Campaigns/Elections

After We Hose Meg Whitman's Remains Off the Sidewalk, Can We Admit that Money Does Not Buy Elections?

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After we get money out of politics can we get politics out of money?

What happens if you spend $141 million and nothing comes of it?

Nothing, of course!

Before autumn officially began, Republican candidate for California governor Meg Whitman had already broken the personal-spending record for American political campaigns.

When Whitman's personal campaign contribution reached $109 million in September, American democracy staggered. When her total campaign spending topped $140 million earlier this month, the Washington Post's Karen Tumulty was unable to enjoy the state's sunny climate due to the "gale force" of Whitman's spending; Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Mark Fiore put his bowling-ball wit into a fake attack ad; and L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez wrote something I didn't actually read, but I'm sure it was full of spritely and righteous bemusement. Brave New Films denounced money's "corrosive effect on basic democratic principles." 

And yet Whitman is almost certainly going to lose on Tuesday. Real Clear Politics' polling roundup has Jerry Brown up by high-single-to-low-double digits. InTrade's spread looks like a lock for Brown. And Whitman herself is now down to the "fighting for every vote" rhetoric—the political equivalent of when your boss stops talking about "overdelivering" and starts talking about "going for the low-hanging fruit."

Will anybody point to the failure of eMeg's record-busting campaign splurge and revisit their commitment to getting private money out of politics?

Not likely. In the HuffPost, Public Campaign Action Fund's David Donnelly decries the "collateral damage" of campaign funding—that it forces incumbents to work for reelection when they should be busy passing laws they haven't read. Common Cause wheels in Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) to make the case for a "Fair Elections" system. Publicampaign.org doesn't seem to have taken any note of the Brown-Whitman race at all.

Sure, the argument against free expression in politics isn't so much that big spending guarantees victory as that it leaves the politician in thrall to special interests. (Although for that very reason the reformers should love Whitman, who has financed about 85 percent of her campaign out of her own pocket.) But somewhere in here shouldn't we consider whether all this money has a practical effect on the outcome of an election?

Tumulty notes that Whitman's personal spending follows a longstanding California tradition of self-financing political washouts including Al Checchi, Bill Simon and Michael Huffington. (Actually, considering that the residue of Huffington's political career is still with us, maybe we should worry about rich people in politics.)

Finally, I don't know whether I should be flattered or troubled that Jerry Brown's campaign seems to have picked up on my Whitman putdown from a while back:

NEXT: "If government can tell us what we can put into our own bodies, what can it not tell us?"

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  1. California is fucked either way. And they won’t have weed to keep them mellow during the downfall, since it looks like prop 19 will lose. Really unfair. But maybe if everybody gets a headache, they can get the medical dosage.

  2. I don’t live in California and I’m not that familiar with Meg’s spending and ads, but for crying out loud, Jerry Brown?!?!???!?

    Californians really are disconnected from reality and just hate themselves, I guess.

    Keep digging, guys.

    1. At least he got some Linda Ronstadt when that poon was hot.

      1. He didn’t get any Linda R. poon. See previous threads. Dating one’s beard is not the same as fucking her.

        1. Jerry “Putts from the Rough”? I had no idea!

          1. Can we start a rumor that he and Charlie Crist were lovers and Brown was the bottom?

            My favorite rumor of all time is that Whitney Houston and Kelly McGillis were an item when “The Accused” was filmed, and the Jodster seduced Kelly, which led Whitney to show up on set and slap and scream at them both.

            I don’t care if there is any element of truth (other than Jodie’s and Kelly’s sexuality and Whitney’s being insane). I just love the image.

            1. And I luuuuuuvvvvve Jodie Foster and wouldn’t want anymore crazy people to bother her. But I LOVE that rumor.

      2. And back when that caliente self-hating Latina poon was pretending not to be Latina.

        Who used the word “whore” earlier?

    2. NO, just legions of the poor and/or uninformed saps, just like everywhere else in the world.

      Whitman’s downfall was saying one thing in English ads and then something else in Spanish ads and even taking a third position on some issues. You never know where she was at on an issue.

      Example: she opposed Prop 23 which would suspend the upcoming global warming legislation until we, you know, actually have a functioning economy again. She says as governor she’d suspend it for a year. But she and everyone knows a year won’t mean anything because the festering, dograping shitheads in the statehouse would be the ones who have to alter or cancel the bill, so her one year suspension is nonsensical claptrap.

      See if you can get her interview on KFI’s John & Ken show. That is how *EVERY* political interview should be done by the news media. The moment she deviated from answering a question and into boilerplate rhetoric, they would verbally slap her back on course.

      1. Whitman’s downfall was saying one thing in English ads and then something else in Spanish ads and even taking a third position on some issues. You never know where she was at on an issue.

        I wonder how she won the primaries.

  3. I don’t live in California and I’m not that familiar with Meg’s spending and ads, but for crying out loud, Jerry Brown?!?!???!?

    Well, Back to the Future was set in California.

  4. Jerry Brown?!?!???!?

    It’s at least two decades too late for California to elect its way out of being third-world pothole, and the “collateral damage” of making Jello Biafra feel like the asshole he is (for fleeting moments, before the psychic walls repair themselves) is probably worth it.

    1. What’s the next act of this tragi-comedy? They can probably hold off bankruptcy for a few more years.

      One bright spot about the Red Team taking the House will be that there is far less chance of a federal bailout.

      1. Maybe they will nationalize everyone in Silicon Valley and the film industry and sell them as slaves to the Chinese?

  5. Meg’s money may not have bought her the election, but I’m not sure how much we can read into that.

    You know what I think lost Meg the election?

    The success of the Tea Party in Red State America.

    Perceptions in California are just as culturally driven as anywhere in the South. Anybody associated with Republicans in California had about as much chance of winning the popular vote this time as a Democrat had in the reddest Tea Party state imaginable.

    The swing vote in California is coming out against what they see as the culturally conservative aesthetics of the Tea Party–and no amount of money was about to overcome that.

    It isn’t about Meg or how much she spends, and it sure as hell isn’t about Jerry Brown. It’s about the impulse that made Californians hate on Arizona over the summer–although it’s not about that issue per se.

    If Jerry wins, it’s just an aesthetic repudiation of the Tea Party in California.

    …irrational a reaction as that might be. I’m not saying that’s the way it should be; I’m saying that’s the way it is. Just to get the vibe across, people in California see voting for a Republican like we’d see voting for LoneWacko. I don’t care if LoneWacko wants to stick it to the government employees union…

    I don’t care if LoneWacko’s competition is the head of the government employees union! If the swing voters associate the Republicans with LoneWacko?

    Then they’re not goin’ out of their way to vote for LoneWacko–although they might go out of their way to vote against him! How much money doesn’t LoneWacko have to spend to overcome that?

    No amount of money is about to change that.

    1. Then I hope they enjoy bankruptcy and socialist hell.

      1. The bankruptcy could offer much to enjoy.

      2. I think it goes to show that the aesthetic appeal of the more cultural conservative elements in the Tea Party–has a cost.

        I don’t hope to die in a socialist hell becasue of that…

        I do, however, hope it occurs to Republicans in the next Congress that their appeal on the economy could be broader and would appeal to a more general audience if only they jettisoned all that culturally conservative baggage, stuff that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans anyway.

        If America ends up a socialist hell because some idiot in Delaware couldn’t keep her mouth shut about gay people–you wouldn’t say that, would you John?

        That if America is reluctant to turn out for the Tea Party in 2012 because of the stupid things some of its enthusiasts say about gay people or something other equally unimportant issue–that you hope America goes to socialist hell?

        ’cause if that happens, it isn’t the American people I’m gonna blame–i’ll blame stupid politicians for saying stupid things.

        1. ’cause if that happens, it isn’t the American people I’m gonna blame–i’ll blame stupid politicians for saying stupid things.

          I’ll blame the politicians, and the American people, both for being too stupid to see what matters, and disregard what doesn’t.

        2. Ken it works both ways. If America ends up in socialist hell because a bunch of cosmopolitans can’t get over their cultural prejudices, what would you say to that? Compromise goes both ways. And I see more people who mindlessly vote against their own economic interest in the name of what you admit are pretty meaningless cultural issues on your side than I do from the dreaded “cultural conservatives”.

          A lot of cultural conservatives have embraced Rand Paul. I see none of the same willingness to set cultural issues aside from the other side.

          But, Rand Paul has dropped the elitist libertarian “shut up you fucking dumb ass fundie and do what I tell you to” act. I am not an evangelical or particularly culturally conservative. But, I understand that there are more of them than there are of me. And that their support is the only way we are going to stop liberalism. Sitting around thumbing my nose at them and calling them nitwits isn’t going to accomplish much.

          1. I know I for one am willing to give up 90% of my income and have the State tell me what I can eat, what I can read on the internet, and how much energy I can use, as long as I can still cross swords and have a nice guy sit on my face.

            1. I’m pretty sure that’s a black letter guarantee in Californias constitution.

          2. So you’re willing to forgo being fucked in the ass to being fucked in the ear.

            Got it.

        3. If O’Donnell would vote to save us from socialism, what do you care what she thinks about gay people? It is not like she is going to be elected king of something. Your position strikes me as more prejudiced and counter productive than anything the cultural conservatives are doing.

          1. Again, the point isn’t to blame the voters.

            They’re like the market. If I put up a building that no one wants to buy, that’s not the market’s fault. The market is what it is. My job is to give the people what they want–not to make them want whatever I give them.

            In this case, the market is telling us what its constraints are in California. If the Tea Party doesn’t take market constraints political realities into consideration when it decides what to do and how to conduct itself in the future? Then the market will continue to limit the Tea Party and their appeal.

            Ronald Reagan was successful because he was able to take his economy message to an enormous market–a market so big it included a huge chunk of unionized blue collar workers. They actually doubled down on him in ’84. Democrats resigned their seats and re-ran as Republicans so they could be part of it.

            If we want to have a bigger impact than Reagan did, then we’re gonna need a tent at least as big as his was. Wedge issues just don’t make tents bigger.

            They might help keep someone from losing their seat–but you’re not going to create a broad consensus with wedge issues. And that’s what most of this cultural conservative stuff is–wedge issues. The sooner we get rid of that stuff, stuff that’s holding us back, the sooner we can create a consensus on economic policy. The stuff that really matters.

            1. And Reagan said lots of socially conservative things. And he was portrayed by the Left in terms even harsher than anything they have said about O’Donnell.

              The Left is going to portray anyone who runs on a small government platform as a nut. That is just how they roll.

              1. To a certain extent.

                To the swing voters of California?

                It’s the culturally conservative stuff that’s actually making the difference.

                Yeah, they bashed Reagan extensively, and I don’t think he ever even threw a bone to the religious right. The moral majority wouldn’t even endorse a political party becasue of it–Al Gore was the moral majority’s man in the Democratic Party.

                So, by eschewing culturally conservative issues, how did Reagan do in his second election in ’84?

                Despite all the horrible things they said about him, he wiped the floor with Mondale. 49 of 50 states! Despite all the horrible things he supposedly did to unions–blue collar union households broke for him ’84 again.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reagan_coalition

                If we want to have a bigger impact than Ronald Reagan, then we need to appeal to a bigger slice of the electorate than he did.

                Being associated–rightly or wrongly–with hating on this or that group is so bad, it’ll get a buffoon like Jerry Brown elected at a time when the economy is like this.

                The economy may not be so bad in two years. The bailouts may be a distant memory. We cannot win and have as big of an impact as I’d like if we don’t do better next time. Doing better means appealing to people who are disgusted by our wedge issues.

                So the wedge issues have to go.

                1. “So the wedge issues have to go.”

                  How so? And what issues? The vast majority of the country is against gay marriage. Gay marriage never wins when put to a vote. What wedge issues are you talking about? And further, as much as you would like to wish them away, you can’t make those issues go away as long as liberals are shoving them down everyone’s throat via judicial fiat.

                  1. The war on drugs would be a good start.

                    The incessant belief that they can legislate morality of any sort would be another.

                  2. Ultimately, John, Tea Party/Republicans/Conservatives are at a crossroads: support individual liberty and small government or their moral agenda, because the two are not ideologically compatible. It’s one or the other.

                    If you can’t understand that short bus math, I’m not sure what to tell you.

                  3. “How so? And what issues? The vast majority of the country is against gay marriage. Gay marriage never wins when put to a vote.”

                    Swing voters, John.

                    Getting 51% of the people who showed up to vote against teh gay doesn’t mean anything.

                    What about the 10% of the people you need to get one guy to win over another?

                    Reagan didn’t win because the conservatives showed up to vote for him. He won because of all the people on the other side who showed up–and voted for him instead!

                    10% of the people who voted for Obama last time–because they hated George W. Bush? We need them voting for us instead of Obama next time.

                    That’s the difference between winning and losing.

                    None of those people are going to vote against Obama if they think voting against Obama is like voting to discriminate against and bash gay people.

                    None.

                    1. None of those people are going to vote against Obama if they think voting against Obama is like voting to discriminate against and bash gay people.

                      Fortunately, they are outnumbered heavily by people who would vote to “discriminate against” and “bash” gay people.

                      There is no pro-gay majority.

                      Deal with it, Kenny.

                    2. There isn’t a pro-gay majority, but there’s sure as hell a swing vote that doesn’t want anything to do with gay bashing.

                      You see, there’s like 40 percent of the people out there, and they’re stupid. They’re so stupid, they’ll vote for anyone their party tells them to. They’re like Moonies. They just do what they’re told.

                      They’re so dumb, they’ll vote for someone just because they aren’t the other party! Do you know anyone like that?

                      Well, no election is ever decided by those people. The people who are so dumb, they just vote for whoever their party tells them to? They decide nothing.

                      Elections are decided when people who sometimes vote for Party A, for whatever reason, decide to vote for Party B. …or, another groups of people, who don’t usually vote? All of a sudden, they decide to participate.

                      Well those people? They don’t give a crap about gay marriage one way or the other… Except, they don’t want to vote for anybody who they associate with bigotry, etc…

                      You see, the people who always vote Republican no matter what? Their votes don’t decide anything. The people who sometimes vote one or the other, or sometimes don’t vote at all? They decide pretty much everything.

                      …and they don’t like people they associate with immigrant bashing, bashing on gays, etc.

                      I might even be one of those people. I, for instance, don’t give a crap who people marry–I don’t care if they marry their dogs. And you know what else? I think people who spend a lot time thinking about gay marriage or–God forbid–vote for somebody becasue they’re against Gay Marriage?

                      Have a screw loose. I’d certainly never associate myself with a group of people who were so obsessed with gay sex, that they’d rather get bent over by the Obama Administration for another four years rather than stop saying stupid stuff about gay people.

                      It’s senseless.

                    3. Ken,
                      You’re way over analyzing this.

                      Meg has not been socially conservative in any way. Meg hasn’t even been fiscally conservative in any major way.

                      The only rationale for voting for her is that Jerry Brown would be much worse. Which is not compelling even though it happens to be true.

                      The current governor is nominally a republican. A large percentage of ‘swing voters’ reward the jefe’s party when the economy does well and blame that party when the economy sucks. If Gray Davis had been governor for the last eight years, Meg would be leading Brown by double digits.

                      Finally Meg is a crappy politician and has run a horrible campaign.

                    4. “Meg has not been socially conservative in any way. Meg hasn’t even been fiscally conservative in any major way.”

                      She doesn’t have to be. That’s the point.

                      This election is about the Tea Party.

                      Think of it this way… Why hasn’t the Tea Party caught on in a big way in California like it did elsewhere?

                      People are upset about the same issues as they are everywhere else–why hasn’t that materialized as a Tea Party thing like it did in places as diverse as Delaware, Kentucky, Florida and Colorado?

                      Part of it’s the Latino vote in California, which is pretty suspicious that the Tea Party is just another anti-Mexican immigrant movement.

                      Some of it is becasue your wealthy liberals, from Palm Springs to West LA, Santa Monica and the Castro, are convinced that the Tea Party is full of people who support actively discriminating against them and their friends.

                      Why should that be hard to follow?

                      And let me ask you this, what do you think the bad rap on Whitman is anyway? Her opponent stays up late every night trying to think up new and better ways to associate her with the Tea Party in the minds of likely voters.

                      This isn’t rocket science here. Just simple math.

                      If you want California’s electoral votes to go against Obama in 2012 like I do? Then we need to make a play for California’s swing voters.

                      There shouldn’t be anything controversial about that.

                      If you want to go after California’s swing voters–you can’t be associated with discriminating against gay people, and you can’t be associated with bashing Mexican immigrants either.

                      And believe me, I can live without either one–what I can’t live with is another six years of Barack Obama’s America.

                      Go look at commercials running in LA for McDonalds; see how much gay bashing they do to sell cheeseburgers. Go look at the advertising for Coca Cola; my guess is you won’t see them bashing illegal immigrants much.

                      I don’t know why it should be shocking to anyone, but what’s considered appealing in South Carolina and Kentucky, may be unseemly in California–even in traditionally Republican bastions like Orange County.

                      Just like what’s cool in SoCal probably isn’t gonna go over well in Kentucky. Why should that be controversial? Why should it be controversial that attitudes about gay people are different in places like California than they are in South Carolina?

                      That swing voters in California are different than what you find in the south, why should that be controversial?

                      How do you account for Meg’s lack of appeal? You think people really like Jerry Brown?

                    5. If you want to go after California’s swing voters–you can’t be associated with discriminating against gay people, and you can’t be associated with bashing Mexican immigrants either.

                      And where were those swing voters when “bashing gays” was actually on the ballot .

                2. “did to unions–blue collar union households broke for him ’84 again.”

                  And why did those households break with the Dems? In no small part because a lot of them were catholic and the Democrats are fanatically pro abortion. They also broke because after 1972 the Democrats became the “Get the US out of North America” party and were perceived as weak on foreign policy. The Dems didn’t win another Presidential election until the Cold War was over and people stopped voting on foreign policy. They also broke with the Dems because the Dems became so socially liberal.

                  Do you honestly think those blue collar people are social liberals and stopped voting Republican because of their love of gays and free love? Jesus Ken, what are you thinking?

                3. “most of this cultural conservative stuff is–wedge issues”

                  If cultural issues are such a wedge. Why is prop 19 taking flak in the state?

            2. “My job is to give the people what they want–not to make them want whatever I give them.”

              BLASPHEMER!

          2. She got blasted this morning on NPR. Something about questioning the separation of church and state and saying it doesn’t say that it isn’t in the constitution. Well, the exact phrase isn’t in the constitution, but she fell for the trap anyway.

            Conservatives need to simply stop talking about religion, or at least learn to tell when their smug liberal interviewer is setting them up for a gotcha. Cultural conservatives are far too easy to troll, they need to take the rhetoric to a better place.

            1. The problem is that liberals are so ignorant they will troll you no matter what you say. See for example, Sarah Palin’s 1773 remark. Or Rand Paul’s perfectly reasonable comment on the constitutionality of the Civil Rights act. As I said above, trolling is just what they do. They have no knew ideas and have long since lost their ability to make an honest argument.

            2. Actually what O’Donnell did was ask Coons whether the phrase was in the First Amendment because he clearly mistakenly thought it was. she then asked him to list the five liberties enumerated in the First Amendment and he could not.

              The trap in this case was the underestimating the stupidity and mendacity of the mainstream media.

              1. The trap in this case was the underestimating the stupidity and mendacity of the mainstream media.

                Not to mention their dishonesty.

                1. Technically, isn’t mendacity dishonesty?

                  1. Technicality, schmechnicality. That was hard to type.

      3. Because a republican governor was about to get them out of bankruptcy?

        John, your hard on for all things republican makes me question your judgment about the meaning of individual liberty and how we might attain it.

    2. P.S. In case anyone replies to this, their responses will almost assuredly be ad homs, thereby conceding your points and showing the childish, anti-intellectual nature of libertarians. Dozens of comments here have shown that the phrase “fascist libertarian” isn’t an oxymoron.

      1. Shut the fuck up, Warty.

        1. Ad hom!!!!! That means I win the argument!!!!!!!

          You know, what always confused me the most about Lonewacko was that he couldn’t tell the difference between insult and ad hominem. It’s not really a difficult concept, is it?

          1. The Mexicans kept if from being taught in PublicSchools, so he NeverLearned.

        2. Poor Warty doesn’t realize that now that we have Obamacare it will be both free and compulsory to have him excised.

    3. I think that’s a good point, but I think she’s also getting killed by Brown commercials talking about Goldman Sachs and insider trading.

      The only upside is that Democrats will totally own the politics of the state. It’ll be hard for them to blame anybody else for the coming woes. And maybe Brown will pull a Nixon-to-China move and castrate the government unions, who knows. But I’m not holding my breath.

      1. The only upside is that Democrats will totally own the politics of the state.

        I’m sorry but this one couldn’t be going any better for me..and I say that as a California resident…Shen blows $150,000,000 only to lose to a doddering old fart who will inherit this paper bag full of dog droppings from Schwarzawhatever!

        This wouldn’t work as comedy, only as reality!

      2. They’ve had White House, Senate and House for the last two years… and everything wrong in the US is still the fault of the Republicans. So yeah – they’ll find a way to blame someone else when the bill comes due.

    4. The swing vote in California is coming out against what they see as the culturally conservative aesthetics of the Tea Party–and no amount of money was about to overcome that.

      It isn’t about Meg or how much she spends, and it sure as hell isn’t about Jerry Brown. It’s about the impulse that made Californians hate on Arizona over the summer–although it’s not about that issue per se.

      If Jerry wins, it’s just an aesthetic repudiation of the Tea Party in California.

      I think this is a very astute point.

      1. An astute point but about how moronic the Californian voter is. I don’t like my neighbor so I am going to leave her picnic and hitch a ride with the serial killer.

        1. An astute point but about how moronic the Californian voter is. I don’t like my neighbor so I am going to leave her picnic and hitch a ride with the serial killer.

          Of course, Ken fails to mention what these cultural conservative aesthetics are.

          1. Are you really that fucking dense OM?

      2. A lot of us who remember Jerry Brown have moved away from the state, sold our property there, and watch in amazement from other places.

        And many of us didn’t move to other places to bring California there. Around me, the locals can be more economically “liberal” because they haven’t seen the damage that we have seen.

    5. Ken – how do you explain this Republican winning in CA?

      In an election for US Representative from California’s 20th Congressional District today, 10/25/10, Republican challenger Andy Vidak is atop incumbent Democrat Jim Costa, 52% to 42%, according to SurveyUSA polling conducted in English and in Spanish for KFSN-TV Fresno.

      The feds turned off the irrigation spigot in one of the nation’s most productive agricultural areas to protect the Delta smelt, creating a modern Dust Bowl and destroying the livelihood of tens of thousands of Californians in the process. Now Costa, defending a D+5 district that has been Democratic since the 1992 election, finds himself ten points down.
      =========
      I disagree with your point Ken. I don’t think it has anything to do with the Tea party. I think it’s about change and admitting that you were wrong. CA doesn’t want to do that. They don’t want to believe they what they have done for years was wrong. Same as some republication senators can’t admit it either (Spector, Alaska, etc). I don’t think Whitman can help CA but I know Brown will make it much worse.

      BTW PA and Wisconsin are pretty blue or have been. They are leaning toward Republicans at the moment. (Feingold losing by 7 to 13 depending on poll)

      1. California is about selling BS. That’s part of the culture. The problem is, too many people started believing their own hype. That never ends well.

      2. “In an election for US Representative from California’s 20th Congressional District today, 10/25/10, Republican challenger Andy Vidak is atop incumbent Democrat Jim Costa, 52% to 42%, according to SurveyUSA polling conducted in English and in Spanish for KFSN-TV Fresno.”

        District by district, you’ll see all sorts of things, some of them anomalies, some of them not…

        But if we’re talking about a state wide election? People are mad at incumbents in Washington D.C., granted, but for state wide office, there are too many swing voters who are disgusted–rightly or wrongly–with the Tea Party as they perceive it on social issues.

        Incidentally, California’s electoral votes in the 2012 Presidential election will be winner take all, just like the governor’s race is. And that point can’t be stressed enough. That alone makes California’s swing voters important.

        Let me turn it around on you, why do you think Barack Obama is so popular with swing voters in California?

        My answer–he’s a walking, talking repudiation of the kinds of ugly social issues so many of California’s swing voters associate with the Tea Party.

        There’s very little else to like about Obama on the issues–but then he doesn’t have to say anything to be effective that way.

        Again, I’m not saying that’s the way it should be, and day in, day out you’ll find me here among Obama’s harshest critics.

        But I won’t have to pretend things are other than the way they are. If we want to make big changes in Washington come 2012, we need to distance ourselves from the wedge issues of the past.

        If you’re in California, and you talk to people who aren’t necessarily committed to the Tea Party or are libertarians? You’ll notice that they’re the ones using the wedge issues now. You won’t find many Republicans talking about intelligent design or gay marriage–that’s what the Democrats, Progressives and Liberals are always bringing up…

        Those used to be issues cultural conservatives would bring up at the drop of a hat becasue it always helped them–but those days are over!

        The liberals bring those sorts of issues up every chance they get now–’cause those are issues they always win on. So, okay, what do I care if somebody marries their pets anyway?

        As opposed to squandering my future paychecks on fat government employee pensions?! That’s a no-brainer for me.

        1. The liberals bring those sorts of issues up every chance they get now–’cause those are issues they always win on.

          Gay marriage lost in California.

          Of course, if support for gay marriage is inextricably linked to support for destructive economic policies, this calls the wisdom of the concept of gay marriage into question.

          1. You’re still not getting it.

            Prop 187 passed. Didn’t matter. The political fallout from being associated with Prop 187 was so bad, the only Republican who could win the governor’s race was himself an immigrant.

            California swing voters don’t like anything associated with cultural conservatives. The Soccer Moms of Orange County don’t even want to be associated with that! There isn’t anything cool about being culturally conservative with anybody outside a 3 mile radius of TBN intergalactic headquarters.

            If the last big wedge issue, Prop 187, gave us an immigrant governor, and it follows the same pattern from last time, then the next Republican governor of California?

            Will be teh gay.

            1. Prop 187 passed. Didn’t matter. The political fallout from being associated with Prop 187 was so bad, the only Republican who could win the governor’s race was himself an immigrant.

              The math does not add up.

              You claim that swing voters oppose anti-illegal alien laws, and yet they were not enough to defeat such laws at the ballot box.

        2. Where were these people to vote for gay marrage?

    6. The swing vote in California is coming out against what they see as the culturally conservative aesthetics of the Tea Party–and no amount of money was about to overcome that.

      Then there must be some connection between social conservatism and common sense.

      One has to ask why only social conservatives support successful economic policies.

      1. It didn’t used to be that way.

        Republican conservatism–especially before Reagan–was about opposition to the New Deal. Opposition to the expansion of the New Deal as the Great Society threw more kerosene on that fire. We need to get back to that.

        Before Reagan, cultural conservatism was largely an artifact of the South. Democrats were largely the party of social conservatives back then. It wasn’t until after Reagan that changed.

        There’s nothing especially conservative as I think of it about their social conservatism. In my experience, social conservatives are just as likely to be stupid on economic policy as the Progressives they rail against.

        I say to hell with both of them.

  6. If the people of California elect Brown, I honestly wish all of them ill. Anyone not smart enough to get out, deserves what they get.

    As far as spending goes, the Lefty media are just pissing on our legs and telling us its raining. They never cared when Dave Corzine spent millions getting elected New Jersey governor. “Fair elections” as they see it means elections controlled by the lefty media that result in lefty media candidates winning. They really are that authoritarian.

    1. Hey! Lots of us california libertarians are suffering already, don’t wish more for us!

      1. Move to Arizona or Alaska or Kentucky. Before the depression and the riots.

        1. Before we put up a wall to keep Californians out of American, you mean.

          1. No, we just have to keep people from L.A. and San Francisco out of America.

            1. You know, we liberals don’t talk about “walling off” states or cities on the various blogs we gather at. Isn’t that comment just kind of ridiculous? Even as hyperbole? And come on, Bruce, there’s not going to be any depression…and the only riots are when Republicans try to step on people’s heads.

        2. I love Kentucky. I really do. But if I could change one thing it would be the incessant and highly annoying social conservatism found here. And the hypocrisy that goes along with it (like being the #2 producer of pot nationwide, but any sort of marijuana liberalization is still at least a decade off, if not more).

          If we could get around the social conservatism here, we could do good things. But we can’t so we’ll be stuck in the stone age culturally speaking until we make that decision between individual liberty/small government and the Christian moral agenda.

    2. Money only matters when it comes from non-left-wing sources. Don’t you get that?

    3. My house is here, all the jobs are here, and the weather is pretty nice. I don’t watch television, so I can ignore most of the inane politics.

      1. Yes but the agents of Mordor are coming for you in the Shire.

      2. Finishing up my MBA in the midst of extensive nationwide job search. CA has not been turning up except for Google. So many TX jobs, its hard to sort through them all…

    4. They never cared when Dave Corzine spent millions getting elected New Jersey governor.

      Corzine’s millions (and that is Jon Corzine) were ineffective at the second round.

  7. I gotta wonder if somebody who blows that much on a campaign can really put the screws to any budget.

    1. Fair question. You also have to wonder about the competence of a woman who can’t win a state election when the other side is completely morally and politically bankrupt and you have unlimited amounts of money. Wittman is a pretty sorry candidate.

      1. It’s California, John. It is hard for a Republican to win or even keep it close. Your comment is not quite on the same level as calling Charlie Rangel’s opponent incompetent because a Republican can’t win in Harlem, but it’s close.

        1. Didn’t Arnold win as a Republican? Isn’t Fiorina at least withing striking distance of Boxer? It is the whole state we are talking about here, not just the real lefty parts.

          1. Cali used to be solidly Republican. And it still is, outside of LA and San Francisco.

            1. Yeah, but LA and SF are HUGE a have a solid illegal immigrant voting base.

              1. and Dead folks….and cartoon characters.

              2. Proof? Citation? Or are you just making stuff up?

      2. But her error may have been in a specific area, market research. She didn’t realize how the average customer in her market wants empty calories.

      3. But her error may have been in a specific area, market research. She didn’t realize how the average customer in her market wants empty calories.

  8. From the linked article on Huffington:

    The thousands of bus riders will receive free round-trip transportation to DC to attend the much-publicized event. Said Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post’s support of the rally: “Taking a stand for sanity is not a partisan position. It’s neither right nor left. It’s reasonable.”

    You can’t reason with people like this. They live in a different world.

    1. No you really can’t. Read the comment threads on Slate or Huffington sometime where real liberals live, rather than our rather tame trolls. You tell me how you reason with those people.

      1. You can’t.

        Their only value is comical.

    2. When someone uses the word “reasonable”, what they really mean is “shut up and do what I want”.

      1. And don’t forget to take out the trash and mow the lawn!

        1. Now, Mom, be reasonable.

      2. This is similar to the Democrat (and media) definition for “Bipartisan”: a Republican who votes with Democrats.

    3. We can only hope they’re all too tired and/or hung over to vote after their twit-a-thon in DC.

      That would be neither right nor left. It would be ironic.

  9. California is now officially insane. They should be electing an accountant who campaigns solely on his ability to destroy government spending.

    1. LP nominee Dale Ogden is an actuary.

      1. Perfect. So if California deserves to continue existing, he’ll win. Otherwise, we’ll have to foreclose on it and evict the population.

        1. Fuck no! That means Californians will flood the rest of the country!

          Unless you mean evicting them from the union, which I’m all for.

          1. Sorry, but no one will take on those deadbeats. They’ll have to move down to Baja.

      2. I voted for him

      3. I voted for Ogden, too.

  10. After We Hose Meg Whitman’s Remains Off the Sidewalk, Can We Admit that Money Does Not Buy Elections?

    And yet Whitman is almost certainly going to lose on Tuesday.

    I don’t know about “almost certainly”.

    RealClearPolitics has the race as “leaning Democratic”

    has that race at 90% chance of Brown winning

    Whitman was leading the race a month or so ago.

    Not great odds this close to the electin, but not a lock either. Depends on turnout.

    Whether all that money kept the race so close in such a Democratic state, or whether the sucky economy was more responsible is debateable, but you haven’t really isolated how much the money mattered here.

    1. That second link is to FiveThirtyEight, not RealClearPolitics.

    2. Polling here consistently underestimate GOP turnout. Especially during GOP waves. Pollsters determine likely voter status by the number of times they have showed up to vote in the past 3 elections. That means 2004, 2006, 2008, all were heavily Dem years. Last contested gubernatorial election, they had Gray Davis running 10 pts. ahead of Simon. He won with half that margin, well within what Fiorina can make up and win. IDK about Whitman, but this is an extraordinary wave year.

  11. Not you out-of-staters are reading California right. We already had our “throw the bums out” tea party moment in 2003, and it gave us Arnold. In retrospect, that did not improve things. So, why Jerry? He’s an innovator. Like Ron Paul, he’s been proven ahead of his time on many ideas considered “eccentric” when first presented. Not saying he will, but he MIGHT come up with some solutions not previously considered. We have a better chance with JB and his weird ideas than with some East Coast corporatist who does not understand or even much like California.

    1. Apparently the “bums” didn’t include the AFSCME-owned hacks in the Assembly. That’s the problem, right there.

    2. CA native|10.26.10 @ 3:06PM|#
      Not you out-of-staters are reading California right. We already had our “throw the bums out” tea party moment in 2003, and it gave us Arnold. In retrospect, that did not improve things. So, why Jerry? He’s an innovator. Like Ron Paul, he’s been proven ahead of his time on many ideas considered “eccentric” when first presented. Not saying he will, but he MIGHT come up with some solutions not previously considered. We have a better chance with JB and his weird ideas than with some East Coast corporatist who does not understand or even much like California.

      Shut. the fuck. up. He doesn’t have any ideas, new or old. He’s not even running with a plan. He’s there just telling people that he’s been there before. That’s his entire campaign. Christ, you fuckers are dumb and destroying my state.

      1. He did manage to get elected, unlike the other closeted homosexual running for office. So he is smarter than Crist.

      2. We have a better chance with JB and his weird ideas than with some East Coast corporatist

    3. Not you out-of-staters are reading California right. We already had our “throw the bums out” tea party moment in 2003, and it gave us Arnold. In retrospect, that did not improve things. So, why Jerry? He’s an innovator. Like Ron Paul, he’s been proven ahead of his time on many ideas considered “eccentric” when first presented. Not saying he will, but he MIGHT come up with some solutions not previously considered. We have a better chance with JB and his weird ideas than with some East Coast corporatist who does not understand or even much like California.
      reply to this

      He wants more welfare and fewer jobs .

    4. We have a better chance with JB and his weird ideas than with some East Coast corporatist who does not understand or even much like California.

      Who is advocating occupational franchise?

    5. Why are you arguing with these yahoos? Most of what they’re saying here isn’t based on fact. It’s just whatever they “believe.” It’s no wonder none of their candidates can point to how they will fix the country’s ills. It’s all just empty rhetoric while our infrastructure crumbles and they continue to call for tax cuts for the wealthy. Just ignore these guys and go vote.

  12. And yet Whitman is almost certainly going to lose on Tuesday. Real Clear Politics’ polling roundup has Jerry Brown up by high-single-to-low-double digits. InTrade’s spread looks like a lock for Brown.

    Especially considering Californians’ penchant for self-immolation, Jerry Brown looks like a shoe-in.

  13. The Calif. GOP may luck out by Whitman losing this one. The Democrats will entirely own the coming meltdown.

    It’s not like she would have any more ability to force budget cuts through the legislature than Schwarzenegger did.

    1. That is true. If governor moonbeam wins, who in their right mind would buy a bond from California? Actually no matter who wins who would buy a bond from California? Their ability to borrow money has to dry up sooner rather than later. And when that happens and the Feds don’t come into help, the shit will finally hit the fan.

      1. Timing is important. Assuming the Republicans win the House and can filibuster in the Senate, there is no chance a bailout could pass before 2012. With any luck, CA goes tits up in the next year.

        1. I hope so. Bankruptcy is the only thing that is going to get these people’s attention.

          1. Bankruptcy is the only thing that can free us of some of our obligations. And it’s great that nobody will lend to us again. That’s the only thing that will limit the Assembly.

          2. If you don’t think that Federal Republicans will run to the rescue of California and offer a hefty bailout, you’re fucking nuts.

        2. You have way more faith in the GOP than is warranted by any of their actions. Where has the GOP shown any fiscal discipline when it had the chance? They have caved on everything just like the Dems did with GWB. They will bitch and moan and hold it up, but in the end they’ll just trade support for the bailout for lots of additional spending for defense contractors and other shit in their districts and states. It’s how it always goes.

          1. Why would the GOP rescue California, a state full of people who openly hate them and are in a fiscal mess thanks to the other party? A bailout is not going to happen. And as far as the whole, we will do it so we can steal other places, Obama ended that gravy train. There isn’t any more federal spending to increase. It is a different world.

            1. Because sometimes they are really really dumb?

              1. But sometimes they are not.

                1. But sometimes they are not.

                  Citation needed.

      2. When the Feds don’t come in to help? Come on, you know where this is going. If they wouldn’t let GM or AIG and scores of lesser entities go under, do you really think that when the time comes they’re going to let the biggest state in the country go bankrupt? Not a chance – we’re all on the hook for the coming meltdown.

        1. If you think Red State (rust belt) Republicans are going to bail out CA, you’re nuts.

        2. I don’t think so. There is a whole generation of Democratic freshman who are going to their political graves next Tuesday primarily over their votes for those bailouts. The Congress won’t do it. Not because they won’t want to, but because they won’t risk their necks to. The meltdown is coming and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

          1. I can hardly supress the glee that I feel as I anticipate voting next week against my 1st-term congress critter.

            1. 1st term democratic congress critter (who is now behind in the polls)

              1. and I envy you for that!

                Lucky bastard!

                1. I second your comments. My congresscritter has been in elected office for 36 years; 18 in the state Assembly and 18 in the House.

                  1. I thought Kennedy dieded.

        3. GM and AIG were in competitives states (presidential elections). CA is not going for a republican presidential candidate the rest of my life.

          The only money going from a Republican congress to CA will be in the form of defense contracts.

          The California pension system won’t get a fucking dime from midwest/mideast Republicans.

        4. Two reasons:

          1. Not bailing out California means California may leave the union, given that we pay out more than we get from the Feds. (One would think that would instantly solve our financial problems, but CA would just spend more.)

          2. When California can no longer pay its obligations, the teat-suckers are going to leave in droves for places like WA and MN, which will also pay them to do nothing. Eventually they will run out of places to go, but not before a game of dominoes destroys each state.

        5. “do you really think that when the time comes they’re going to let the biggest state in the country go bankrupt? Not a chance – we’re all on the hook for the coming meltdown.

          In a meltdown where is the hook? I say melt fast & hard.

      3. If Jerry is elected do you think he will finally come out of the closet?

        Maybe I can be a First Lady!

    2. A government meltdown is NOT the same as a societal meldown. Ideally the govt will collapse into bankrupt infighting while the state’s regular citizens go about their lives.

      And end to government “services” would be hardly noticed by the average citizen.

      1. Cities have gone bankrupt before. The world didn’t end.

      2. That would be true, except that it’s not the shutdown of government offices will eliminate regulatory burdens on the citizenry.

        For example, the cops will still ticket you for expired vehicle registration, even if the DMV offices are closed down or on strike.

        Now, if bullshit agencies like the Coastal Commission shut down for lack of funds, it would be a beautiful thing if property owners started building things again without worrying about the regulatory consequences, and telling everyone who objected to just stuff it.

    3. It’s probably fortunate if the GOP doesn’t take the Senate as well. Hopefully a few ragtag “Teabagger” Senators can evoke some financial discipline in a slightly more Democratically controlled Senate. The House can’t do much against Big O’s veto anyway. Heaven forbid we see any bipartisanship for sodomizing of the arse of the people. Two years of pure constipational politcal joy. Should be quite a show.

      1. Sounds like a good plan to me.

  14. Every week it becomes more apparent that we need to force California out of the union.

    1. Every week it becomes more apparent that we need to force California out of the union.

      No, just L.A. and San Francisco.

      Some people want a wall built along the California state line. A much shorter wall can be built across the base of the San Francisco peninsula and achieve the same result.

  15. “Jerry Brown’s campaign seems to have picked up on my Whitman putdown from a while back:”

    Congratulations asswipe for help hand Sacramento to the fucking far-left.

  16. onsidering Californians’ penchant for self-immolation

    This is a very good description.

  17. 55M put a “can o’ whoop-ass” on 205M last week. Texas ranks 26th on the payroll chart. And, of course, the Yankees are First. Comparison of state economies is inneressin’ too.

  18. Not being Governor of California seems worth $141M, to be honest.

    1. I’m glad it’s going to cost her $141,000,000 (it just feels better to type all the zeros) for merely having the temerity to aspire to the office!

  19. I have paid more attention to Delaware, Kentucky, and even Ohio and New York’s races, but from the other coast to me it looks like:

    1) CA shows money cannot buy an election

    2) Voters don’t get excited about Republicans who seem too much like Democrats, even when it would be the better of the choices avaialable

    and

    3) California is hopeless politically and economically and should be jettisoned from the country, perhaps after being broken up into a number of smaller jurisdictions

    1. I wouldn’t mind keeping Napa.

    2. Biden would break it up into 3 regions.

    3. 3) California is hopeless politically and economically and should be jettisoned from the country, perhaps after being broken up into a number of smaller jurisdictions

      Just jettison the San Francisco peninsula.

  20. They took our Democracy!

  21. It’s not just you, Meg. The Yankees lost the pennant.

    1. See? Things really are getting better!

  22. Whitman losing could be a simple matter of enough people have worked at dot.coms to realize the last thing we would want is one of their management team running the government.

    1. Or anybody who’s gone through the torture of selling stuff on eBay in the last few years. That’s a much bigger anti-Whitman pool, right there.

  23. Of course Money buys an election, so long as you place the money in the hands of the people doing the voting. Whitman can’t do it because she is not in office. An incumbent can use pork barrel politics to funnel govt dollars into the constituency.

    That is why money buys the votes of a congressman who is already in office. Its so much easier to buy the vote of a single Senator than the votes of the thousands of people. Which is why its common for the rich to give money to both candidates. And considering the re-election rate; 95%+), its probably the best investment you can make.

  24. How is it that the most monumental losers on earth by any rational standard come to represent the “cream of the crop” in both industry and politics? How can someone be so desperate for personal validation that they are willing to throw away vast fortunes, fortunes beyond the comprehension of ordinary people, in pursuit of essentially meaningless political offices. Gore Vidal used to say of Nelson Rockefeller’s Presidential aspirations that you’d don’t apply for the engineer position when your father owns the railroads.

  25. All that ad proves is that California Republican speechwriters are among the laziest on the planet.

  26. Hey California: Quit hitting yourself. Quit hitting yourself. Quit hitting yourself.

  27. One of the Whitman campaign’s problems is its failure to use material effectively.

    I became aware of the more welfare, fewer jobs quote a month ago. I have yet to hear that quote play once , let alone every other Whitman campaign ad. Defining the opposition is essential to winning a campaign. (That was how Steve Poizner won the insurance commissioner election four years ago).

    There should be a fucking gold mine of quotes to use.

  28. This morning, as I channel-surfed on my car radio, I caught snippets of the lefty snivelling about big corporate campaign contributions on my local NPR affiliate this morning. The breakdown?

    “Big campaign money is evil! Folks, go to Patty Murray’s site and donate.”

    Cognitive dissonance. It should be painful.

    How about donating to nobody? I like keeping my money. I don’t feel any particular great urge to buy TV commercials with it.

  29. Just repeal the 17th Amendment.

  30. Timing is important. Assuming the Republicans win the House and can filibuster in the Senate, there is no chance a bailout could pass before 2012.

    Assuming Rs win the House, and win it big, as seems likely to be the case, it doesn’t matter what happens in the Senate. It takes BOTH chambers to get anything enacted.

  31. Any chance we can get an Ogden interview?

  32. Big money doesn’t ALWAYS win elections, as Whitman apparently is about to prove once again. But it has a strong record. Check the numbers: Since 2000, the average winner in contests for open House seats — those with no incumbent — has outspent the average loser by at least $310,000, according to figures compiled by the non-partisan Campaign Finance Institute. In races for open Senate seats, winners outspent losers, on average, in every year save 2002. In short, money matters — most of the time.

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