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(Originally from Nevada Progressive)

Not that long ago, the Nevada Republican Party truly was a "big tent", one that could fit the more traditional "libertarian conservatives" that once dominated, pragmatic conservatives, moderates, and others. But these days, it seems to be dominated by "Tea Party, Inc." and the radical religious right. And no one better demonstrates this better than Sharron Angle and her ascendancy in the Nevada GOP.

Perhaps this is why we're seeing more and more "Republicans for Reid" speaking out?

Former Clark County (Las Vegas Metro) Sheriff Bill Young spoke about how Harry Reid has delivered in keeping Nevada safe.

And Former Nevada First Lady Dawn Gibbons spoke about Reid's commitment to education, reminded us of all her work on education reform, and made sure we didn't forget about Sharrontology's desire to starve it to death.

Republican former First Lady Dawn Gibbons said today that she supports Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid because of his diligence and hard work, not because she wants to spite her Republican ex-husband, Gov. Jim Gibbons, who she said cheated on her and who has been a frequent Reid critic.

"I've known Harry Reid for a long time," Dawn Gibbons said today during an endorsement event at UNLV. "He's a strong advocate and a strong voice -- someone we need in these trying times."

Gibbons also noted that Reid is a good husband to his wife Landra and calls his kids daily. [...]

Taking a page right out of Reid's playbook, Gibbons criticized Reid's Republican opponent Sharron Angle, accusing her of having an "extreme and dangerous" policy on education.

During the 15-minute event, Gibbons said the words "extreme and dangerous" four times. Students who have benefited from government grants and scholarships and spoke with Gibbons to lend their support to Reid repeated the phrase another four times.

Interesting enough, John L. Smith wrote in his column this morning [I'd LOVE to quote from it, but I'd rather not get sued by Righthaven.] about what may be a larger trend of prominent Republicans coming out to endorse Reid. Why? Well, they've been here in Nevada for quite some time, they understand the strong relationship Harry Reid has with our state. Plus, they've also seen with their own eyes Sharron Angle, her dangerous extremism, and how detrimental a "Senator Angle" would really be to our state.

No wonder why more and more Republicans, whether they be traditional "paleo-conservatives", pragmatic business folks, or middle-of-the-road moderates, are speaking out and speaking up for Reid.

Remember that this used to be the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party of Teddy Roosevelt, the party of Dwight Eisenhower, the party of Barry Goldwater, and the party of Former Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn. This used to be a big tent for civil rights advocates, environmentalists, libertarians, old-school conservatives, rural interests, urban interests, and more. But now? Now it's this?

Perhaps it's the reverse of what Ronald Reagan used to say. These people haven't left the Republican Party. The Republican Party has left them by veering so extremely to the right and nominating people like Sharron Angle who care more about getting praise from outside interests than doing what's right for Nevada.

Sure, there have been many times when progressive Democrats were irritated by Reid. He's certainly no progressive icon, and there have been many times I've taken Reid to the woodshed for not being more progressive.

But you know what? At the end of the day, Reid is not in the Senate to be some progressive icon. He's there to serve ALL OF US in Nevada. Perhaps that's why all of these Republicans can join Democrats, even "dirty fucking hippie" progressives like moi, in supporting Harry Reid. That's something Sharrontology doesn't get, and I guess that's why she can't win here.

Originally posted to atdnext on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 01:00 PM PDT.

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