Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Morning After: Reflections on the Primary

Actually, it's a little after lunchtime. Too late for a real "morning after."

Now that Meg Whitman has won the GOP nomination, a surprising number of commentators have declared the election to be hers to lose. That may be, but she will still have to wade through millions of dollars worth of union funded ads declaring her to be a heartless CEO who starves babies and fire-fighters for fun. She will also have to deal with a state-wide MSM that will happily parrot the liberal talking point of the day. Jerry Brown is Big Government's last line of defense, and they will drag him across the finish line, if need be.

Yeah, it's disappointing that Chuck DeVore didn't win the Senate nomination, coming in third with about 18% of the vote. That's about how much Tom McClintock got when he ran in the 2003 recall election. I think we can safely say that the population of the truly "doctrinaire" California conservatives is not too big.

I've been critical of Carly Fiorina these past few months, but credit where credit's due. She ran a good campaign and beat one of those watery California moderates, which is a good thing. She'll need to run a gaffe-proof campaign to beat The Boxer, though.

Ugh. John Eastman lost. Too bad.

The DA from San Francisco (Kamala Harris) and the DA from Los Angeles (Steve Cooley) will face off for the attorney general job. Harris is good looking and exudes a sense of competence and command. But, her tenure as SF's DA has been a disaster complete with crime lab scandals, mass dismissals of criminal complaints, the shielding of murderous illegal aliens, and the inevitable refusal to seek the death penalty against a cop killer. Hopefully, whoever is running Cooley's campaign can read the newspapers, but I can't shake the feeling that he's one of those guys who doesn't like "negative campaigning."

Apparently, MSNBC and some other MSM outlets got overly excited about GOP Secretary of State candidate Orly Taitz who is (a) Birther (b) a vexatious litigant and (c) a cougar with a crazy eye. Grow up, and how about profiling Damon Dunn, the guy who won going away? He's as impressive as Taitz is deranged. But, we all know the MSM hates covering guys like Dunn.

The turn-out in SF was a measly 23%, which works out to about 100,000 people. 83,000 of them approved Prop. G, which makes it official City policy that the high speed rail terminus will be located at the Transbay Terminal in downtown SF. Ten years from now, when you have to spend months on end sitting in traffic (after sitting in Bay Bridge construction traffic for most of the 2000's) while the high speed rail lines are laid, just remember that it's because of a relative handful of voters voting in a low-turnout election, approving something that City politicos didn't want to have to go on the record as supporting. Direct democracy simply doesn't result in good public policy.

I've seen some hopeful commentary to the effect that Blanche Lincoln's primary victory shows that the anti-incumbent wave has crested. You wish. The real anti-incumbent wave is coming from the Right and the Center. Lincoln was being hit from her Left by a public union sector that has lost all credibility with the voters. They were hardly representative of the sort of voters who are "anti-incumbent."

I've seen a lot of talk about how the many GOP women who won last night are a sign that this is some sort of Year of the Woman. I'd say it's a reflection of something that has been an open secret on the Right: the most conservative people tend to be the women. Who are the male equivalents to Sarah Palin, Phyllis Shlafely or Ann Coulter, for example? More important, the male Republicans who have been in office the last 15 years, and who have been the face of the party, have made a real hash of things. Just off the top of my head, I'm thinking of:

Trent Lott
Tom DeLay
Jack Abramoff
Dennis Hastert
Bill Frist
Ed Gillespie
Henry Paulson
Alberto Gonzalez
Paul O'Neil
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Mark Foley
Mark Sanford
Everyone else in South Carolina, except Jim DeMint
Bernard Kerick
Mitt Romney (for Romneycare)
Scott McClellan
Richard Armitage
Colin Powell
Tom Cambell
Chris Cox
Bob Livingstone
Duke Cunningham
___________________ (write in your favorite here)

Like the management at GM, the men in the GOP Establishment started from a position of strength and frittered it away in a cloud of Big Government and "moderation." The women who won last night are not some sort of gender vanguard. They are merely the public face of the GOP's strongest supporters, who are now taking back the party.

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