Ah, how fleeting glory. Seems like only six short years ago that liberals were doing the Snoopy dance and declaring conservatism dead, dead, dead!
Then the tea party movement arose from the ashes of John McCain’s 2008 debacle. Two years later, Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats were tossed out of their majority in the House. And two weeks ago the same fate was visited upon Harry Reid’s Senate Democrats.
Conservatism is dead. Long live conservatism!
But the real shocker is that the so-called “red wave” that crushed Democrats coast to coast built into tidal wave strength in Nevada.
Make no mistake. The GOP’s legislative victories here had nothing to do with any brilliant “strategery” by the GOP establishment’s high-priced consultants. Some Republican candidates just happened to be at the right place at the right time and enjoyed the benefit of a national outpouring of apathy among President Barack Obama’s Democrats.
As such, the GOP won the majority in the Nevada State Assembly for the first time since 1985 and the majority in both the Assembly and the State Senate for the first time since 1929. More importantly, unlike the GOP takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994, conservatives here are now in the majority of the majority in the Assembly.
So what’s in store for the 2015 session?
Unfortunately, land mines galore that could blow this year’s GOP electoral success to smithereens.
Yes, conservative Republicans in the Assembly are going to put forward many conservative proposals that have been stymied by the Democrats for years. However, there are still a half-dozen moderate Republicans in their caucus who will team with Democrats to kill many of those proposals.
The ones that do get out of the Assembly will then head over to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Moderate Mike Roberson’s Dirty Half-Dozen Gang will shoot down even more conservative bills, just as Bob Dole did to Newt (Gingrich) and company in 1995.
And whatever survives through the Senate still has to go to Gov. Brian Sandoval, another moderate Republican whose decision making now has everything to do with positioning himself for greater glory and higher office, not advancing limited-government/fiscal conservatism.
So instead of doing the hard work of cutting spending, look for Sandoval to put forward a massive tax hike just like former Gov. Kenny Guinn did in 2003. His peeps are already peddling the myth of a “billion dollar hole” in the budget that will require “revenue enhancements.”
If the governor does unwisely go down this road with no electoral mandate to do so, we could see the return of the “Lean 15” (or more) and the inevitable conservative vs. moderate political violence in the Legislature will likely destroy any hope of Republicans retaining their majorities in the next cycle.
Ah, fleeting glory.
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grass roots advocacy organization. He can be reached at www.muthstruths.com.