Thursday, May 20, 2010

Another installment of California GOP fail

The only thing you really need to know about California Republicans is that they never miss an opportunity to shoot themselves in the foot. The GOP could have taken Gray Davis out in 2002. They even had a candidate in L.A. Mayor Dick Riordan, whose politics could be easily summarized as, "Arnold without the accent." And then the GOP went with hard-right Bill Simon instead. I voted for Simon out of protest to Davis, which turned out to be prescient.

Now, this year, the GOP looked poised (pun not intended, as you'll see) to have a good year in California. The economy in California is so awful that literally anything can happen. Meg Whitman isn't my cup of tea, but she's not that bad. And Tom Campbell is one of the last sane Republicans in the state. I wouldn't exactly be happy if those two won their respective races, but my lack of love for Jerry Brown mostly makes me indifferent to the former. But I was just thinking to myself the other day, hey, these races have been going too smoothly! And too well for the Republicans! When is the inevitable Chuck DeVore tea party surge going to happen?

And then I see these two items:
  • A new Public Policy Institute of California poll finds that Carly Fiorina (R) has a narrow lead over Tom Campbell (R) in the Republican Senate race, 25% to 23%, with Chuck DeVore (R) gaining ground at 16%. There are 36% still undecided.
  • A new Public Policy Institute of California poll shows a "dramatic reshaping" in the Republican race for governor as the 50-point lead Meg Whitman held over Steve Poizner two months ago has now closed to single digits.
The DeVore surge is real, and I don't wonder if it will continue. But it's pretty amazing that the GOP still punishes its most promising prospects for being moderate in this state. Frankly, if the CA GOP looked and acted like Schwarzenegger they'd be competitive on most every level. Instead, they're mostly just happy being a pure, rump presence in the state. It's not like we couldn't use some cleansing periods of opposition rule every now and then, either, since what the long period of Democratic rule has made all sorts of ugliness fester in the state. Basically, California is the state you go to if you want to be cynical about politics. Aside from Nancy Pelosi, this state almost never produces effective political leaders, and there are very good reasons for that. But I just find it incredible that they would actually pick a businesswoman whose record in industry makes George W. Bush look like Lee Iacocca and a real right-winger to run for the senate and governor. Winning big in California would probably make people think that the GOP could win anywhere again. Instead it is, as David Byrne might say, "Same as it ever was."

(h/t: Political Wire)

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.