Governor Gibbons is going to lose the primary. The corpse is already cooling.
Foreknowledge makes the fact no less astonishing. In an election year energized by a GOP base that is fed up, whipped up and fervently in favor of the most conservative candidate on the playbill, it looks like the scene at the end of this Act will star a conservative Republican governor getting his clock cleaned by a challenger the base isn’t sure is a true conservative at all.
In the drama to play out on June 8, nearly half of Nevada’s GOP faithful will pull the proverbial lever for Brian Sandoval while muttering “lesser of evils, lesser of evils” under their collective breath. They will walk away from the ballot box feeling depressed and slightly disoriented. They will tell themselves they did the right thing. And they will pray that Sandoval surprises them once he is sworn in. But they will doubt it.
Those who didn’t vote for Sandoval will walk away shaking their heads in quiet resignation. Either because they voted for an incumbent they knew couldn’t win, or voted for the Other Guy they knew couldn’t win. But they will have voted on principle, so at least (they will tell themselves) they have That.
As the Republicans search their souls and look to the skies for signs they did right, the Democrats and 200,000-odd independent/non-partisan voters will enter the fray. All eyes will turn to look at the choices now before them. And because the electorate will be suffering from serious Sandoval burnout after weeks of boasts and blasts via non-stop TV spots, most will turn their gazes upon Rory Reid.
[House lights down. Center spotlight up. Bam.]
What line will he utter? With what Bardian monologue will he please the ear, capture the heart and lift the spirit on high?
There’s no telling. Because Rory has not, as Steve Sebelius reminded us this week, yet said much about much. And the not-muchness he has said especially applies to this year’s big electoral theme: taxes and the state budget.
Rory has pledged to take some kind of stand upon release of recommendations from the Nevada Vision Stakeholders Group. The executive summary is already out and the final report roughly coincides with the primaries (June), so there will soon be no excu–, er, reason for waiting any longer. Much to Rory’s chagrin, because as Sebelius wrote:
But if the Republicans mean to say that Reid would rather stick needles in his eyes and leap from the top of the Stratosphere than talk taxes, well, they have a point.
But a reluctant Rory will soon have no choice. His potential opponents have all sung the “no new taxes” ditty to death, much to the delight of the party faithful, and one imagines him gazing wistfully out from some moonlit balcony and sighing:
O Revenue, Revenue! wherefore art thou Revenue?
Ready or not for the show to go on, Rory knows he must soon deliver a version of one of the following three lines: we must cut back spending to current revenue streams; we must make some cuts and find some new revenue (i.e. raise taxes); or we must find enough new revenue (i.e. raise taxes) to maintain current spending levels. And then he must explain How we are to do it.
I, for one, will be listening and watching in rapt anticipation as he steps into the white hot spotlight for the telling.