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Brown could blow it

Jerry Brown

Associated Press photo

“We are confident that the Brown campaign is doing the things that need to be done and we’re in the position we want to be in,” Jerry Brown gubernatorial campaign spokesman Sterling Clifford has said of anxiety that Team Brown is doing too little too late against Repugnican billionaire Megalomaniac Whitman’s multi-million-dollar onslaught. (Brown is shown above in Los Angeles last month.) I’d love to take comfort in Sterling’s words of assurance, but then I recall the 2003 gubernatorial recall election and the gubernatorial election of 2006 – and how well the state’s Democratic “leaders” strategized in those

You would think that California’s Democratic Party “leaders” would have learned their lesson by now.

First, the state’s party “leaders” underestimated the chances of the wooden and woefully uncharismatic Gov. Gray Davis losing the gubernatorial recall election of 2003.

To recap, Repugnicans were able to get enough signatures on petitions to make the recall election happen, in no small part because Repugnican U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, who had his own eye on the governor’s seat, gave $2  million of his own funds to the signature-collection effort – only to see Hollywood action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger become the Repugnican frontrunner in the gubernatorial recall race.

The state’s Democratic Party “leaders” either truly believed that the unpopular Davis would survive the recall election or they were in deep denial. Therefore, they refused to front a candidate for the recall election (and Davis was not allowed to run as a candidate in the election*), apparently believing that to do so would be to admit Davis’ defeat before the recall election even took place.

When then-Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a Democrat, decided to run in the recall election (in which I voted for him), he was viewed by the calcified state Democratic Party “leaders” as a heretic, and the state party did not throw its support behind Bustamante, who therefore pretty much was on his own.

The top three vote-getters of the gubernatorial recall election were Schwarzenegger, with 48.6 percent of the vote, Bustamante, with 31.5 percent, and another Repugnican candidate, Tom McClintock, with 13 percent. (More than one individual from each of the two major parties was allowed to run in the recall race.)

Davis was the state’s first governor ever to be recalled and only the second governor to be recalled in the nation’s history. (Eighteen states, including California, allow for gubernatorial recall elections.)

Running against Schwarzenegger in the 2006 gubernatorial election was uber-geek Democrat Phil Angelides, then the state’s treasurer. Polls had shown consistently that the dynamic, youthful, John-Edwards-(before-his-mistress-came-to-light)-like Democrat Steve Westly, the state’s controller, could have defeated Schwarzenegger in November 2006 — and that Angelides could not – but in April 2006 the state’s Democratic Party “leaders” stupidly endorsed the charismatically challenged Angelides anyfuckingway, apparently not having learned a fucking thing from the Davis debacle just a few years before. The state party’s endorsement helped Angelides beat Westly in the June 2006 primary election, but by only 5 percent.

I knew that it was over for boner-shrinker Angelides when I was attending the annual Greek cultural festival here in Sacramento in August 2006, and Angelides, a Greek-American, made a surprise appearance at the festival — and no one there seemed to give a shit. If a Greek-American political candidate can’t wow ’em at a fucking Greek festival, he’s fucking toast. (Do the Greeks have their own kind of toast, I wonder?)

Anyway, in November 2006, Schwarzenegger trounced Angelides. True, it was the jock vs. the geek, and in such a matchup the geek almost never wins, but Angelides’ lackluster-at-best campaign didn’t fucking help things. Schwarzenegger won 56 percent of the vote to the Greek geekboy’s pathetic 39 percent.

Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor — it took me years to get used to that — could have been prevented had the state’s Democratic “leaders” fronted a strong candidate (Bustamante or someone else) in the 2003 gubernatorial recall election instead of petulantly acted as though Gray Davis, who is as exciting as is the shade of gray, couldn’t possibly have been recalled.

Schwarzenegger getting a sequel as governor of California in 2006 could have been prevented had the state’s clueless Democratic “leaders” gone with the more popular Westly instead of the nerdy Angelides, whom they apparently wanted to reward for his past years of work for the state party — even though polls showed that he couldn’t take out the “Terminator.”

So now it’s year 2010, and two-time California Gov. Jerry Brown is running for a third term. He has my support. I even have a campaign T-shirt already.

But Democrat Brown is running against billionaire Repugnican Megalomaniac Whitman, whose millions and millions of dollars of her own money (more than $90 million thus far) that she’s pumped into her campaign have allowed her to advertise ubiquitously.

Some pundits have surmised that Nutmeg’s advertising overkill actually will work against her, that it will turn off voters and send them to Brown’s camp. I hope that’s true, but we can’t fucking count on that being the case.

Polls have shown Brown’s lead over Nutmeg deteriorating to the point that the latest poll (a Field Poll) puts Brown at 44 percent and Nutmeg at 43 percent – with almost four full months of campaigning to go.

Yes, the majority of California’s voters should go with the frugal candidate who already knows how to do the state’s top job because he’s already done it.

But times have changed. The “independent” or “swing” vote — which I like to refer to as the “dumbfuck vote” — decides way too many elections these days, and the members of the dumbfuck voting bloc, by definition, don’t make their decisions based upon facts, but based upon their gut. And the gut’s main source of “information” is the tay-vay.

And it’s Megalomaniac who’s all over the tay-vay like stink all over dog shit.

Team Brown, on the other hand, truly appears to believe that Jerry Brown’s name recognition is enough. Brown’s name recognition is considerable, but Megalomaniac Whitman, come November, might just show us that everything has its price if one is only willing to pay it.

“If you’re going to run for governor, you have to do what it takes. You can’t tell yourself or tell everyone else there is some special way for you to do this that is completely outside the norms that apply to everyone else,” the Los Angeles Times has quoted veteran state Democratic strategist Garry South of having said recently of the Brown campaign. (South was a strategist for Westly in the 2006 gubernatorial race and he strategized for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s bid for the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nomination. [Newsom now is running for lieutenant governor instead.])

I have to agree with South, and although South probably would put it differently, I think that Team Brown woefully has misunderstimated (as former “President” George W. Bush might put it) the power of the dumbfuck vote that Team Nutmeg seemed to realize long ago: Yes, tell the easily duped dipshits the same lies enough, and they’ll believe them. This tactic of propaganda worked wonders for the unelected Bush regime (and the Hitler regime** before it…).

Memo to Team Brown:

Times have changed. We no longer live in the age of the statesman (or stateswoman). Intellectual ability is seen as a fault by as many voters who view it as a strength, it seems to me. (Hell, maybe even more voters view intelligence as a fault than as a strength.)

We live now in the age of Sarah Palin-Quayle – Twittering and on Facebook.

And billionaire Megalomaniac Whitman — to make up for that pony that she never got, or to make up for the fact that she never was made prom queen, perhaps – is dangerously close to purchasing for herself the most powerful post in the state government of the nation’s most populous state. 

It’s past time to fight fire with fire.

*The recall-election ballot had two parts: First was the question as to whether Davis should remain in office or be removed from office. The second question on the ballot was who should replace Davis should he be removed. (Those who voted to retain Davis in office still were allowed to vote for a candidate to replace him as governor in case he was recalled.)

**Brown’s having called Team Nutmeg Nazi-like in its propaganda techniques is not wholly unfounded, and I wholly agree with sexy gay blogger Glenn Greenwald’s recent argument that we can’t make all references and comparisons to Nazis verboten, because sometimes these references and comparisons have some substance to them. (Not that Greenwald would agree with Brown’s having called Team Nutmeg Nazi-like. [But he might…])

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What’s the matter with California?

Updated below (on Sunday, March 21, 2010)

The Field Poll, California’s most prominent polling organization, released a series of fairly surprising polls this past week that got plenty of media attention here in the nation’s most populous state.

The first poll, released Wednesday, shows that Repugnican gubernatorial wannabe Megalomaniac Whitman, a billionaire former CEO who has pumped tens of millions of her own dollars into her ubiquitous television ads, not only trounces her closest Repugnican rival for her party’s gubernatorial nomination, but holds a three-point lead over Democrat Jerry Brown, the state’s current attorney general and former governor who has no (serious) competition for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

The poll puts Nutmeg Whitman at 46 percent to Jerry Brown’s 43 percent, with 11 percent undecided.

After the disaster that Repugnican Arnold Schwarzenegger has been as governor — the state that he promised to “save” from twice-elected Democratic former Gov. Gray Davis has only gotten worse under his watch since 2003 — are Californians really going to allow another Repugnican governor?

Moreoever, are they really going to allow someone to buy the governorship? That’s not an exaggeration — that is billionaire Nutmeg’s game plan. The Megalomaniac has never held any elective office before but wants the top elected office of the most populous state right off.

As governor she would be catastrophic. Already she wants to kill the state’s climate-change legislation that even Schwarzenegger supports and she wants to lay off 40,000 state workers in a state that already has enough unemployment problems and already has suffered enough damaging hits to government services.

As Brown has pointed out, as The Associated Press recently paraphrased him as having put it, “California needs an elder statesman who can broker deals to lead it out of its current fiscal morass, not an autocratic CEO who is used to giving orders.” Reports the AP:

[Brown] said CEOs are used to hand-picking their employees, but a governor must confront an independent and sometimes hostile state Legislature and deal with public employee unions and courts that are constantly second-guessing their decisions.

“The political process is about civic engagement, not autocratic executive decision-making in the corporate suite. The two have virtually nothing in common,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press at his campaign headquarters in a converted warehouse in Oakland.

Yup. The autocratic, spoiled rich bitch Nutmeg is not cut of the same cloth of which good governors are made. She’s much more like the Red Queen in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” — “Off with their heads!” she already has said of 40K state workers — than she is anything like a stateswoman. 

If Californians think that Schwarzenegger is bad — and they do; his approval rating is around 30 percent and about six in 10 Californians believe, correctly, that the state is worse off now than it was in 2003, when he took 0ffice — then they should elect Nutmeg, who knows as much about being governor as Sarah Palin-Quayle knows about being president.

Speaking of stateswomen, Democratic U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer of California can claim that title, but her election to a fourth term in the U.S. Senate seems uncertain.

A second Field poll, released on Thursday, shows the top Repugnican challenger for the Repugnican Party nomination for the U.S. Senate seat that Boxer now holds, Tom Campbell, with 44 percent to Boxer’s 43 percent. When matched up against the No. 2 Repugnican contestant, the Nutmeg-like Carly Fiorina (who also is a former CEO who wants to buy high office), Boxer beats Fiorina by only one point, 45 percent to 44 percent.

Like we really need more Repugnican white men — or more Repugnicans, period — in the U.S. Senate. What the fuck?

It wasn’t that long ago that the stupid white men of and led by the unelected BushCheneyCorp ran the nation into the ground, a stupid white man continues to run the great state of California into the ground, and yet the voters of California are poised to replace Barbara Boxer with another stupid white man (or with a stupid white man in woman’s clothing, like Palin-Quayle is).

I recognize that a lot can change in the coming months before the November 2010 election, but I find these 40-something-percent matchups between the Democratic and Repugnican candidates in the blue state of California to be way too close for comfort.

The culprit, I think, is the same phenomenon that put Repugnican pretty boy Scott Brown into the U.S. Senate for Massachussetts in the wake of the death of Ted Kennedy: the dumbfuck vote, which consists mostly those who identify themselves as “independents” or “swing voters.” They get the bulk of their political “information” from the candidates’ television ads. Because TV commercials are a great source of complete and unbiased information. Every intellectual knows that.

So, if you are just filthy rich, like Nutmeg Whitman is, you can buy office, since your base consists of the dipshits who don’t know anyfuckingthing about politics but who vote anyway.

The third Field poll released this past week (yesterday) perhaps is the most encouraging of the three. It shows that Californians’ favorability rating of President Barack Obama has fallen since he took office, but still remains at a majority, with 52 percent of Californians approving of the job he’s doing. Obama’s highest point among Californians was a year ago this month, when he had a 65-percent job-approval rating.

The poll showed Californians evenly split over Obama’s handling of health care, with 45 percent favoring his handling of it thus far and 45 percent disfavoring it thus far.

Of course, I’m not sure how many of those Californians who disfavor Obama’s handling of health care are wingnuts who buy the health care = “socialism” crap that the wealth care weasels — whose only concern is to continue to profit obscenely from Americans’ pain and suffering — have been pushing and how many of them oppose his handling of health care because it’s not aggressive and/or progressive enough.

After health-care reform legislation finally fucking passes — which apparently will be as soon as tomorrow — we might see increases in the number of Californians who state that they approve of Obama’s job performance and his handling of health-care reform.

And a coattail effect of the Democratic Party actually having accomplished something, and having accomplished something pretty big, might help Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown in the polls, too.

Of course, it’s also important for long-time Democratic politicians like Boxer and Brown not to take their support by the fickle voters of California for granted. It is my impression that California’s voters will vote for a Repugnican in order to punish a Democrat whom they believe takes their vote for granted — even though voting Repugnican almost always is against the voter’s own best interests.

And those who don’t understand politics (those who get their political “information” from candidates’ TV commercials) really seem to believe that the solution always is to just change parties — even if the party they are thinking of switching to just recently trashed the nation and the state.

That problem — abject stupidity — I don’ t have a quick and easy solution for, unfortunately.

Update (Sunday, March 21, 2010):

Today the Field Poll has released yet another poll, this one showing that Repugnican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approval rating has hit an all-time low of 23 percent.

“This is the poorest assessment that voters have ever given Schwarzenegger and is statistically equivalent to the all-time record low job appraisal that voters gave to [Democratic Gov.] Gray Davis shortly before he was recalled from office in 2003,” the Field Poll notes.

The Sacramento Bee quotes Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo as deeming this fact to be “ironic.”

Repugnicans are distancing themselves from Schwarzenegger, claiming that his low approval rating doesn’t really matter because he isn’t really a Repugnican — that is, he isn’t enough of a Nazi for them, even though his father was a Brownshirt

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