The headline in the Las Vegas Sun—Nevada’s equivalent of Pravda—was “State Sen. Bill Raggio bagged by his own party.”
The GOP ceased to be “his” party when he endorsed Harry Reid for the Senate.
Now the truth is that Raggio at 84. a State Senator for 38 years, the GOP leader for 28 of those years has outlived his juice. The end of his leadership career is not as a result of his pathetic endorsement of Harry Reid.
Essentially, he became the Nancy Pelosi of the state senate. He led the Republicans off a cliff in 2003 when he stuck us with the largest tax increase in Nevada history. Then, he led a three Republican group of Senators to vote with the Democrats on the 2009 tax increase.
In short, he was a poster-boy not only for the RINO wing of Nevada’s so-called Republicans but also term limits.
He is a living example of something one of my early callers to my first talk radio station in Oklahoma used to say. If that caller is still alive, he would be about 10 years older than Raggio, and his wisdom is timeless.
“Once,” said the caller, “someone gets elected to the school board, city council or the state legislature, they go down there, see the secretary, the 10 button phone, take a whiff of that pink gas and they’re never the same.”
Raggio may well have been a Republican when he started, but after you spend the better part of four decades in the legislature, you get invested in that pink gas and you start to think of government as the answer, not the problem.
When someone can say that state government has been “cut to the bone” they don’t understand that state government is largely composed of nonessential functions which are nice but not necessary in a bad economy. And state employees are just like private employees—not some super species to be protected at all costs. They’re not like Supreme Court Justices with lifetime appointments.
You don’t believe that and have an “R” after your name? Then the “R” means RINO. If you are a RINO, you are destined to be clotheslined just like Raggio was.
Or, in the alternative, there will be a third, conservative party sooner or later.
This would have been Raggio’s last hurrah anyway because the citizens of this state wisely injected term limits into the constitution way back in 1996. So why is Raggio just now being limited—14 years later? The answer lies in the reluctance of people like Raggio to actually be Republicans. They had their friends sue to keep their positions as long as they could get away with it.
But, just as with Democrats, there is a limit to the number of times you can tell your constituents to go screw themselves and keep getting re-elected. In this case to the leadership of a party you told to go screw itself when you endorsed Harry.
Now, the best part if this is what Harry had to say about the state GOP.
“In this election Nevadans, Republicans, Democrats and Independents voted to reject extremism. That some of Senator Raggio’s Republican colleagues even considered punishing him for being on the side of a majority of Nevadans shows that they clearly missed that message and are not listening to their constituents,”
Funny, but when the voters gelded Harry, I don’t remember a word about extremism from anybody except Harry. And I’m sure that Harry would not consider any of the hard left socialist agenda he supported “extreme”.
But a party’s state senate caucus getting rid of a poltroon like Raggio is “extreme”?
Give me a break.
What the Republicans in the state senate are saying is that they don’t want their leader to be a gelding like Harry.
And that’s precisely what another legislative session under Raggio’s “leadership” would have done to the Republicans. They would all have been geldings.