So the California GOP has been handed a gift in the form of the impending recall of Gray Davis. A wealthy GOP state congressman ponied up a couple million of his own dollars to force the recall vote, and the polls indicate that Gray Davis has two chances of remaining governor – slim, and none.
In most states, this would be a beautiful situation for the GOP – when the incumbent Democrat is being run out on a rail, the most logical replacement is a Republican. However, the California GOP is remarkably disfunctional. The conservative wing is so ornery and obstinate that they repeatedly force the nomination of unelectable Republican candidates. Dan Lundgren, the opponent against whom Gray Davis’ won initially, was an extremely conservative Republican, with a lot of backing from the religious right. He got trounced in the general election by the “moderate” Gray Davis.
Four years later, the moderate Republican Richard Riordan, who by all accounts would have easily ousted Davis, was not conservative enough to placate the right wing of the Republican party. Instead they nominated Bill Simon, a well meaning dunderhead, who placated the conservative wing of the party, and who lost in one of the worst managed campaigns of modern times. (Don’t these people watch the West Wing?)
Now, with the recall coming shortly, the GOP is at it again. Cruz Bustamante is leading in the polls, and the Republican votes are split between Arnold and Tom McClintock, who is, you guessed it, the conservatives’ choice. If they both stay in the race, Bustamante wins going away.
I’m afraid that McClintock will stay in, and Bustamante will win, and the prison guard union and the Indian tribes will get to celebrate again. If Arnold backs out (not likely!), McClintock will lose too. He’s too conservative to be elected in California, and too obstinate to realize it.
An issue near and dear to my heart, or is that heartburn. I still expect to see this matter in court no matter what because there is still a point of contention which has not been heard by the courts. That being, the successor position (by teh California Constitution, the L-T should get the job) which fell off the radar or was overshadow by the evergence of Schwar…The Actor. That being said. They’re holding a convention this weekend. Alhough they won’t debate, I expect McClintock will comeo out with guns blazing oh how and why The Actor won’t state his positions.
As to who’ll get the nod, the ultra conservatives hold the keys. The people doing the heavy thinking aren’t the ones who make the nomination. This very thing happened with Riordan/Simon. Outside of Rove, I don’t think anyone else has the arm twisting ability to make it work. If that happens look for the Democrats to howl FOUL.
California Republicans are among the dumbest in the land, and that is saying a LOT! They had a chance with Riordan, and they went with Simon. Great choice, guys. Everybody, INCLUDING a lot of the Democrats, wanted Davis defeated last election, and you run as a candidate the only person in California even stupider and more corrupt than Davis! Jesus wept!
Speaking as an ex-Republican turned radical Apathy Party supporter…you guys are stupider than rocks.
Of course, if Bustamonta gets in, we will all be citizens of Mexico before New Year’s.
Yeah, the GOP seems to have a death wish. Gotta say, though, that I watched the O’Reilly interview with Arnold last night and I was not impressed. He had virtually nothing to say other than that he’d have to figure things out once he got to Sacramento. McClintock is a bit of a religious right winger (not as bad as some, though), but here sure has a lot more conrete ideas for what to do. I was not a big fan of the whole recall thing to begin with. Let Davis stew a bit more and then kick him out the old fashioned way.
Well, it raises the larger issue – are you a politician or a commentator? If McClintock continues to hold the Cal GOP hostage, there can be no GOP governor. What does that get you? Sort of like the Nader/Gore issue, what it gets you is the other party winning the election. If you are so wedded to your principles that you become unelectable, and actually work to help the other party by splitting the vote on your side of the aisle, what’s the use? The Naderites stood by their principles, and got the most radical republican president in recent memory. If the McClintokistas do the same, they’ll end up with Bustamante. IMHO, if you are a politician you need to have some sense of pragmatism, else you risk becoming worse than a sideshow.
I would expect that McClintock with withdraw if we get to within a week of the election and if Arnold is still polling 10 or more points higher than he is. And I expect that will be the case. Of course, Arnold could hasten that if he’d spell out some real actions that he plans to take. In the end, though, CA is not conservative enought to elect McCLintock even if Arnold were the one to withdraw. Let’s see what comes of the GOP convention.
There is another possibility here. From a long term strategic standpoint, the national GOP would probably be better off with a despised Dem governor in CA during the '04 presidential race than with a Republican struggling to untangle the mess.
Nader is a complete outsider with no possibility of a place in the Democratic party. McClintock might be committing political suicide if the GOP as a whole really wants to get Arnold in the governor’s mansion. He doesn’t seem to be that stupid. I think there are some powerful Pubs who would just as soon see this whole recall thing fail. Otherwise, there would be tremendous pressure for him to bow out or face shunning by the rest of the party.
Someone correct me if I am mistaken, please, but I am under the impression that the ballots are already printed. Even with late withdrawals, I foresee a large split of the Republican vote by people who assume any name on the ballot is still a viable candidate; ergo, a Bustamante plurality will carry the day.
The recall will fail; indeed, as time passes, the number of people in favor of recalling the governor is falling and the undecideds are all jumping into the don’t recall camp.
But on the odd chance the recall succedes, Mr. Bustamante will likely win. I predict Arnold-mania will subside, especially once he is finally dragged into a debate and shown to be unable to think on his feet.
I have to agree with the OP, because the Republican party in California has consistently done its best the last 15 years to kill its ability to control any aspect of government. Between the stupid initiatives its members promote, usually managing only to antagonize potential members of the party, e.g. hispanics, and the consistent failure to support moderates who don’t appeal to the rabid members of the conservative wing in Orange County, the Republican Party in California might as well not even exist.
Funny, now I live in a state where the Democratic Party might as well not even exist statewide, namely Ohio. A lot of the trouble here is simply the flip-side of Republican troubles in California. God help parties stuck with really, really active wings…
Have you been reading the same polls as everyone else? Right now, the % favoring the recall is a massive 55%, with a large % undecided, and a 5% margin of error. In other words- it is going to be damn close. And I hope he stays in. Not that I think Davis is God’s gift to Ca- but he ain’t THAT bad.
The problem is- let us say 51% of the voters vote Davis out, with 47% of the voters vote for keeping him- a very reasonable spread, incidentally. Then, say Arnold gets 29%, Bustamonte 28%, and the rest lesser amounts. Means that more voters wanted Davis than Arnold, right? But Arnold gets in, and Davis goes? :dubious: Allows a candidate with a small minority to win- which is WRONG. Which is why McClintock won’t withdraw- if Arnie stumbles, it is the ONLY chance for McClintock to win. If I was in his shoes, I wouldn’t withdraw eith- right now he has maybe a 25% chanceof winning, whereas in a “real” election his chance is very close to zero.
Also sets a bad precedent- if “Ahnuld” wins, then the recall for him should be on the way in weeks.
The GOP is also figuring heavily on voter confusion- many who vote to keep Davis IN (99% Dems) will think then they can’t vote for Bustamonte (or whoever). The Ballot instructions do not make it clear that if you vote “NO!” on recalling Davis then you can still vote for a replacement. So, about 5% (WAG)of Dems will be disenfranchised, which could make the difference.
Doesn’t matter. They won’t have to say anything. Anger towards Davis (and it’s not just the deficit) will likely spill over to whoever is running on the Dem ticket.
The other thing is that the national GOP is probably very indifferent about an Arnold CA governorship. That post should be used as a strong springboard to the presidency. Why waste it on someone ineligible for that post?
So if Bustamante wins, will the Republicans mount another recall challenge? To do so would tell everyone their real intent for the recall was not an honest government but the destruction of honest elections. California will sour real fast.
If Arnie wins, does anyone hoently believe there would be a recall attempt by the Democrats after the honeymoon? That would be seen as sour grapes, even if the electorate fails to see the current recall is sour grapes by the Republicans.
Is the national GOP funneling any more into this election?
Will the outcome of this state election have any precursor elements to the presidential election next year? If the Dems win now, would would it take for Bush to win the state? If the Pubbies win now, does Bush get a better chance? Or much worse?
You are right, the latest polls (which I saw today) show the recall issue as very tight. However, I think that the nature of the issue tends to favor the recall – no one really is passionate about keeping Davis, there are many that passionately want him out. The less passionate ones that would vote against the recall (but don’t care much one way or the other) are going to be less likely to vote. But you are right, it looks much closer than it did.
I doubt that there would be any great move for another recall. They’d need to wait six months in any event (part of the recall law), and the bizarre confluence of events (including a general dislike of Davis, even among Democrats) that led to the recall will not be there. I doubt we’ll see another recall any time soon. (But who knows, it only cost Issa a couple of million – maybe someone will try again.)
Heard a guy on the radio, can’t remember who, but he was a famous analyst, who commented on this. He was warning that Davis was not to be underestimated, that he was a political animal with killer instincts. He said that it was Davis who engineered a campaign against Riordan before Riordan even announced he was running and convinced the California GOP that Riordan was far too left-leaning. Simon won the primary in a walk, then got stomped by Davis like a narc at a biker rally(to quote Dennis Miller).
Point being, there are those whobelieve that Davis being recalled is not at all certain. Latest polls still show likely voters recalling him, but they also show that the anger at Davis that started the ball rolling may be losing steam.
Personally, I think Arnold should bow out and throw his support to McClintock. That’s who THIS democrat will be voting for. Bustamante is NUTJOB.
You’re the first Democrat I’ve noticed who sees that. I’m impressed. The callers to local talk radio who are going to vote for BustaMECHA said they were voting for him because of his skin color, or because he is going to help give back land to Mexico and the Indians, or because he is the lesser of two evils.