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April 16, 2014

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J. Patrick Coolican:

Degradation of the Republican Party on display in Las Vegas

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Leila Navidi

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing in Las Vegas Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012.

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J. Patrick Coolican

It was a fitting closing chapter in the Republican presidential nominating contest, which has had all the gravitas of Mardi Gras.

Donald Trump, the nation’s charlatan-in-chief, endorsed likely nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday in his fabulously classy, super glamorous, totally loathsome building near the Las Vegas Strip.

Trump Endorses Romney for President

Ann Romney points out someone in the audience to her husband Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, after businessman Donald Trump, center, endorsed Romney's presidential bid during a news conference at the Trump International Hotel  in Las Vegas, Nevada February 2, 2012. Launch slideshow »

I confess I had another engagement and missed the big event, but I did see it on TV. Trump, with the hue of a ripe pumpkin and hair like a frayed ball of string unwound around his head, said — oh, never mind what he said.

Soon Romney will receive the nod from Gordon Gekko in the captain’s dining quarters on the Queen Mary.

At a rally Wednesday night, Romney said President Barack Obama isn’t really one of us: “It is what made us who we are — these innovators, these pioneers, these builders. It’s in your DNA. We share it, whether literally or figuratively. We share this spirit. I don’t think President Barack Obama understands that. I don’t think he has the feeling of this American spirit that drives us to be successful and innovative and to create ...”

Yeah, Obama doesn’t know what it is to buy a company, load it up with debt, fire a bunch of workers, walk away richer and pay an effective federal income tax rate of 14 percent. That’s the American “spirit” right there.

Of course Obama doesn’t get this, but I wish Romney would come out and say why: As Trump informed us last year, Obama’s not a real American; he’s a foreigner. A Kenyan socialist. Or maybe an Indonesian Muslim schooled in a Madrassa.

Earlier Thursday I saw a tired and deflated Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, try his hand as the underdog. God love America, where you can be a former speaker of the House who had a gig on Fox News and made millions of dollars from large corporations — not as a lobbyist, though! — and still call yourself “anti-establishment.”

At Xtreme Manufacturing in the central valley, Gingrich said his campaign was people power vs. money power, like he’s Cesar Chavez or something. Gingrich was no more than a couple miles from the Venetian, whose owner, Sheldon Adelson, and his wife have given Gingrich at least $10 million for his sputtering campaign.

Then, during his speech, this man of the people made clear where his loyalties lie, saying he’d repeal the Dodd-Frank legislation that was intended to curb financial abuses and regulate the Wall Street mess that contributed to the current recession.

Later, at an event aimed at Hispanics at the World Market Center, Gingrich touted his achievements working with Democrats, particularly former President Bill Clinton, for whom he sounded at times almost wistful. Never mind that Gingrich presided over the House as it prepared to impeach Clinton (over what again?) or that he built his whole career on smash-mouth attack politics.

Newt Gingrich in Vegas

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks at a town hall-style meeting with business and community leaders from the Las Vegas Latino community Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012. Launch slideshow »

I’d be happy enough to laugh at the degradations of a once great political party, except this is no joke.

Recent court decisions have struck down laws intended to prevent unlimited political donations from wealthy interests. Already a handful of corporations and individuals have showered money on Romney and the super PAC run by his allies. I can understand their enthusiasm: They’re rich as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore.

With the economy still suffering the hangover of the previous decade’s housing and Wall Street kegger, voters are understandably impatient with Obama. Throw in hundreds of millions of dollars for negative ads, and Romney looks like an even bet to be president.

Then, our long suffering oil and gas industries, Wall Street financiers, wealthy heirs and tax-dodging Fortune 500 companies will finally catch a break. Ah, the spirit of America.

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  1. RefNV,

    It's important inasmuch as it allows him to earn a living. :)

  2. Wow, and they call Republicrats "mean & nasty?" Coolican takes the cake! He's as rabid as they come. Bear that in mind when you scan his column in the future. It doesn't show up well in his photo, but his eyes must be green, he's so envious of those who made it big in business while he plys his trade at an "insert," not a "real" newspaper!

  3. This has not even begun. The billion dollar baby has approval in 10 States as I write this. California is one that "barely" approves of him. 50.01%. If you think, please try it, thinking that is, we are more than ever in the grips of the rich. This president builds companies, WITH OUR MONEY, with no idea that they can stay open for a year, then he allows them the BK. Reality, the auto makers could have used BK and reorganization to get exactly where they are today, WITHOUT taxpayers dollars. Readers, we are in a mess, it will take harsh decisions to make it through. We are compared to European nations everyday, and if you remember history, we left them over 200 years ago. To return? I hope not.

  4. Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! you go with those comments that have no factual basis!

  5. Bravo, Coolican! Bravo..Bravo! Encore! Encore! Coo-li-can! Coo-li-can! Coo-li-can! Go Patrick, Go Patrick! Go Patrick!

    Please Patrick Coolican, continue to call them out as they are...as we all really see them! Tell it like it is! Are they Race baiting, extremist, anti-Americans? Really? Has the Republican Party become a pure racist party? Out of the closet, they don't get a damn about being called for what they are acting like? A bunch of racist, extremist, anti-Americans! Well, this is America! One can express their views and exercise our First Amendment Rights! Sure can! And this is why we have newspapers, and blogs, and good reporters like Coolican to make it known about the truth, the intentions of powerful politicians and political parties who express Racist and anti-American views.

    Coolican, turn the lights on these cockroaches and watch them run for cover! The First Amendment, good stuff! Please, keep it coming!

  6. "Trump, with the hue of a ripe pumpkin and hair like a frayed ball of string unwound around his head, said -- oh, never mind what he said."

    lol -- exactly.

    great job whipping up the fact free dog whistle listeners. I mean there's nothing like seeing the wholly irrational first thing in the morning.

    great job!!

  7. "Degradation of the Republican Party on display in Las Vegas"...

    Ain't it a HOOT?
    Your take, Patrick, is as usual, astute.
    Newt, Mitt & Ron Paul the ol' coot...
    (The sick Santorum is already moot)
    In the whole bunch there ain't a single beaut
    but man, the top two have loot!
    Whichever clown wins, there is no dispute...
    President Obama will give em' the boot.

  8. When I was young, I was taught that finks were not nice people. I've met some nice finks around Las Vegas, and I've even met some who have an acquaintance with facts. Our fink here isn't one of them.

    By the way, BChap, really insightful commentary and analysis.

  9. I'm a life long Democrat, but really like Ron Paul. He certainly won't get elected, but at least he puts it all out on the table. But let's face it, little that a President does matters. In the end, it's all up to the Congress. And not just Harry Reid. So don't worry what Mitt or Gingrich say, they are just figureheads, having little effect on our pitiful sorry daily lives. We might as well be voting to elect Matt Damon or George Clooney for dog catcher....

  10. Once again, Mr. Coolican nails it. 'Course, that just means the opposition will be coming out of the woodwork to go after him. But, he can take it as well as he can dish it out.

  11. Hey Chap: I use a dull butter knife to shave my head.

  12. apparently people have trouble distinguishing a news article from an opinion column.

  13. "Hey Chap: I use a dull butter knife to shave my head."

    Coolican -- although I channel George Carlin on white guys with shaved heads, excellent!

    "To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson (from "Metamorphosis"?)

  14. Patrick, your take on this over-the-top, uber-wealthy road show is priceless. Clowns on steroids with bad hair.

    For those of you that think "jealousy" is the reason why most of us agree with Patrick, you need a brain scan to find out exactly what grey matter is in your skull. I'm all for people being rich; it's their abuse of the power they try to purchase to advance their PERSONAL greed to the detriment of this country that is loathsome and disgusting.

    The GREEDY rich created every war since WWII.

    The GREEDY rich could care less about those less fortunate...after all, it's their OWN fault they are poor.

    The GREEDY rich will use religion, race, gender, immorality, or illegal means necessary to make themselves richer, and create laws to justify their actions.

    The GREEDY rich will send your sons and daughters off to war to be killed if it makes them wealthier.

    The GREEDY rich will support Red China, human atrocities, crimes against humanity, weapons of mass destruction in the hands of America's enemies if it makes them wealthier.

    The GREEDY rich don't care who has medical insurance or proper care - it's not their problem.

    Gingrich is an immoral, disgraced professional politician that makes his money the old fashioned way -- by selling out his soul to the highest bidder. And, with his looks, there's gotta be some big money exchanged for his serial fortification.

    Romney and Trump see the world through Rose colored glasses and are in the same category as the Kardashians. ME ME ME Might as well cast your vote for Kim.

    Santorium wants to bring back the inquisitions. He's akin to Strom Thurmond.

    Ron Paul, may have a few good ideas, but who the hell takes him seriously enough .. he's in the Ross Perot category.

    The bat-sh*t crazies include palin, bachmann, angle, dennis kucinic, george w., dick cheney, and barry goldwater.

    Sad, very sad. And they all throw stones at Obama.

    Show me a GREEDY rich man/woman, and you can BET there is blood money in their bank account. And, is that who you want to lead this country?

  15. "apparently people have trouble distinguishing a news article from an opinion column."

    That's because they are so used to Fox "News" calling the bats**t they present "news." Those of us with working brain cells know the difference...

  16. "The GREEDY rich created every war since WWII."

    transplanted -- you almost got it right. See below.

    "My father was a 1964 Barry Goldwater Republican..."

    TomD -- now you've posted something worthy of respect. At least for me, Goldwater continues to set the bar for all conservatives in our republic. Your dad went the extra mile so few now are willing to go.

    "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902--1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents." -- Major General Smedley Butler, a Marine and one of only 19 people to be TWICE awarded the Medal of Honor, from a 1935 issue of the socialist magazine "Common Sense"

  17. This current makeup of the Republican party is not the party of Reagan , Ike or Lincoln.

  18. Do a Goggle search on "santorum" and then ask yourself if you want that to be the top response if he were to become President. Not only would that be the ultimate degradation of the Republican Party, but of the office of President as well.

    Santorum could become the reincarnation of Lincoln, TR and Ike all rolled into one and I still could not vote for him for that single reason now.

  19. Killerb

    Obviously you are well aware of major general Smedley Butler perhaps there is another marine named Carlos Hathcock who might be of some interest to you.

  20. The "important" GOP caucus in Nevada will prove to be a non-event as far as the GOP nominee (Romney) is concerned. As of today, Mittens has a 20% lead over fatso Gingrich, and unless Mittens is caught in a flagrant criminal act before Saturday's sham anointment, he will move on to the next GOP non-event primary/caucus. It is breathtaking that the state with the highest foreclosure rate, and the highest unemployment rate in the US, could back a Teapub candidate whose abject dismissal of economic conditions here displays his total lack of rapport with the working poor and middle class voter of Nevada. Vote GOP, fools, and see how that works out for you.

  21. "...another marine named Carlos Hathcock who might be of some interest to you."

    mike_kerns -- nope, but Chesty Puller is. The names come from my brother, a Marine who served in Desert Storm. Major General Butler is interesting because of his blunt anti-war little piece "War is a Racket"

    "I am for relying, for internal defence, on our militia solely, till actual invasion, and for such a naval force only as may protect our coasts and harbors from such depredations as we have experienced; and not for a standing army in time of peace, which may overawe the public sentiment; nor for a navy, which, by it's own expenses and the eternal wars in which it will implicate us, grind us with public burthens, & sink us under them." -- from Thomas Jefferson's letter to Elbridge Gerry, Jan 26, 1799

  22. Actually Carlos Hathcock symbolizes what is lacking in our country right now, that is duty to our country, courage under fire and above all a individual who would make a personal sacrifice for his teammates and country. A man who practiced what can I do for my country, not what can my country do for me. Right now we can use more people in our country who can lead by example that is not reflective of the Republican party today.

  23. And I would think that anyone who would post there name as killer would understand what sacrifice and duty is all about. My mistake.

  24. Carlos Hathcock is a worthy topic, maybe someone can send a letter to the editor to break the monotony of what we have seen recently. However, the discussion is going somewhat astray from the topic of this column.

  25. Its not like the current degraded Republican party couldn't learn a thing or two from Mr Hathcock. As always the moderator is fair and balanced. :)

  26. Mr. Coolican, if you think the Democrats are any less degraded than the Republicans, then you must be blinded by your own power elite affiliation. The two-party system, and the primary system, is a sham. Register non-partisan. Democrats, Republicans, let's call the whole thing off.

  27. Dear Patrick COOLican (as you are). Ignore the nasty trolls who have commented above, and listen to me. You have a great way with words that get to the heart of the matter in a way that always rings true. There's always humor, though the defensive commenters, who probably have every material basis to agree with you, will never acknowledge it. Your writing will be one of the bright spots in what promises to be an exhausting and frustrating nine months ahead. Keep it coming.

  28. I got one thing to say to all you Obama haters (and I know most of you don't give a crap on what I have to say)...but enjoy today and tomorrow.....because it will be the ONLY win in 2012 Romney will have in Nevada.

  29. Republicans are no longer a serious Political Party. They meet at Country Clubs and in "Quiet Rooms" to plot how they can keep their Money Machine going For Themselves. Look at all the Groups the Extreme Koch Brothers (whose Dad was in the John Birch Society) fund with their dis-information campaigns. Never Vote for another Republican.

  30. Another Sun sponsored endorsement of the Democratic Party. You guys may as well just take money directly from them you shill well enough you deserve it.

  31. The REAL "Degradation of the Republican Party on display in Las Vegas," is the usual and time proven LACK of organization they seemingly and consistantly demonstrate.

    The lack of organization of the Republicans of Nevada shows itself, as verified by commenter, Poetry1953 in another Las Vegas Sun article today! Because of many, many snafus, one cannot depend on the actual count being accurate, because many caucus goers were turned away, or gave up in discouragement.

    Numerous news media sources both on Saturday and Sunday(today), reported scores of caucus goers being redirected, turned away, locked out, and very discouraged about how all this went in Nevada State.

    It makes one wonder, IF these folks were able to caucus and vote, would the results be different? As we all have heard, "Romney is running on WINS, not what the issues are about."

    I always look forward to J.Patrick Coolican's pithy pellets---so keep it coming sir!

    In the near future, we will be hearing more voices in the political race: according to yahoo news, Roseanne Barr will be running on the GREEN PARTY ticket. That will truly ruffle feathers and stir the political pot! =D

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star