Editorial: Fear and Loathing in Nevada

The New York Times, 10/20/2010

Sharron Angle did not show up at the huge Tea Party Express rally in Las Vegas on Tuesday night. She rarely makes public appearances anymore. But the event was almost entirely in support of her and the divisive, anti-immigrant platform she has promoted in her accelerating drive to replace Senator Harry Reid.

There was a folk song praising Arizona for its immigrant crackdown, and the featured speaker was Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., who marches illegal immigrants through the streets of Phoenix to tent jails in the broiling desert.

Ms. Angle said last week that every state should have a sheriff like Mr. Arpaio, and he returned the compliment, in his own particular, chilling way. “You guys have got a desert here,” he told the cheering, foot-stomping crowd. “Why don’t you put up some tents?” The laughter of his audience of about 2,000 people, most wearing free Angle T-shirts or buttons, practically shook the walls of Stoney’s Rockin’ Country nightclub, where hand-held signs proclaimed Mr. Reid, the Senate majority leader, a traitor, a socialist and garbage.

Many Nevadans may not like their choices, but they have a clear one. They can show that they will not cave in to the politics of division and fear.

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