If there’s one thing to take away from Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) grand displays of narcissism and ways to waste time in his faux-filibuster efforts to defund Obamacare, it’s that it’s time to finally get the crazy out of Capitol Hill. It’d be nice if the last two years of President Barack Obama’s administration would be spent actually getting legislation passed without obstructionists and power-hungry politicians like Cruz standing in the way. These useless wastes of suits have made a lot of noise, but have managed to simultaneously not say anything.
Though redistricting alone makes kicking out the likes of Cruz such a task difficult, traditionally low turn voter turnout in non-presidential election years is the bigger burden.
Many Republicans know this, but not as many are so verbose about their joy in certain voting blocs likely staying home next year.
Enter Nevada Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey (pictured), who practically gushed about the great 2014 he expects the GOP to have in a recent interview with conservative radio host Dan Mason.
Hickey explained during Tuesday’s broadcast:
“We have some real opportunities in 2014. It is a great year in a non-presidential election. Seemingly no Democrats at the top of the ticket against [Republican Gov. Brian] Sandoval. No Harry Reid. Probably where we had a million voters out there in 2012, we have 700,000. A lot of minorities, a lot of younger people will not turn out in a non-presidential. It is a great year for Republicans.”
In other words, “We can’t win elections when more people are involved in the process, which is why we’re good for suppressing the votes of the young and melanin-enriched.”
When asked about the comments, Hickey told HuffPost, “What I was trying to say, in Nevada, historically, off presidential years have historically been lower turnout models.” Yeah, we got that part, but what about those minority and young people comments? Huh? Huh? Huh?
“We certainly in Nevada are encouraged by Governor Sandoval, being a Hispanic sitting governor who is enjoying broad support. Persons like myself in the Legislature supported a resolution for comprehensive immigration reform and driver’s license cards. That is helping the standing of Republicans in Nevada, especially in state legislative races.”
Ah, someone realizes he got a little too blunt during the broadcast.
Democratic National Committee spokesperson Kiara Pesante responded with the following statement:
“With these comments, Pat Hickey is making it even clearer why Republicans across the country are working so hard to restrict voting rights. From North Carolina to Ohio, Republican governors and legislatures are enacting harsh voter ID laws that make it more difficult for seniors, young people, and people of color to vote.
With the twisted logic that Hickey so prominently put on display, Republicans believe that shutting people out is the best way to grow their party’s influence and win elections. Meanwhile, Democrats are leading the charge to expand voting rights for all eligible voters. The GOP’s tactics didn’t pay off in 2012, and it’s hard to see them paying off in 2014 with this backwards, exclusionary approach.”
I could feign disappointment in Hickey not being more willing to compete for the votes he believes will go wasted next year, but I’m more bothered by the credence in his cynicism.
Although the 2014 midterm elections have been predicted to be the most-expensive ever, who’s side will be more adept at getting their blocs to the polls? The right has traditionally had the upper hand in this manner, but there is an opportunity for Democrats to seize upon the growing frustration Americans have with the GOP-led House of Representatives — namely with the potential government shutdown.
I’m not sure how Democrats will manage to push minorities and young people to the polls in 2014, but I hope they’re planning that out now. Call Beyoncé, Oprah, and summon Aaliyah’s ghost if you have to, y’all.
Whatever it takes.
No one deserves another Ted Cruz-like figure managing to skate to political prominence thanks to political apathy. The ones we have as a result is bad enough.
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick
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