Republican senators, Kirkpatrick go after Hansen

Spontaneous it ain't.

A day after those revelations about incoming Speaker Ira Hansen's columns, GOP senators, led by Majority Leader Michael Roberson, let him have it. Be it for their self-interest or to try to push Hansen out without calling for him to leave, the senators used varying degrees of harsh language to condemn the incoming speaker. Roberson & Co. didn't like it when Hansen was installed as speaker-designate, and they surely see a chance now to cripple him.

Roberson: "I unequivocally condemn the repulsive and disturbing past public statements of Assemblyman Ira Hansen.  I am further dismayed by his apparent lack of public or private contrition and I question whether his views on race, religion, gender and sexual orientation have evolved in any way since his past public comments were made.  These outrageous comments and positions cannot be explained away and they have no place in the party of Abraham Lincoln."

Mark Hutchison: “I find Assemblyman Hanson’s (sic) past remarks on race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation despicable.  I am discouraged by his recent comments and find his dismissiveness and lack of remorse as an elected official troubling because they underscore his true feelings about these matters. There is no reasonable place in a diverse and modern state like Nevada for these narrow-minded and indecent characterizations of one human being by another. “

Ben Kieckhefer: "I find it extremely frustrating that once again I am in a position that I must condemn statements made by a fellow Nevadan, but Assemblyman Ira Hansen's comments cannot go unnoticed. I wholeheartedly disagree with his mean-spirited and deeply troubling remarks, which are beyond offensive and have no place in a civilized society."

Greg Brower: "I join Governor Sandoval, Senator Heller, Majority Leader Roberson and other Nevada Republican leaders in condemning the outrageous and inexcusable statements by Assemblyman Ira Hansen.  This sort of ignorant and intolerant rhetoric is simply unacceptable and cannot be explained away as being merely provocative, outdated or taken out of context."

Glad they are all horribly offended and deeply troubled, probably having sleepless nights. But if they are saying all of that and that they don't buy Hansen's "out-of-context" fabrication, why not take the next step and call for him not to be speaker? Maybe because they still have to work with him and know such a call might cause more wagons to join the Assembly circle.

Has one Assembly Republican castigated Hansen? Anyone? Not a peep.

And remember Michele Fiore called on Pat Hickey to resign for what is a misdemanor in comparison? I wonder what is going on in the hallowed halls of Citizen Outhouse, which runs the rump wing of the Assembly GOP that helped elevate Hansen? You can't defend what he said. You can't say it doesn't matter. So do you do the unthinkable and keep your mouths shut? Or even more unthinkable and condem the man of your dreams?

Democrats sent out a release this morning, on the day of the president's signing of the executive action in Las Vegas, headlined, "What the Wave Dragged In: Mark Hutchison and the New, Aggressively Anti-Hispanic Nevada GOP." Do they think Co-Gov. Hutch is the most likely Harry Reid foe or something?

No Democrat has called for Hansen to step down, either, although Minority Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick came very close.  Even though they are making noise -- I bet some on that side think all Democrats should shut up -- some must realize it benefits them politically, if not in the session but in Campaign '16 -- to have Hansen as the GOP helmsman. 

Kirkpatrick released a blistering statement about the man who took the job she held until Nov. 4 arrived:

“As a mom and grandmother, a legislator who represents a melting pot of constituents in Southern Nevada, and the Assembly Democratic Leader, I find the comments that Ira Hansen has made over the years unforgivable.  His views on women in society, race, and members of the LGBTQ community are offensive, and the fact that he cannot see that and simply issued an insincere apology to those who were offended—not for actually writing or holding those views—really is unbelievable.

“These awful comments make me question Mr. Hansen’s ability to lead the Nevada Assembly. I also question what’s wrong with a growing number of Assembly Republican Caucus members regarding their own views on race, gender, and tolerance.” 

The volume will continue to get louder, with local and national activist groups outdoing each other in their outrage, real and inflated.

Can Hansen survive? Or should he?

It's Nevada, so those questions may have two different answers.