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GOP Leaders’ Disgraceful Act of Political Pettiness over Syrian Refugee Crisis

When it comes to potentially bringing jihad to America by allowing some 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States, it’s easy for President Barack Obama to be compassionate.  After all, he’s surrounded and protected by the Secret Service 24/7.

But what about the rest of us?

What if one or more radical Islamists sneak into that group of ten thousand?  What if one of them straps on a bomb-vest and detonates it inside a mall full of Nevadans doing their Christmas shopping?  Or tourists seeing a show on the Strip?  Or attending a UNLV or UNR basketball game?

Those severed body parts and pools of blood will be ours, not Obama’s.

As such, conservative Assemblyman John Moore (R-Clark) – an Army veteran with Middle East combat experience – sent a letter to Gov. Brian Sandoval on November 16 urging him to take steps to block resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S.

“I have no faith,” Moore wrote, “that our current leadership in the White House can or will screen the current wave of refugees properly to ensure the safety of the American people, including Nevadans.”

That same day, U.S. Sen. Dean Heller sent a similar letter to Sandoval, warning that ISIS might use the resettlement program “to reach U.S. soil to carry out attacks on Americans.”  Heller said he wanted to ensure “that Nevada, given its status as a tourist destination with over 40 million visitors annually, is protected.”

Legitimate concerns.  Reasonable request.

Later in the day Sandoval responded, issuing a statement declaring that it was “in the interest of all Nevadans and the millions who travel to our state annually to insist on extensive evaluations of any potential risk individuals may pose to Nevada or our national security.”

Two days later, long after the horse had left the political barn, the lead-from-behind “leaders” of the Republican Assembly Caucus issued a pabulum-filled statement signed by 16 GOP legislators applauding Sandoval and Heller for their actions on the matter while childishly omitting the name of their colleague, Moore, who got the whole ball rolling.

Curiously, the list of signers also did not include five conservative members of the caucus – Assemblywomen Michele Fiore and Shelly Shelton, along with Assemblymen Moore, John Ellison, Brent Jones and Ira Hansen – leading me to wonder what possible objection they could have to demanding more rigorous security screening of Syrian refugees.

So I called and asked why they refused to sign.  Only to discover they didn’t refuse.  Turns out, they weren’t even asked!

That’s right.  In a disgraceful act of political pettiness and vindictiveness, Assembly Speaker John Hambrick and Majority Leader Paul Anderson didn’t even tell the five conservatives about the letter, let alone invite them to add their names to it.

These are the people charged with ensuring our safety?  God help us.