Fear, guilt, money and racism
Expanded from the 11-12-2006 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
Updated 11-13-2006, 10-24-2010

During the 1992 Clarence Thomas supreme court nomination farce, Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., said that DC is motivated only through some combination of fear, guilt, money and racism.

Recent BARBWIRE Media Hits
and Ego Trips

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.
      RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

"Our long national nightmare is over."
Did I say that a dozen years ago?
CORY FARLEY, RGJ, 11-10-2006

BARBANO: Nevada's newly-hiked minimum wage is nowhere near enough
Reno Gazette-Journal, 11-11-2006

Oregon State U. minimum wage deflator

Time to bring back NAGPAC?
CORY FARLEY, RGJ, 8-1-2006

Like a typical southern state, Nevada proved even more primitive. We couldn't even chalk one up to good old fashioned racial stereotypes like Tennessee, which elected a white U.S. senator by accusing his café au lait Democratic opponent of lusting after white women. Fear and racism trumped guilt.

The Silver State race for governor harked back to an even more primitive past: tribalism.

All the negative potshots Jim Gibbons threw at Dina Titus, and vise-cursa-versa, didn't matter. She lost because she's a she. Not to say that the minority leader didn't run a helluva race. She's just built wrong to be Nevada governor. A 6'5" blonde adonis named Dean Titus would have won.

As I noted on Erin Breen's morning show on KTVN TV-2 last month, the governor's race was best analyzed in terms tribal and biblical.

The positions of governor, president and network news anchor all require a qualification which neither Dina Titus nor Katie Couric possess: they can't be daddy who can tell insecure little kiddies that everything's going to be alright.

The roots are indeed primal, tribal and biblical: Saul was named king of ancient Israel by popular acclamation because "Saul stood head and shoulders over any other man." (Check it out in the Old Testament, Samuel, Book One.)

Dina Titus, wispy of hair, body and voice, does not fit the role of protector of the tribe. Big, tall studs have an edge in politics. Dubya looks like a president, as did Warren Harding, the only qualification either possessed to hold the office. Gibbons, like Gov. Dudley Do-Right before him, looks like a governor.

Titus kicked the warmonger's ass in the gubernatorial debates but it didn't matter.

"Dina Titus, at 97 pounds soaking wet, just does not fit the image of governor that people want. And cosmetics is why she will lose," I noted in a mid-October e-mail to my Tribune colleague in columny Jake Highton.

With respect to Jill Derby, she should have listened to me last year. I told her personally, and reiterated in a Dennis Myers article in the Reno News & Review, that her only chance lay in busting the unconstitutional gerrymander of the district.

I told Regent Derby that Christ off the cross couldn't win in the northern congressional district with a Republican voter registration edge which would swell to more than 50,000 by election day.

She instead ran as a Republican conservative and things went well until Dubya and Congressman-elect Dean Heller reminded people of the "D" after her name.

As Harry Truman once wisely advised, if you give people a choice between two conservatives, they'll always vote for the real thing.

And if the other team outnumbers you by 50 grand, you're toast before the bread is baked.

So could a woman win the governorship? Perhaps one day. Treasurer-elect Kate Marshall, as I noted last year, is the best candidate raw material I've seen come down the pike in many a year. If she can learn to start giving people the time when they ask for it – rather than the complete history of the watch – she can go far. But I see her more as a congresscritter or senator than governor. (For some reason, the macho requirement for legislative office is not as absolute.)

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool civil rights/womens' rights Democratic liberal, but I also calls 'em like I sees 'em, and dimbulb Jimbo Gibbons is governor-elect because he looks like Warren Harding or, in the opinion of a certain now-famous Las Vegas cocktail waitress, Bill Clinton.


Phillips' prediction may come true

UPDATE 10-24-2010
Brass and crystal balls: GOP implosion looms closer and closer

MORE LESSONS OF 2006 – The end of the GOP? On Jan. 21, 2001, I wrote that "rejoicing at the U.S. royal family's return to power may prove short-lived."

I noted maverick Republican historian Kevin Phillips' assertion that "when the restored James II fell in 1688, that was the end of the Stuart kings. When the restored Bourbons followed suit in 1830, that was the end of their house. Should a Bush Restoration implode on its own whir of cocky inadequacy, that could be a similar last hurrah not simply for the family's power but for the Republican Party," Phillips said. (See his 1999 book, The Cousins' Wars, which treats the long-range similarities in the evolution of England, France and the U.S. after their civil wars.)

"It doesn't take much to predict that George II will soon risk American lives in some foolish war," I wrote in early 2001.

LAS VEGAS CLEANED HOUSE. Documented dirty dealings didn’t hurt Gibbons and other Republicans in northern Nevada. Sen. Maurice "Cookie Jar" Washington, R-Sparks, won another term as a dependable shill for Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno. Light-Guv-elect Brian Krolicki survived documented facts about no-bid cronyism as state treasurer. But GOP State Sen. Sandra Tiffany and Clark County Commissioner Lynette Boggs-McDonald were taken out in supposedly more corrupt Gomorrah South.

Nice to know that we were more than competitive in at least one aspect of the campaign.

READ MORE ABOUT IT. As I often do at crunch time, I put out a special web and e-mail edition of the Barbwire on election eve. It was largely a first-ever compilation of the long history of conflicts of interest of Sen. Raggio and the resulting harm done to his own constituents. Check it out.

Be well. Raise hell.

Smoking Guns


BY READER REQUEST: This season's ballot questions hung out to dry on the BARBWIRE of 10-22-2006. Also thereat, GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Gibbons proposes to slash public employee retirement and other benefits.

BARBWIRE 10-8-2006: Rock and Roll
Includes audio/video links to Gibbons' statement on the Nevada Public Employee Retirement System (PERS)

10-24-2006 — Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., was named "worst person in the world" on MSNBC's The Countdown with Keith Olbermann, beating out perennial daily winner Bill O'Reilly of FAUX News. Olbermann, the best commentator on television, awarded the dubious distinction to GOP gubernatorial nominee Gibbons for stating that his alleged attempt to save an inebriated woman from tripping and falling taught him a lesson — and that would be the last time he would ever try to help anyone again. What a guy.

State of Nevada
Secretary of State


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Andrew Barbano is a 38-year Nevadan and editor of As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.

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