Almost didn’t vote yesterday. Almost fell victim to the “it’s only a primary” cop out. Then, at the last minute, the tv pundits got me going. I was listening to them bat the Orly Taitz “Queen of the Birthers” thing back and forth and I decided to vote for a very simple reason. With people like the “birthers” out there, we have reached a point where it’s too dangerous not to. Some of these people are downright scary. There are also the ghosts of all those who have fought and died to preserve our right to go to the polls. So hey, no excuses.
Here in California, oh my, what a grand and glorious circus. There she was. That pretty billionaire ebay lady, Meg Whitman, with the broadest of smiles. Her fists clenched. Her arms raised in victory. Rocky in drag. But hey, the woman just threw away 80 million dollars. 80 million dollars. Good God almighty. Anyone who knows anything about California politics knows that in all likelihood, she’s gonna get hammered by Jerry Brown in November. What did Brown call her yesterday? Someone who was “bored and rich” so she decided to run for governor? It’s gonna get really nasty, Meg. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. You might even have to talk to the media and explain all those investments before this is over. You’ll have to answer specific questions about how exactly you’re gonna fix problems like the budget deficit without further program cuts? All the stuff Mr. Schwarzenegger couldn’t do, but you seem to think you can? Are you kidding? How, you gonna do all that, exactly? The primary is over, you bought it, and we’re still waiting to hear your specific proposals.
Jerry Brown won’t let you continue on with nothing more than generalities. He’s an old political pro. He’ll demand specifics.
Beyond that, Brown will be waving his union card in the air as he touts his ongoing support for average folks trying to scratch out a living and pay the mortgage. He’ll be dancing on your head for being a member of the uber-rich big business elite that took the country down the road to ruin. Oh, there’s also the “ do you want another eight years of what we’ve just had?” card. He’ll be playing that too, and hard. And the fact that this is a blue state. And that his political legacy goes back to his father, Pat.
What have you got to counter that with? You gonna spend another $80 million on tv ads? That’ll be $160 million you threw away.
Most of us can only dream of winning the lottery. Whitman already hit it and she’s giving it away to the state’s tv stations. Well, what’s $160 million more or less, when you have billions? Or a billion? Or whatever her net worth currently is. I can’t relate. Can you? How many Californians can? Think that’ll be a problem for her?
Can you imagine how she’s gonna feel after the general election? Sitting there all by herself, knowing she blew a fortune on a race she didn’t have a chance of winning? Think about it. All that money down the tubes and she’ll still be rich and bored. Winning in business isn’t the same as winning in politics. Two entirely different venues. Ask Ross Perot.
Gotta think the other Republican businesswoman, Carly Fiorina (another millionaire whose net worth was at one time estimated to run around 2.2. billion), will also crash and burn. I’m no tea party guy, but one of the reasons I voted in the primary was to vote against Barbara Boxer (net worth between 1.1 and 5.3 million), to protest the business as usual crowd in D.C. The folks who got us into this horrible economic and military mess. I thought others would do the same, but Boxer pulled in 80% of the vote in a primary that allowed independents to cross over and vote for or against the candidates of one party or another. Barring extreme unforeseen circumstances, Boxer will destroy Fiorina in the fall.
My evening of political entertainment was capped off by Amy Goodman and her “Democracy Now” newscast on KLCS-TV. If you haven’t watched it, you should. Ms. Goodman, is doing an actual newscast. I mean, she’s doing news, as opposed to entertainment disguised to look like news in an effort to pull in 18-49 year old women. It’s not about personalities or giddy banter between Tad and Muffy. No, it’s an actual newscast that features news. It’s been so long since anybody’s done anything like it, that you’ll probably have a difficult time recognizing it for what it is. But give it a chance. Your brain will thank you for it.
Anyway, I switched over to Amy Goodman, and and caught her conversation with teacher and peace activist Marcy Winograd. The woman who was once again trying to unseat big bad Jane Harman (second richest member of Congress) in the 36th Congressional District encompassing the Venice/South Bay area here in Los Angeles. In the last election, Winograd pulled in 38% of the vote. That’s respectable. Goodman explained that both Harman and Winograd were invited to show up for the interview, but Harman declined. Of course she did. The polls showed her leading Winograd. She figured she would win, so why show up for what would amount to a live debate with Winograd, who’s a pretty smart cookie?
Winograd talked about getting out of Afghanistan while creating green jobs here in the U.S. (rather than letting Europe and China corner the market, which is what’s currently happening). She’s clearly a progressive, forward thinker, just the opposite of so many of those who currently have a lock on their seats in the House and Senate. Like Jane Harman. I’m not saying Harman isn’t a forward thinker (not saying that she is, either) just that she’s part of that old machine, the one the tea party people and many others say they want to get rid of. Like me. It’s why I voted against Barbara Boxer. And I’m an independent. Or a “decline to state” as they now call us.
But Winograd lost, sending Harman on to the general election along with Barbara Boxer and Senator Blanche Lincoln (net worth between $743 thousand and $1.8 million) of Arkansas. So much for a tea party supported anti-incumbent backlash aimed at “throwing the bums out.” Lots of bark and very little bite, apparently. Looks like November may not be such a big problem for Democrats after all.
Oh, “Birther Queen” Orly Taitz, by the way, was defeated in the race for the GOP nomination for California Secretary of State. Her opponent, Damon Dunn, ended up carrying every county in the state.
I hope Marcy Winograd keeps trying.