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EDITORIAL: Attack on Gov. Sisolak, family a disgraceful act

What has happened to our political discourse that grown men would determine it was appropriate to confront the governor and his family with obscenities and veiled threats as they dined at a Las Vegas restaurant? What does it say about their judgment and intellect that those same men then apparently proudly posted the encounter online as if it were some crowning achievement rather than an embarrassing act of two-bit thuggery?

The unfortunate incident occurred Sunday at Lindo Michoacan, a Summerlin-area restaurant, while Gov. Steve Sisolak was dining with his wife and daughter. The video shows a man seemingly asking for a selfie with the governor before unloading a sneering blue streak in his direction. As the Sisolaks attempted to leave, the man and an accomplice followed them outside and continued the verbal barrage.

Gov. Sisolak had no security detail at the time.

“We can disagree about the issues,” a statement from the governor’s office noted Monday, “but the personal attacks and threats are unwarranted, unwelcome and unbecoming behavior for Nevadans.”

A spokeswoman for the Nevada State Police said the agency was investigating the incident, but it’s unclear any laws were broken. The First Amendment — as it must — gives wide latitude to a full range of behaviors that many people may find offensive, distasteful or even dangerous.

Gov. Sisolak is to be commended for maintaining his composure and enduring the attack in a dignified manner — particularly given that he had no inkling where the unnerving incident might lead. Class trumps vileness every time.

“Regardless of your political stance, I believe everyone should be treated with respect,” Javier Barajas, who owns the restaurant where the confrontation took place, said in a statement to the Las Vegas Sun. “People are allowed to disagree. With everything going on in the world right now, we should all strive to be better Nevadans and respect one another.”

Indeed, it makes no difference whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. It matters not one iota if you support Gov. Sisolak. Put away the “whataboutism.” The actions of those who carried out this assault were cowardly and disgraceful — and deserve to be condemned without caveat. If you are incapable of expressing your dissent without resorting to tactics that dominate elementary school playgrounds, you should instead take your cues from the old adage about the fool who opens his mouth.

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