U.S. Sen. Harry Reid left Nevada with a serious case of the blues, both the good kind and the bad.
On the plus side, he tromped the Trump trend and went out a winner. He replaced himself with Democrat Catherine Cortez-Masto, returned both legislative chambers to the Donkeykongs and delivered Nevada for Mrs. Clinton.
After bucking the 2016 national blue flu epidemic, Nevada Democrats appear to be in good shape. However, the entire leadership of the Washoe County party is stepping down. The word “rebuild” has curiously been whispered.
All six statewide constitutional offices are up next year. Swept by Republicans in the 2014 red wave, several human trainwrecks who have no business holding public office should make easy pickings. (Gov. Veto El Obtúsè is term-limited.)
Will D’s wither without Reid? The 2014 debacle may prove instructive. Reid was distracted elsewhere, doing his job in trying to save his senate majority. Lots of money and people got shunted to other states.
Nevada’s formerly formidable labor-Democrat ground game starved. Usually running smoothly by August of even-numbered years, it was barely resuscitated by October 2014. Two years later, the beast was back.
Reid leaves Nevada in much better shape than state parties in many other states but there’s a bad moon on the rise. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition remains the bedrock of the Democratic Party. Republicans win only by breaking that solidarity.
As did Ronald Reagan, President Donaldov Vladimirovitch cracked organized labor by singing the siren song of short-term job gains. The union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel endorsed Trump who now wants 10,000 new agents in addition to sending troops to force brown people into already-overflowing concentration camps. (See last week’s Barbwire.)
The ICE union should remember how Reagan assassinated the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization after they made the mistake of endorsing him.
When Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., got smoked by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, a young Travus T. Hipp advised Cal-Berkeley students how to succeed in politics without really trying.
“Re-register Republican if you want a future in politics,” the long-haired Republican hippy commentator suggested. “You can buy the GOP for a dime on the dollar.”
Many who listened to the future talk radio legend and Tribune columnist prospered.
The Blues are today light on leadership like the Reds 53 years ago.
With Reid retired, doors appear open both in Nevada and nationally.
There’s also another option: A truly new party made up of red-faced Republicans sick of sharing the ticket with dogmatic moonhowlers, and liberals tired of their party carrying water for rapacious corporations.
So how does one unite and mobilize classic Republicans and disaffected Democrats? New unaffiliated activist groups have materialized all over the country. Last week’s day without immigrants demonstrated the potential. How about organizing a national strike?
Anybody wanna buy a dollar? Hey, buddy, can you spare me a dime?
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 48-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.