Remember last week and our good friend the incoming Speaker of Nevada’s General Assembly, Republican Ira “simple-minded darkies” Hansen? Turns out there’s a limit even to that as we’ve reached the “I’m sorry you people find my two decades of verbatim racial intolerance in my columns to be a problem”, I’m the real victim here” phase of the game. Jon Ralston details Hansen’s “apology”:
For the greater good of the State of Nevada and the cause I support it is necessary for me to withdraw as Speaker Designee. The tens of thousands of people who both read my columns and listened to my radio shows through two decades in the media know this has been a carefully orchestrated attack to remove a conservative Republican from a major leadership role in State government. The deliberate character assassination and the politics of personal destruction have totally distorted my views and record. Ultimately, this whole attack has very little to do with my views. The powers that be are planning a massive, more than one billion dollar, tax increase and I stood in the way as Speaker. I have already served two terms as an Assemblyman without any of these vicious attacks. It was only when I had risen to leadership that this smear campaign occurred. That is the real reason for this and it is vital the public understands that.
If it’s possible, it does actually get worse as Ralston points out.
Even in departure, Hansen played the victim Sunday, repeating what he had mewled in a Saturday email: “Politics of personal destruction win.” On Saturday, he had lamented that he had been targeted by character assassins (“Wasn’t it technically character suicide?” one wag wondered.) and he has been enabled by lunkheads and opportunists who cared more about their own influence and pocketbooks than Hansen’s political career.
But Hansen’s own pen was mightier than any of the swords unsheathed by those who never wanted him there. The release of his old columns by Dennis Myers, followed by more revelations of his contemporaneous beliefs by Anjeanette Damon and Steve Sebelius, shocked and offended even those who liked and supported him. And there was, undoubtedly, more coming as at least one TV station was/is working on damaging stories about Hansen.
Here’s the debate we should be having however:
Some have wondered why we in the Fourth Estate exposed Hansen now and did not do so earlier. Maybe we should have. But in our defense, Hansen was a backbencher who had been in Carson City for two sessions, so no one really paid attention until he was serendipitously elevated.
Pretty sure nobody gave a damn about the career of Nevada’s most awesome racist uncle until 1) he actually won the vote to be Speaker of the Assembly and 2) as Speaker his first order of business would have been taking a big steaming crap on that new Tesla battery plant in Nevada and the $1.25 billion they’re getting in tax incentives.
This would have been rather problematic for the state’s general revenues, so apparently being a giant racist asshole didn’t really matter to Nevada for 20 years until there was a good chance that the bad press and the legislative damage would have been an issue for the new guys from Cali with the money. Nice to have that delineated for us, Silver State.
Call me crazy on that one.