puede, Sandoval

Even though teabaggers forced Mitt Romney to snub Brian Sandoval by leaving him off his "VP Short List", Sandoval still desperately wants to be accepted and become "a player" on the national G-O-TEA stage. That has to be why he's willing to flip-flop so obviously and ridiculously.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval were among five governors who sought flexibility for the states on alternative ways to achieve the law’s goal of moving recipients from welfare to work. In July, the Obama administration offered states the opportunity to receive a waiver from the 1996 law’s work participation requirements under the condition that more recipients find jobs. If not, they said, the waivers will be denied or rescinded. [...]

“Nevada hasn’t requested a waiver and has no intention of requesting one,” his spokeswoman Mary-Sarah Kinner told the Las Vegas Sun. “The letter was not a request for a waiver; it was a request to explore the possibilities.”

In August 2011, Sandoval’s Health and Human Services director approached the Obama administration: “Nevada is very interested in working with your staff to explore program waivers that have the potential to encourage more cooperative relationships among the state agencies engaged in economic stimulus through job creation, employment skill attainment and gainful employment activities,” wrote Michael Willden. “Nevada is also interested in exploring performance measures that endure program accountability and also increase the probability of families becoming self-sufficient by providing meaningful data as to the services or combination of services with best outcomes.”

In response to an inquiry by TPM, a Sandoval aide said in an email, “We have not researched Romney’s push to repeal the HHS action, so we’re not able to provide you more.”

Well, this kind of behavior isn't new for Brian Sandoval. Still, it shows why his speech at the GOP Convention last night was so awkward.

However, this flip-flop is different from the others. In fact, it's downright disgusting. Here's why.

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Sandoval actually agreed to be part of an effort to showcase Mitt Romney's "new campaign strategy" of peddling lies and amping up the race baiting. Instead of putting Nevada's best interest in mind, he abandoned his earlier efforts to make welfare reform work for Nevada just so he can stay in Romney's good graces... And so Romney can continue to peddle lies about President Obama.

In many ways, what Sandoval agreed to do yesterday is far more disgusting than the silly Ron Paul circus put on by Nevada's delegation during the roll call vote. Truly, neither is beneficial to "small d democracy". But while the latest Paulista temper tantrum episode is rooted in a fight over arcane rules (that they might not have really broken, even if they weren't representing the will of most GOP caucus goers), what Brian Sandoval agreed to do represents the bottom of the barrel of contemporary American politics. It just goes to show that the racially toned dog whistles of the past haven't really gone away completely, and that certain ambitious politicians are even willing to ditch sound policy in order to push such rotten politics.

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