Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month: Storey County,Nevada Assemblyman Jim Wheeler (R)

Note to Assemblyman Wheeler: you were not elected "genie." Or "mindless idiot." Or...never mind, you wouldn't understand anyway.

Note to Assemblyman Wheeler: you were not elected “genie.” Or “mindless idiot.” Or…never mind, you wouldn’t understand anyway.

The word “idiot” is widely and correctly regarded as uncivil on the web, but sometimes its is simply descriptive, as in the sentence  “Assemblyman Jim Wheeler is an idiot.”

Before a local Republican gathering, Wheeler told of an email inquiry he had received asking if he would vote to reestablish  slavery if his constituents supported it. He said he replied in the affirmative.

“Thank you, Assemblyman! We’ll have your resignation now, thanks!  Please commence your new career as a bait shop proprietor.”

Naturally, after Republicans, Democrats, the governor and the media unanimously condemned his statement, Wheeler protested that his comment had been “taken out of context,” and he was only making the point that he was elected to represent his constituents. …thus again making the point that he still doesn’t comprehend representative government.

As a representative of his citizen constituency, Wheeler isn’t in office to blindly follow every whim of the public no matter how foolish, ignorant, ill-advised, selfish, self-destructive and wrong. As a representative he is obligated to make wise decisions regarding government policy and law, taking his constituency’s needs, wants and opinions into consideration, but always remembering his greater duty to the public as a whole, and to the founding principles of the nation. If Wheeler would vote to re-establish slavery, what wouldn’t he support, if his constituents demanded it? Book burnings? The return of the rack and wheel? Child labor? Legal incest? Heroin in vending machines in the schools? Sending Jews to death camps? Wheeler’s answer is an admission that he lacks common sense, historical perspective, courage, core principles and the brains of a used household appliance.

Assemblymen like Wheeler grow up to be members of Congress who shut down the government for no better reason than their constituents want them to, unless their careers are nipped in the bud. He did everyone a favor by clearly announcing his status as an irresponsible, untrustworthy dolt.

__________________________

Pointer: Alexander Cheezem

Facts: Talking Points Memo

Graphic: Adorable Wall

30 thoughts on “Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month: Storey County,Nevada Assemblyman Jim Wheeler (R)

  1. We return to my belief that the power of government should be savagely limited so idiotic notions like this don’t even fucking matter – so what if they think this, they don’t have the power to do it anyways.

    Granted, he may well be voted out, but even if he isn’t, his ability to have any influence on our lives would be virtually nonexistent.

  2. Absolutely agree. I tried to make this observation in a comment the other day but you said this so much better.

    Although, to be fair, slavery WAS one “of the founding principles of the nation,” so I probably would have left that comment out.

    • False. And bullshit too. You know it was only a compromise because at the time national unity in the face of a still belligerent and vengeful England trumped perfect equality. (PM Lawrence feel free to insert comments that no one will read).

      Please read the founding principles of America:

      “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

      Please identify the slavery component you leftist cur. I couldn’t find it.

      • Hmmmm — the three-fifths compromise comes to mind. Tex, I love the U.S., and I love the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. These were great documents — for the time. But don’t pretend that they were perfect. Women couldn’t vote, slaves didn’t really count as people, and unless you owned property you didn’t really have a voice. These are facts — and if pointing them out makes me a leftist cur, whatever.

        • OOOOHHH! Mine!! Mine!

          The 3/5 compromise was pushed on the South by the anti-slavery Northern states, with a long-term objective of eliminating or severely limiting slavery.The South, with as many slaves as whites, wanted them to count as full citizens, thus giving the South dominance in the House and making legislative limits on slavery all but impossible. That 3/5, far from showing disdain for the humanity of blacks, was a masterstroke of anti-slavery strategy. The myth that it showed the racism of the Founders has been sold out of ignorance or propaganda by everyone from Al Sharpton to some lazy academics, and since it seems logical, I understand how so many people think it is true. But it is not.

          See? You learned something today. Now you correct the next person who has it wrong.

          • Oh good Lord. OF COURSE the South wanted them to count as full citizens, because then it will up their representation in government. But they didn’t want them to say … vote. This wasn’t a South is bad or the North was good comment, it was that slavery was the freakin’ backbone of early America. This is not seriously disputed by any historian — including me. I do possess a history degree.

            • Then you should have known that the 3/5 compromise was not proof of the nation’s approval of slavery, but rather of its conviction to end it. If you knew that, why in the world would you cite it?

                • Awww — you’ve memorized my resume AM! Did I mention that my concentration was in 19th C. American History? You should contact my schools and yell at them!

              • Where did I say “approval of slavery”? You assumed that it is what I meant — bias on your part. I said that it is part of our founding documents. That is true. Your response about “conviction to end it” is absolutely 100% false. “Some” founding fathers had that conviction, others did not — especially those who owned slaves and did not free them even upon their deaths.

                • I said that that was the reason for the compromise. The Northern states agreed to allow the Capital to be established in the South in exchange—it was pretty big concession. You have said that slavery was one of the “founding principles” and cited the 3/5 compromise as proof.” To the contrary, it was proof of exactly the opposite–that the Founders realized that slavery was directly contradicted by the principles articulated in the Declaration, and had to go as soon as it was politically feasible, for the nation to have any integrity.

                  And as you well know, some of the crucial Founders had that conviction even though they didn’t free their slaves—Jefferson being the main example. The Founding documents do NOT embrace slavery, Beth. They tolerate it, because there was no choice, but in both the language of the Declaration and the 3/5 rule in the Constitution, the documents lay the groundwork for its eventual abolishment.

                  • I think you are wordsmithing now Jack. I didn’t say “embrace,” I said that it was part of our founding documents and later I said that these documents legitimized slavery. Those statements are accurate. Your lesson on the three-fifths compromise was intended as a gotcha but was misdirected at me given my comments.

                    You also are a little forgiving of Jefferson and his ilk. I read too that he was “troubled” by slavery but that didn’t stop him from profiting from it — and not freeing them. No one forced these guys to be the equivalent of multi-millionaires on the backs of forced labor. Those were choices that they made. Washington made the choice to free his slaves. I admire him for that.

                    They also chose to form the country the way they did. After England was defeated, we could have split into 2 countries. Arguably, that’s what we did in practice as we continued to add one slave state, one free state until tensions boiled over. Politically, we often still act as separate countries. I’m not insensitive to the voices of the Republicans and the Libertarians. They are right to be angry in the sense that they represent a very large percentage of our population, it is just that Democrats edge them out a little in the numbers. And when you look at the percentages by region, the South is largely Republican and the North is largely Democrat (there are exceptions of course).

                    If it could be done without ruining our economy and bloodshed, dividing into 2 countries wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Then we just set up a strong trade alliance like we have in Canada.

                    • I repeat: by definition, they did not legitimize slavery. They de-legitimized it. Abolition was based on the words and concepts in the Declaration, which is the mission statement for the nation. You are just flat out wrong.Jefferson obviously knew that slavery was morally wrong, and included a section in the early drafts of the Declaration–or someone did—that condemned the practice. He was a weak man, a coward and a hypocrite, but philosophically he was dead on.His private actions show his character, but as far as laying the ethical foundations of the US, they don’t matter. And his philosophical construct rejects slavery.

                      Two nations would have guaranteed failure, just as two nations now would guarantee two weak, feuding neighbors. The US isn’t Canada, and Americans aren’t Canadians. We fought a bloody Civil War to avoid two nations…are you seriously saying it make sense now? Unbelievable. The Lincoln Memorial just threw up.

                    • Hey — I’m just listening to the Tea Party too much these days. They want secession and they are no longer some fringe group. If we can’t figure out how to have a functioning government, I’d rather we do it peacefully. And of course I don’t think this will happen, but I’d rather make the offer if it makes everyone play nicer in the sandbox. And even in this alternate hypothetical universe, I don’t think we’d be feuding neighbors.

                      And yes, we now extend the principles espoused in our founding documents to other races and both genders. And even if it was in early drafts, it’s the final draft that counts. But it took a war and multiple amendments to do it – and then a Civil Rights movement 100 years later to make sure that these rights could actually be exercised. Your whole idea of “delegitimizing” slavery doesn’t pass muster, because otherwise we would not have needed Constitutional Amendments. We obviously strongly disagree on this point however – so no use debating any longer.

                    • You don’t get off that easy. The Constitution, as I said, is the operating document for the mission statement, the Declaration. The Mission was clear—the operating statement was flawed, at least as interpreted by the courts. Neither the 13th nor the 19th Amendments were necessary from the clear language of the Declaration, but the argument, stupid but old, that women and blacks weren’t “people” defined in the Declaration as including only “men” (women not qualifying, blacks equally property), had to be officially killed. The other reason for the Amendments was to end the States Rights argument.

                      You saw “Lincoln,” right? The anti-13 Amendment folks kept saying, “Wait—if we admit they are people, then we have to let them vote!” Damn straight. And the Declaration laid the foundation for that. The fact that it took the country a war and a bunch of legislative courage to make it live up to its mission—that’s normal. Missions are aspirational, and long term. We haven’t lived up to the whole mission yet.

                  • Mission statements are fine and dandy — but the law trumps them every day – and the Constitution is the law. This makes me think of mission statements that we see from corporations and universities. They are all vague, overly broad, and aspirational. When companies choose, they will refer back to their mission statements when they have done something great and they want public recognition. But when they are caught doing something wrong, they conveniently forget their mission statements or employ semantics to explain why their actions do not contradict their stated missions. And then later when their actions are corrected, well of course that was what we intended in the first place! Let me refer you back to our mission statement!

                    This thread has gone deep down the rabbit hole – especially since I agreed with your entire eloquent post but for a handful of words. Tough crowd.

                    • Uh, it hasn’t gone “deep down the rabbit hole”. Your original assertions were to discuss the Founding PRINCIPLES. That is all we have discussed so far. Jack has demonstrated to you where you have gone off the trail by *conflating* points in our history where we have deviated from our principles with the principles themselves. You can’t do that and discuss in good faith.

                    • Jack has demonstrated to me nothing. He can have all his Pollyanna attitudes about the Founding Fathers that he wants — but it doesn’t change the laws that were enacted and the actions that they took. The “principles” at the time were that Blacks were sub-human and that women couldn’t vote.

        • I’ll give you another chance:

          Please, where in this excerpt: Arguably the quintessential statement of America’s founding principles do you find women can’t vote, slavery is ok, non-property owner’s don’t get a voice.

          Additionally, moving on to the Constitution, please find me where it states those are enshrined founding principles. You can’t.

          The closest is the 3/5th compromise, and Jack explained that well in addition to what I showed you earlier about the necessity for unity trumping perfect equality right off the get go.

          • “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
            We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

            (the excerpt)

          • Tex — the things I listed are FACTS. Do you dispute that they aren’t true because you can’t find them explicitly listed? The “we think women shouldn’t vote” and “we want slavery” lines just didn’t make for good prose. Jeez — even Scalia isn’t that much of a strict constructionist. There’s that whole war in 1861 showing just how important slavery was at the time.

            • And of course there is the little problem that the drafter of this document OWNED slaves. But continue on please….

              Legitimizing slavery was one of the key elements in the founding of our nation. Period. It doesn’t mean that the North wasn’t racist. Most citizens were and many still are to this day. And many Northern industries (especially shipping and manufacturing) indirectly or directly benefited from slavery. Heck, Lincoln only freed the slaves in some states. And, my point was that our founding fathers still had great ideas and put together a fantastic and world-changing governmental system. They should be applauded for what they did — but they were not perfect, even compared to some of their contemporaries, on the issue of slavery.

              It also remained the most divisive issue in American politics through the civil war and reconstruction. No historian disputes that — not one — unless he found his or her degree in a cracker jack box.

  3. Actually, I am kind of torn on this one. Granted, he is an idiot. But sometimes I think our problem is we don’t have ENOUGH idiots like him in Washington. I sometimes think need idiots like Wheeler to counteract the idiots who only think in terms of their ideology and who ONLY remember their greater duty to the public (which they read as party) as a whole by endorsing wholesale wiretapping of phones and e-mail, setting up law enforcement with the power to enforce their will on the populace, and chipping away at our civil liberties both explicitly enumerated and those we enjoy by longstanding tradition. I know it is a terrible, purely pragmatic idea, but I have it nonetheless.

    “For every idiot in the government, we need and equal and opposite idiot.” That is the best I can do when I only have idiots to work with.

  4. As a representative he is obligated to make wise decisions regarding government policy and law, taking his constituency’s needs, wants and opinions into consideration, but always remembering his greater duty to the public as a whole, and to the founding principles of the nation. If Wheeler would vote to re-establish slavery, what wouldn’t he support, if his constituents demanded it? Book burnings? The return of the rack and wheel? Child labor? Legal incest? Heroin in vending machines in the schools? Sending Jews to death camps? Wheeler’s answer is an admission that he lacks common sense, historical perspective, courage, core principles and the brains of a used household appliance.

    Public opinion can be a powerful force if a large enough proportion of the electorate takes one side of an issue, as the recent recall elections in Colorado showed.

    So, must an elected official resign if a huge majority of the electorate (60+%) takes a morally repugnant position?

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