You know what really grinds my gears? When idiots try to parlay a clear LOSS into some kind of “moral victory.”
Remember in 2004 when the Democratic Presidential candidate, Senator John F. Kerry (Mass.) lost the popular vote by some 3 percentage points? Republicans were rightly crowing about how President Bush (R) was the first Presidential candidate in sixteen years to win a majority of the popular vote. A bunch of Democrats made a rather feeble counterpoint: Kerry still won 48 percent of the vote and 100 000 votes in Ohio would have put Bush out of a job.
So what? Kerry winning 48 percent of the vote doesn’t give him 48 percent of the White House. And those 100 000 votes DIDN’T go our way – that’s the point, and let’s face it, we LOST, plain and simple. I know some people need and want to be comforted in a time when Democrats seem to be unable to do anything but lose, but by patting themselves on the head and telling themselves that they almost won, they’re blinding themselves to the grim reality – we’re a party of losers.
History repeats itself today as the special election for California’s CD-50 is won by Republican Brian Bilbray after both sides put incredible amounts of money and energy into what would’ve been otherwise an obscure and unnoticed race. Democrat Francine Busby was leading in the polls at several points during the race but ended up losing to Bilbray by 49.5-45. Now Democrats are in comfort-thyself mode once more, patting themselves on the back for keeping the race so close in what should’ve been a heavily Republican district.
OMG, SHUT UP.
What should’ve happened was that Busby should’ve won! Heavily Republican or not (President Bush won the district in 2004 by some ten points) the previous occupant of this House seat was a Republican who resigned in disgrace after being convicted on bribery charges, and Bilbray showed no signs of being squeaky-clean. What should’ve happened was a popular revolt against the current party of corruption: the GOP.
Instead, their man won. Again.
What’s even worse is that this race was looked on as a “bellwether” for the bigger elections this fall. If what happened last night is any indicator of what’s going to happen on November 7, then we Democrats can forget about taking back Congress. We’ll probably end up picking up just a few seats and then start mindlessly congratulating ourselves again for “ending Republican dominance in Washington.”
On a happier note, my pick for Governor, State Treasurer Phil Angelides, won the Democratic primary and is going mano-a-mano with Governor Schwarzenegger this fall. Looks like I don’t always pick losers. I’ll discuss the other election results later.
JULY 4 2006 ADDENDUM: As noted above, my choice for Governor, State Treasurer Philip N. Angelides, won the primary, narrowly edging rival State Controller Steven P. Westly 47.8-43.4. Here are the other results from the June 6 Democratic primary, as compared with my vote:
My vote – Insurance Commissioner John R. Garamendi
Result – Garamendi wins over State Senators Jackie Speier (Hillsborough) and Liz Figueroa (Sunol) 43.3-38.6-18.1.
Secretary of State:
My vote – State Senator Deborah V. Ortiz (Sacramento)
Result – Ortiz loses to State Senator Debra Bowen (Marina del Rey) 60.9-39.1.
My vote – State Senator Joe Dunn (Santa Ana)
Result – Dunn loses to Board of Equalization Chairman John Chiang 53.0-47.0.
My vote – State Treasurer Philip N. Angelides
Result – Unopposed candidate Attorney General Bill Lockyer wins 100.0.
My vote – Los Angeles Attorney Rockard J. Delgadillo
Result – Delgadillo loses to Oakland Mayor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown 62.8-37.2.
My vote – State Senator Jackie Speier (Hillsborough)
Result – Lieutenant Governor Cruz M. Bustamante wins over John Kraft 70.4-29.6.
United States Senator:
My vote – Colleen Fernald
Result – Fernald loses to U.S. Senator Dianne G.B. Feinstein 86.8-8.0, with Martin Luther Church picking up 5.2 percent.
United States Representative, 53rd District:
My vote – Representative Susan A. Davis (CA-53)
Result – Unopposed candidate Davis wins 100.0.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction:
My vote – Grant McMicken
Result – McMicken loses to State Superintendent Jack O’Connell, Sarah Knopp, Diane Lenning, and Daniel Bunting 52.0-17.3-14.2-8.5-7.9.
My vote – Yes
Result – Yes loses to No 47.0-53.0.
My vote – Yes
Result – Yes loses to No 39.2-60.8.
(San Diego County) Proposition A:
My vote – Yes
Result – Oddly enough, I couldn’t find the results. But I didn’t try very hard – I’m tired. And I’m sure it passed.
(San Diego County) Proposition B:
My vote – Yes
Result – Ditto.
So out of the 14 contests here, I got my way on only 3 of them (Governor, Lt. Governor, United States Representative), and didn’t get my way on 9 of them (Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, United States Senator, State Superintendent, Proposition 81, and Proposition 82), with 2 contests (the county props) in the “I don’t know” category. While this might seem to be cause for disappointment, it’s actually pretty good given my history of supporting losers, and I put more weight into the Governor race than all the others. The Angelides-Westly contest was really close and I was elated to see my candidate come out on top. Let’s hope that happens again in November.
The Lt. Governor, U.S. Representative, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, United States Senator, and State Superintendent contests were no surprise, as most of those contests (with the possible exception of the LTG) were Huge Name vs. No Name. The Controller race was pretty tight and I thought it could go either way. I thought the Secretary of State race would be much closer. The biggest surprises were the Props. I thought both would pass – who doesn’t like libraries and preschool? – but for some reason, Californians don’t. Anyone care to explain?
As for this November? Obviously, I’m gonna vote for the Democratic nominees for Governor, Lt. Governor and U.S. Representative. I’ll be happy to support the Democratic nominees for Secretary of State and Controller as well. I’m uneasy about our picks for Treasurer, Attorney General, and Insurance Commissioner and I’ll have to think about it and shop around for alternatives. I refuse to vote for the U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (and I’ll explain in a future column as to why) and will most likely cast my vote in November for the Green Party candidate, Todd Chretien.