Nevada Current Commentary
September 10, 2018
In response to the latest in a series of race-baiting attacks by the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), Hugh Jackson, the editor of the Nevada Current took to the opinion pages to highlight the intentions behind RAGA’s approach as well as stress the importance of the AG race in November.
The summary? If Senator Ford’s Republican opponent Wes Duncan wanted to prove that he truly has the character and mettle to be a stellar attorney general, he’d denounce RAGA’s racism and tell RAGA to get the hell out of Nevada, but he’s not going to do that.
Here’s what you may have missed from Hugh Jackson in the Nevada Current:
… Ford has been in the state Senate since 2012 (and was named freshman legislator of the year by both the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Reno Gazette-Journal). You’d think the horrific criminal tendencies that his opponent’s surrogates attribute to him would have come up before now.
But then, the Republican Attorneys General Association’s (RAGA) dive into the sewer of dog-whistling white identity politics in an effort to demonize Aaron Ford on behalf of his Republican opponent, Wes Duncan, has nothing to do with Ford.
…Trump’s efforts to politicize the Justice Department, calling for it to prosecute his enemies and protect his friends in a relentless attack on the rule of law, should outrage attorneys general the nation over, whatever their party.
But RAGA, like all things Republican, is in lock-step with Trump and Trumpism. We’re supposed to believe RAGA genuinely cares that Aaron Ford stole some tires when he was a kid?
If something calling itself an attorneys general association were truly offended by corruption, its members – and its wannabe members like Duncan — would be fighting to protect citizens by challenging Trump’s lawless swamp, not lining up to wallow in it.
RAGA could care less about Ford – or Duncan, for that matter.What the organization does care about is protecting special interests, even if it means circumventing democracy, the nation’s values and principles, and the will of the people. States with Democratic attorneys general, unlike their White House-trained GOP counterparts, have been fighting Trump and his swamp.
But attorneys general matter.
Attorneys general in blue states have been in the front lines of battles against some of Trump’s more despicable policies, such as the family separation fiasco, the effort to deprive people of health insurance, and the Muslim travel ban. Democratic AGs have also gone to court to, among other things, protect citizens from Trump’s industry-dictated anti-environmental agenda, students from rapacious for-profit colleges, and those serving in the military from the administration’s bigotry against transgender people.
The Republican-controlled Congress has abrogated its responsibilities, and is willing to sit idly by and allow an incompetent, dishonest and serially corrupt administration to run roughshod over laws and decency. When Trump was inaugurated, separation of powers evaporated. Democratic attorneys general have openly taken up the mantle of checks and balances, trying to fill the gaping void left by Congress when it comes to standing up against Trump and his thieving administration.
One effective way to subvert the public will is to make sure states have Republican attorneys general. Nevada knows this all too well, from watching Attorney General Adam Laxalt, now running for governor, go way, way, way out of his way to do the gun industry’s bidding and thwart a background check measure approved by voters in 2016.
Protecting right-wing ideology, special interests, and Trump — that, not the character and conduct of Ford – or Duncan – is why RAGA is spending oodles of money on the Nevada AG race. And tapping the ugly, rotten core of Trump’s appeal, RAGA, on Duncan’s behalf, is portraying Ford not only as a bad man, but a bad black man, playing on the white electorate’s basest sentiments. As history has shown, that crap works, even if subliminally, and even on voters convinced that they themselves would never, could never, succumb to racism in the ballot booth.
In an echo of Trump’s strong-man law and order bilge, Duncan’s campaign slogan is “A Safer Nevada.” One implication, of course, is that Nevada’s current attorney general has somehow failed to keep Nevada safe. It would be interesting to hear Duncan explain exactly how Laxalt, who moved to Nevada in 2011 to shop for a political office, has neglected to protect the safety of his adopted state and rendered Nevada so vulnerable to mayhem that Duncan must swoop in and save the day.
Duncan’s not going to do that. But if Duncan wanted to prove that he truly has the character and mettle to be a stellar attorney general, he’d denounce RAGA’s racism and tell RAGA to get the hell out of Nevada, because we’re trying pretty hard to move beyond all that.
Read the full commentary from Jackson here.