Actually, the race for the Republican nomination to take on Barbara Boxer (or Mickey Kaus!) has already ended, but for the shouting. Tom Campbell has apparently run out of money and has pulled his advertising, while Chuck DeVore has started mailing it in. So, regardless of what Free Will says, it looks like Carly Fiorina will be the Republican nominee for Senate.
Still, we are nothing if not stubborn around here, and endorsements shouldn't be about "electability" or whatever. It should be about who is best suited to carry the conservative Republican banner against one of the most obnoxiously liberal Senators (or coolest bloggers!) in the state. And, I think that person is Chuck DeVore.
DeVore has lived life as a real Californian. He has not spent his life as a political activist. He has not been a meritocrat talking grandly at Davos. The Boxer might understand life in the Bay Area. Fiorina might understand Silicon Valley. But, DeVore knows about life in the "other" California: the Central Valley, Bakersfield, Long Beach, all the areas that are the economic - as opposed to the intellectual - lifeblood of this state. Listen to DeVore talk about California energy policy sometime, and you begin to realize, not just how much potential there still exists in this state, but also how much of it is being squandered or allowed to fester.
DeVore's life experience is that of someone far removed from the gentry liberalism of La Box. The most obvious is his active status with the Army Reserve. Lesser souls have subjected his service to a parsing worthy of a Sarah Palin pregnancy, but the fact is that DeVore has made real sacrifices that his rivals can't begin to match. Interestingly, he was on active duty during the LA riots, which ought to have given him an insight into the human condition (not to mention the destructive wrought by progressive urban politics) that, again, The Boxer can only have heard of second hand.
Most important, DeVore is not a squish. We would not have to worry about how he would vote, or whether he would be sufficiently dedicated to the limited government philosophy from which so many of his colleagues have strayed (and for which Carly Fiorina has no demonstrable affinity). The media short-hand for DeVore is that he is a "doctrinaire conservative." Damn right he is. There a problem with that? After all, California hasn't been a conservative state in at least 20 years. The problems the state has had over the last two decades have been the result of out-of-control liberalism, aided and abetted by the occasional "moderate" Republican looking for some good press. A dose of doctrinaire conservatism would be a change of pace that the state should embrace, and so should the Republican Party. (anyway, why is it OK for Barbara Boxer to be a doctrinaire liberal...)
DeVore is likely going to down to noble defeat on June 8, but that doesn't mean conservatives have to play along. Tom Campbell is going down in defeat, which is very good news. Hopefully, he will be the last of California's media-approved harmless moderates. With Campbell gone, we don't have to worry about splitting the vote with Fiorina. And, she needs to know how many conservatives are out there in the state who don't quite buy the idea that she is "one of them" when she has absolutely no political record that pre-dates 2008. A vote for DeVore is a vote for the best Republican in the race. You ought to choose accordingly.