If you happened to be up late watching HBO in the early 2000s you may have stumbled across a seedy “reality” series called Cathouse about a Nevada brothel called the Moonlite BunnyRanch. The brothel was owned by Dennis Hof, a chubby bald man, who ran it alongside his girlfriend.
The 71-year-old Hof owns a string of brothels and strip clubs and has been accused of rape and assault by three women who worked at his brothel, as well as his ex-girlfriend. He’s now running for local office in Nevada, he just won the GOP primary, and he’s got the support of evangelical Christians.
In case you’re wondering, Hof—who calls himself “the Trump of Pahrump”—credits Donald Trump’s transformation of the Republican party with creating the conditions that made it possible for him to win. Hof acknowledges the Republican party’s complete abandonment of morality but claims it’s a turn toward more “honest” politics.
“People will set aside for a moment their moral beliefs, their religious beliefs, to get somebody that is honest in office,” Hof told Reuters. “Trump is the trailblazer, he is the Christopher Columbus of honest politics.”
— Dennis Hof (@ElectHof) June 6, 2018
Running a Trumpian campaign and claiming he “cannot be bought,” Hof took advantage of GOP dissatisfaction with “the establishment” and beat out a three-term incumbent to nab the GOP nomination for Nevada Assembly seat 36 on June 12th.
He’s the heavy favorite to win in the general election in November and evangelical pastor Victor Fuentes was pretty excited about the victory. “We have politicians, they might speak good words, not sleep with prostitutes, be a good neighbor. But by their decisions, they have evil in their heart. Dennis Hof is not like that,” he said.
In other words, supporting someone who chokes and rapes women and refuses to apologize for it is now the “Christian” thing to do. It’s a philosophy that subverts traditional Christian morality in favor of lower taxes, looser gun regulations, and draconian immigration enforcement.
Just like the man he seeks to emulate, Hof attacked his primary opponent, James Oscarson, for the same things he’s been accused of: sexual harassment, breaking the law, and arrogance. He even went so far as to call his opponent a “whore.” “Assemblyman James Oscarson is the most shameless political (w-word rhyming with “more”) in Nevada,” his campaign website says.
He’s even got his own Trump-like cult of personality brewing. After GOP Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt distanced himself from Hof and refused to endorse his candidacy, County Commissioner Donna Cox yanked her endorsement for Laxalt’s gubernatorial campaign.
Nye County Commissioner Donna Cox on Monday withdrew her endorsement of Adam Laxalthttps://t.co/0gTB5e0xRZ
— Las Vegas RJ (@reviewjournal) June 21, 2018
It’s a similar dynamic that’s played out across the country as GOP politicians see their future in electoral politics snuffed out for criticizing the president. South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford is the most recent victim of this dynamic, losing an election for the first time in his career after his rebukes to Trump. The president even went so far as to crow about Sanford’s loss to a room full of Republican House members and then tweet a bald-faced lie about their reaction.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) June 20, 2018
The Republican party has completely rotted and, rather than serving as a check on amorality, evangelical Christians are leading the way down a dark path. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, and it might not get better.