How will the Texas school shooting affect the Utah Senate race? |Notice
Memorial Day marked the official start of the summer election season. The stormy weather we experienced last week reflects the current turbulent politics. We highlight some of the issues.
Much has been written about Utah Democrats refusing to nominate a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate at their state convention and supporting independent candidates instead. Evan McMullin. A recent Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics Poll reported that 36% of Utah residents agreed with this decision, 44% disagreed, and 21% did not know. Additionally, 50% of Democrats agreed and 36% disagreed. What does this say about the race and the Democratic Party?
Pignanelli: “In every free and deliberative society there must be opposing parties, and one of them…must prevail over the other for a longer or shorter time.” — Thomas Jefferson
I am on a quest. When I meet a Democrat or a left-leaning independent who expresses support for McMullin, I ask for a reason other than he is not mike lee. The dozens of responses so far are devoid of any substance.
The decision to back McMullin is inconsistent with a political party’s fundamental goals of promoting candidates who support certain ideologies and policies. The common justification advanced by some Democratic leaders is that their party cannot win the election and must work with Republicans and independents to elect a “moderate and dominant” candidate.
This strategy raises many questions. Will moderate Democrats in future conventions receive the same liberal absolutions and blessings given to McMullin? What about Republicans who meet that threshold with a history of bipartisan relations (i.e. Gov. spencer coxsen. Mitt Romney, several legislators, etc.)? Is this a covert acknowledgment that the left-progressive policies of the National Democrats are unpalatable to Utah voters?
The poll underscores that a plurality of Utahns, including many Democrats, are wary of the alliance’s approach. This signals that the McMullin coalition is weak and unlikely to succeed.
I will continue my search for this elusive rationale. Finding the Holy Grail or Montezuma’s Gold may be easier.
Webb: The Democrat-McMullin hug means most Democrats admit they can’t win a statewide race, so they hold their noses and back a candidate who, to them, is a bit less harmful than Lee.
It’s a good test to see if an independent candidate can win in Utah. This could provide valuable information in case another moderate politician wants to run against a conservative Republican in the future. Could this be a new way to win a job?
However, it must be remembered that the Democrats gave McMullin a good boost by clearing the decks for him. McMullin won’t have to split the Liberal/Moderate vote with a pesky Democrat. So any future moderate pursuing the independent path should also replicate McMullin’s success in keeping a Democrat off the ballot. So why have a Democratic Party?
Either way, this is all probably moot, as Lee will likely win easily.
The Utah Debate Commission was scheduled to hold a number of primary election debates earlier this week, but most Republican candidates declined to participate. Instead, most will appear in GOP-sponsored debates where Republican leaders control questions and moderators. What does this mean for the primary election and the future of the debates?
Pignanelli: Because Republicans dominate Utah politics, the primaries are the de facto general election. Thus, the philosophy for candidates to engage in debates remains valid. However, the commission was created for general elections, not primaries. Intra-party contests have different dynamics, and the respective political parties should have greater influence over how these activities are carried out.
So until the commission is restructured accordingly, the GOP is likely to conduct its own primary debates. All this will have little impact on the result.
Webb: The GOP is free to hold its own debates, of course, and party leaders are correct that primary elections are internal party matters. Incumbent Republicans may not want to answer questions from moderate or liberal moderators. They prefer to throw red meat at party loyalists to ensure a primary victory.
Still, they’re sure to face some tough questions from liberals and moderates in the general election, so why not practice? These people are all competent politicians and good debaters. They should have enough confidence to debate anytime, anywhere.
Will be the tragedy of Uvalde, Texasimpact political discourse and encourage legislation?
Pignanelli: The current tenor of the responses is different. Because November’s midterm elections — and control of Congress — will hinge on suburban voters, there’s a greater likelihood of bipartisan action.
Webb: I hope this act of indescribable horror will spur action on many levels: a recommitment to family, love and support for one another. Better mental health support and intervention. We monitor all unstable people and report our concerns. Reinforced schools and better training for law enforcement. Reasonable red flag laws and enhanced background checks, making background checks convenient, fast and convenient. More attention and action on the daily and weekly acts of violence across the country, which far outnumber the “mass casualty” shootings.
Violence is the symptom of a breakdown in the values and mores of society. Hearts have to be changed, and the government is not so good at changing hearts. The government can try to deal with the consequences of societal collapse, but it cannot address the root causes. It is the responsibility and prerogative of parents, extended families, teachers and religious institutions.
Republican LaVarr Webb is a former journalist and semi-retired small-scale farmer and political consultant. E-mail:[email protected].
Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist, and political adviser who served as a Democrat in the Utah State Legislature. E-mail: [email protected].