Las Vegas Sun

January 30, 2015

Currently: 54° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

jon ralston:

The blind hate that is financing Sharron Angle’s run

“Sharron Angle produced one of the most successful single quarters of fundraising in the nation’s history for a U.S. Senate campaign. This is a testament to the hatred of Harry Reid, the nation’s disapproval of President Obama, and the unprecedented grass-roots support for Sharron Angle. Harry Reid is losing this race, he knows it, and he is just going to get more desperate over the final three weeks.”

— Angle spokesman Jarrod Agen after reporting GOP Senate nominee had raised $14 million in the third quarter


What’s hate got to do with it?

Everything. Or just enough.

Even though it has been the leitmotif of the Nevada Senate race, even though it is the undercurrent that has electrified the GOP, even though it is the reason Republicans still have hope here after nominating a verbally flawed candidate, it was still jarring to see the word used in a news release.

I’ve read plenty of such missives over the years that have vicious language and stinging adjectives. Indeed, the Reid campaign has called Angle “crazy” and said she has “lost her mind.” But “hatred” is such an awful word — a word I forbid my daughter to use — and yet it sums up exactly why the Senate majority leader may lose to a woman who just last week talked of Sharia law existing in cities in Michigan and Texas.

It’s hatred that has brought this Senate race, with three days until voting begins, to a place where Angle can win. It is hatred that brought her that $14 million haul. And it is hatred that courses through the American electorate, bringing venomous and vitriolic assaults upon anyone who dares to suggest Obama-Reid-Pelosi is not a three-headed monster.

Angle has all but done what she promised to do when she advertised her campaign on conservative talk shows and Fox — “Harry Reid has said he will raise $25 million in this race. I need 1 million people to send $25.”

And you know what: She did it. Or essentially she did.

An incredible 161,358 people sent her checks of $200 or less. Her average donation is $90, Agen says.

This is real, unparalleled (except, perhaps, for Barack Obama in 2008) grass roots. And there is a wildfire blazing through the grass roots, with burning hatred for Reid animating Angle’s chances.

Of those small contributors, my guess is only a handful of the 161,358 people know much about Angle. They have no idea about her religious fervor, fail to separate her church (which apparently doesn’t like Mormons) from our state, or her multifarious positions on Social Security and Medicare, her sympathy for “Second Amendment remedies” or her latest incendiary comments about Dearborn, Mich., and nonexistent Frankford, Texas, implying “the Muslims are coming, the Muslims are coming.”

But they don’t need to know much about Sharron Angle. They know enough about Harry Reid — Obamacare, bailouts, stimulus, good old boy (emphasis on “old”) and part of a corrupt Congress that has bankrupted this country and led it down the inevitable path to socialism.

I think I got most of the message points. Set the kindling, pour on some gasoline, light the fire and poof: You have $14 million, half of it last month.

Almost every national reporter, as I have said before, wants to know why people “hate” Harry Reid. I always say the same thing: 40 years in politics, familiarity breeds contempt, terrible retail pol, bizarre statements, face of unpopular Democratic agenda. But there’s more to it, as I realized after the $14 million revelation. As a headline on New York magazine’s blog said: “Sharron Angle’s Cash Haul Says Something About America’s State of Mind.”

Team Reid has understood this mental state for a while, which is why it has adopted a scorched-earth policy of its own, determined that if their guy is all but in ashes they have to take the blowtorch to Angle. And have they ever, executing one of the most relentless, laserlike assaults in campaign history, turning Angle from the darling of the Tea Party on June 8 to the butt of national jokes as the election nears.

And so we go to the finish line, with the pair matching each other gaffe for gaffe — Reid answered a question recently about who he thought was the greatest living American by naming two dead senators, Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy.

But Reid’s serpentine rhetorical peregrinations seem addled; Angle’s seem dangerous. So do we want the dotty guy or the crazy woman?

Or, to use that word I don’t let my daughter say: Who do you hate least?

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 14 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Jon forgot to mention the millions Angle got from the hateful Karl Rove, the Kochs and other corporatist front groups.

  2. It's hilarious to see a spokesman for Sharron Angle basically contending that you MUST hate Senator Reid, HE'S the bad guy, HE even looks funny, HE'S bad for Nevada, HE'S the culprit, HE'S the dastardly nefarious character that is the villain, hate HIM, hate on HIM, HATE HIM!

    But nothing is said in defense of Sharron Angle. And this silence is supposed to say she is an electable candidate.

    This hate thing ain't gonna work.

    You overload the hate aspect, it just shows an ulterior motive.

    And all Sharron Angle's followers have produced so far is that she don't have any popular views at all. She changes with the wind. She just wants votes and will say and do anything to get votes. And if elected into office, she won't represent us. She'll only represent herself.

    To prove my point, during her whole campaign, she ONLY empasizes that she wants campaign money. And that is her only driving force. As far as issues, she tests the wind and throws something out there, then changes when a backlash happens, I didn't say THAT, I said THIS, because if I say THIS, I may get your vote, so I guess I'll pretend like I care and said this, but it will get me into office, then I do what I want. Sharron Angle only wants to get elected. And she will do anything to achieve this. She will lie, cheat, steal, bamboozle, snow, you name it...reach into the Republican Party bag of tricks and keep throwing stuff out there.

    The way the entire political landscape is going now, she could DO ANYTHING, threaten, commit a crime, say preposterous things, you name it, and she'd still stay in the running. She could perform a human sacrifice naked in Caesars Palace fountain reciting the communist manifesto...and her camp would STILL play it off, yell and scream it was Harry Reid's fault!

    She's unelectable.

    My vote goes for Senator Reid.

    I prefer sanity. Because this tea crap ain't gonna work for Nevada.

  3. So many times the word "hate" is misused, no matter what the user's political views are. In this case, we don't hate Harry the man, we just hate his politics. There's a big difference! We actually don't hate Reid and we wish him an enjoyable retirement.

  4. Colin: Perhaps you misunderstand the "tea crap" to which you refer. What it is, is an attempt by lovers of America to rescue us citizens from the creeping tyranny of our government. It is sweeping the nation like a tsunami.

  5. I wonder, would Harry Reid win by 10 points if he were to say this would absolutely be his last term?

  6. If you vote Sharron Angle, prepare yourself for six years of buyer's remorse.

  7. Angle

    goes to goernment college UNR
    teaches at government college WNC
    Gets health care from Federal Government BLM

    Like Gibbons who is costs the taxpayers millions of dollars with his phony "horse accident" Angle gets taxpayer medical care.

    That X ray was obviously faked and he wants to get people's sympathy as a "lame duck."

    We still haven't heard who owned the mysterious "horses into dog food" Ranch north of Reno. What was the name of the horse that dumped him? "playmate?"

  8. mred,

    I keep trying to take your opinions serious but you make it very hard to do so.

    You keep throwing out things like "Phony horse accident" and "X ray was obviously faked" when you have nothing to back up those statements.

    Much like Ms. Angle and her nonexistent Frankford, Texas, implying "the Muslims are coming, the Muslims are coming." statements.

    I guess I can understand why you would back her. You both lack on facts and substance.

  9. There is an old saying better the Devil you know than the Devil you do not know. Senator Reid has been around a long time and he has done some wonderful things for both Nevada and the Nation. I strongly believe that he needs to be reelected this time. If the GOP takes control of Congress then our great Nation will truly become a banana republic, with no middle class, corporations running our government, thousands without health insurance, and hate for anyone not white or a member of a fundalmentist curuch. The 1st amendment will vanish along with the separation of church and state. We can thank Carl Rove and his mean band of hate mongers and corporate money making this election cycle so horrendous. I hope in the end voters will understand what is happening and vote for Senator Reid. I may not always be happy with the Senator, but I respect him, understand how Congress functions, and I will vote for Harry.

  10. "The Debate"...
    Tomorrow, Thursday, 6pm, Vegas PBS, channel 10.

    MUST SEE T.V.!!!

  11. JBLV asked: "How many of those 161,358 contributors live in Nevada?"

    The answer is about 27%, which is about the same as the percentage Reid got to contribute to him, 26%.

    You can find more precise numbers here:

  12. I witnessed the debate between Dina Titus and Joe Heck if you want to call it a debate. Dina really responded to questions from Jon Ralston with Laserlike answers right on the money.
    Worth noting Joe Heck's whispered answer as to whether he would vote for Sharron Angle was UNDERWHELMING. After being pressed twice by Jon Ralston for an answer he said yes ever so quietly.
    This leads me to really believe that Republicans are running away from Angle especially here in Clark COunty .They want no part of her.
    Also worth noting was that Brian Sandoval never showed up and Rory Reid had the stage to himself. Sandoval has not done anything that would lead any thinking person that he should be governor. If he wins that Nevada would have elected a smile thats it folks

  13. The Republicants have put up their money now all we can do is sit and wait for Nov 2nd. The consultants love this. The Republicant fanatical' s have done a good job of financing their hopes of ousting Senator Reid. The only reason the Senator Reid is in trouble is because the Republicants decided they do not like him anymore because he will let them have their way all of the time, god forbid that anyone should tell a Republicant NO!

    Ultimately it is up to the voters to decide if they want to buy into their hate campaign or do the best thing for Nevada and re-elect Senator Harry Reid.

    If Sandoval is elected we have to look forward to another four years of Jim Gibbons in a nicer suit and a brighter smile, while he is shafting the working people of Nevada like our dear Governor is doing.

    The Democrats have to come out and vote!!! If not you only have yourselves to blame.

  14. tis quite interesting that Jon Ralston won't comment on Don Williams' claim that he picked up bags of cash from pimp Joe Conforte at the Mustang Ranch in the 70s - which would imply Reid was on the take on the Gaming Commission and later. Williams was Reid's original campaign manager. If this is true, Reid is a crook, if it is not true then Don Williams is a dirty trick artist of the greatest extent.

    Ralston knows all this, but is part of an attempt to cover up the news. I guess he hates the truth.