“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
— John Adams, defending British soldiers in the 1770 Boston Massacre Trial
In just two months, Nevada voters will fire the opening salvo in the monumental 2012 political war for the hearts, minds, wallets and votes of America.
With the state Supreme Court’s ruling dismissing Secretary of State Ross Miller’s silly attempt to turn the special election to fill Dean Heller’s congressional seat into a free-for-all, the Sept. 13 ballot will pit Republican Mark Amodei — a Carson City lawyer and former state senator — against Democrat Kate Marshall — the sitting state treasurer. Early voting starts Aug. 27.
On the stump in front of the Conservative Leadership Conference in Henderson this past weekend, Amodei seemed at times less interested in touting his own candidacy for the House seat than in stressing the importance of sweeping Democrats out of power in the House, the Senate and the White House.
Amodei appropriately quoted Ronald Reagan’s farewell address at the Republican National Convention in 1988, when Reagan quoted Adams’ line about “facts are stubborn things” — several times.
Reagan noted Democrats invented the misery index in 1976, combining inflation and unemployment to come up with a 13.4 index to throw at Republican Jerry Ford. In 1980, the end of Jimmy Carter’s only term, they did not mention the misery index, because it was 21 percent. By the time of Reagan’s farewell address the index was down to 9. 2 percent. A stubborn fact for sure.
With his strong stage presence, Reagan recounted the awful facts that had his audience laughing:
“The average weekly wage plunged 9 percent. The median family income fell five and half percent. Facts are stubborn things.
“Our friends on the other side had actually passed the single highest tax bill in the 200-year history of the United States. Auto loans, because of their policies, went up to 17 percent, so our great factories began shutting down. Fuel costs jumped through the atmosphere, more than doubling. Then people waited in gas lines as well as unemployment lines. Facts are stupid things — stubborn things, I should say.” And they laughed all the harder.
Like Reagan, Amodei offered a litany of stubborn facts, including:
— “The Pelosi-Reid led Congress presided over the fastest run-up of national debt in modern history.”
— “The stimulus policies of the federal government have not helped Nevada in the present financial situation.”
— “And, finally, the tax and fiscal policies of the Obama administration have not provided the private sector with the accountability and predictability which they seek in order to continue investing again.”
He called the 2nd Congressional District special election phenomenally important for Republicans, because it will set the stage for the 2012 election, which kicks off west of the Rockies with the Republican presidential caucus in Nevada.
Amodei declared, “When you look at the state that the state is in — with some of the supposedly best friends in the federal government a person can have (Harry Reid?) — and you ask yourself: Is this really working for us?”
It was a smooth hand off from now-Sen. Heller, who on the same stage 45 minutes earlier asked, “How’s liberalism working for you today?”
He too ticked off some stubborn facts:
— National joblessness has been above 8 percent for a record 28 months.
— Nevadans in that time lost 30,000 jobs.
— Gasoline is up 100 percent since Obama’s inauguration.
— The federal debt is up 35 percent.
— Health insurance premiums have grown 20 percent.
— Housing values in the nation have decreased 15 percent, and more than double that in Nevada.
“The voters of Nevada look into the facts,” Amodei concluded. “So these one-line things — well if you do this, then everybody over the age of 65 is going to die a horrible death instantly next Tuesday — it’s simply not credible. So, I will say this: Look out for those folks who read the bills and tell the truth and remember who they work for. And that’s the folks who gave them the job.”
Amodei isn’t running against Marshall, he’s running against Obama, Reid and Pelosi: