Sharron Angle is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's worst nightmare. He repeats over and over again his mantra about Angle being far out, but that's just standard whistling-in-the-dark campaign rhetoric we always hear from an out-of-touch liberal incumbent who fears facing the music come election day.
Reid knows Angle epitomizes the genuinely ornery western independence he can only talk about taking to the nation's capitol because he represents with President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi everything that is wrong in Washington today.
That means Reid shares responsibility for the high unemployment, the failed stimulus package, the deeply corrupt backroom bargains behind Obamacare, the 2,300-page financial reform charade that institutionalized "too big to fail" bailouts for Wall Street favorites, and the coming cap-and-trade bill that will force every family's energy bills to skyrocket.
He also knows today's polls mean next-to-nothing with more than three months of campaigning left, so his only hope is that massive campaign chest of money he's got from the liberal special interests in Washington he represents, and propaganda help from the in-the-liberal-tank national media that will no doubt soon start portraying him as a puglistic comeback kid.
No matter because there is something else about Angle that came to mind this morning as I read Stephen Moore's excellent profile of her in the weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal: This woman has a remarkably long and successful record of heroically speaking and acting truth to power, and winning against all odds.
That ought to make her a hero to everybody who cares about forcing politicians at all levels and in all parties to cut the BS and just tell us the straight, unvarnished truth about the state of affairs in government.
Moore describes two such instances of Angle taking on the powers-that-be. The first came in 1983:
"Sharron Angle's first foray into activism was when her son was held back in kindergarten in 1983 and 'the poor little guy was made to feel like a failure. He hated school.' She wanted to home school him, but the school system and the courts said no. Her response was to open a one-room school with a Christian-based curriculum. It soon had 24 students.
"'I didn't realize how many other parents were angry with the school system,' she recalls. She charged $125 a month to cover the cost of supplies but taught for free. (Mrs. Angle has a degree in education from the University of Nevada, Reno.)
"In 1985 she rallied hundreds of parents behind her successful effort to pass a bill through the Nevada legislature allowing parents to home school anywhere in the state. The result of her effort is that in Nevada home schooling has become a popular alternative to the public schools, and Mrs. Angle is referred to as the 'home school heroine.'"
You want change to believe in, there it is, friends and neighbors. One concerned citizen resolves to make something right and overcomes all the opposition to make it happen.
But the home schooling effort wasn't Angle's first encounter with obstinate politicians and unresponsive government. In 2003, she drew national attention with her steadfast opposition as a state legislator to a massive tax increase proposed by Nevada's governor, who was a Republican.
She fought the governor and his legislative allies to a draw, only to see the state supreme court step in and over-rule the state constitution. At that point, I suspect that most politicians, including the majority of those who call themselves conservatives, would have meekly backed off and accepted the allegedly inevitable.
Not Angle. Moore describes what happened next:
"When the bullying failed, the Nevada Supreme Court, in a spectacular abuse of the constitution, allowed the tax hike to go through without the two-thirds vote. The justices decreed that the money was needed for the schools and that the right to an adequate education took precedence over a procedural safeguard.
"The next day, Ms. Angle recalls, 'I went into the conference room and was told there's nothing you can do, Sharron. It's all over. The Supreme Court has the last word. And I said, No, it's not over.'
"She spearheaded a movement to get the Supreme Court replaced. In the next election in 2006, voters threw out five of the seven members of the Nevada Supreme Court; the other two had retired. 'It was a referendum on that tax increase vote,' she argues. 'And the new court came in and reversed that decision and made our constitution whole.'"
That's precisely the kind of political guts and mettle that is in too-short supply in politics. More important, such inner political strength will be absolutely essential after November if the GOP regains a majority in one or both chambers of Congress with a voter mandate to stop and reverse the liberal train wreck at both ends of Pennylvania Avenue.
The Obama-Reid-Pelosi liberals may well lose the election, but they will then rally and mount a furious defense of the Washington Establishment.
Besides digging in and strengthening their fortresses in Washington's bureaucracy, media, and non-profit battalions, they are counting on Republicans being afraid to do the tough and bloody work required to cut Leviathan down to size.
And, as every military strategist worth his salt knows, assaulting a highly fortified defensive position is the toughest, most costly operation in war. To win, you've got to have a Patton who knows how to go around, over or through defensive obstacles to secure victory.
From my perspective, Sharron Angle looks like a potential Patton of the American West. Removing Harry Reid from the Senate would merely be her first milestone contribution to the restoration and reinvigoration of the American republic.