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OPINION: Raising a Banner of Pale Pastels


By Chuck Muth
February 11, 2010

Nevada state Senate Democrats recently announced their list of priorities for the 2011 legislative session.  Don’t get excited; there’s wasn’t much to it.  But read this entire column for a surprise, though not happy, ending.

The Democrats’ priorities consist of “critical education reform that emphasizes students over bureaucracy, spending reform that forces government to give taxpayers a better return on their investment, holding the line on taxes, and fairly redistricting the state in a way that represents the best interests of the people rather than any political party.”

I have no idea what they mean by “emphasizes students over bureaucracy,” but it certainly doesn’t mention vouchers, the ultimate emphasis on the child not the government.  And “holding the line” on taxes isn’t the same as opposing any tax or fee hikes.  “Holding the line” could mean leaving in place the current taxes which are scheduled to sunset in June.

What do they mean specifically by “spending reforms”?  Your guess is as good as mine.  They don’t say.  What do they mean specifically by redistricting “that represents the best interests of the people”?  Who knows?  They don’t say.

Now here’s the kicker: That say-nothing-of-substance list wasn’t put out by the Senate Democrats.

No, it was actually put out by Senate REPUBLICANS!

The whole thing was pure political pabulum.  It said absolutely nothing.  Either party could have issued that statement.  Which reminded me of Ronald Reagan’s 1975 speech at CPAC where he declared that “A political party cannot be all things to all people;” expressing impatience with moderate Republicans who were trying to “fuzz up and blur…the differences between ourselves and our opponents.”

“Our people look for a cause to believe in,” Reagan said, calling for a “revitalized (Republican) party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people.”  Reagan concluded by proclaiming that “if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.”

This so-called list of priorities by Senate Republicans succeeded only in fuzzing up and blurring the differences between them and Senate Democrats.  It was a statement of pale pastels.  No wonder more people are registering independent than Republican these days.

By contrast, Gov. Sandoval has raised a banner of bold colors; rejecting the well-worn path of growing government and raising taxes which led us into this economic mess in the first place.  To borrow another Reagan line, it’s time for choosing.  Are Republican state senators with the governor and the people….or with the Democrats?  And if they’re not willing to stand with Gov. Sandoval, then maybe it’s time for some of them to go their way.

Don’t let the door hit you.Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy grassroots advocacy organization.  He may be reached at [email protected].

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