Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Poizner vs Whitman, what poseurs!

What if they held a Primary and nobody came?

I don't mean no voters, I mean no candidates.

I listened to the May 3 Poizner vs Whitman debate. This debate precedes the Republican primary for gubernatorial nomination in California 2010.

I find a lot of things remarkable about this debate and this race, and so I will remark upon them.
First of all is the apparent fact that we have two people who were at best moderate Republicans, and possibly even Democrats, now posing as conservative-dinosaur-tea-party Republicans. They spent the entire second debate bashing each other mindlessly to establish which of them is the greater conservative-dinosaur. There MUST be a lot of back-story here, so I shall make some up.

California for years has been doomed by a primary process that seemed to fling gubernatorial candidates to the edges of political respectability, the Republicans flinging their candidate to the right as the Democrats flung their candidate to the left. Presumably the "smart money," or rather the people who take money from these two billionaires through their claims of being smart, have taught these candidates they must run to the right for this nomination.

The remarkable thing is the smart money may be right. To win the primary, you don't need to be electable or rational or smart or honest. You need to get more voters to the polls than the other candidates do. Who votes in Republican primaries? The history seems to be that the conservatives vote, hence the "fling to the right" in recent Gubernatorial candidates. So maybe the smart strategy is "abandon all principles ye who enter here. The right will determine who is on this ballot."

Now of course the traditional media, to the extent they follow this thing at all, which is not much I assure you, will merely report the bashing. Who's the better basher. Who's slanders were more convincing, whos were more injuring. Politics as sports, with no back story.

Yeah, Meg Whitman supported Barbara Boxer (D-Cal.) for senator. Steve Poizner supported Al Gore. The theater of the thing is incredible. Here are these Silicon Valley technolgy billionaire ex-CEOs with their moderate political pedigrees standing on the stage and saying such things as (I kid you not) "there is only one moderate Republican on this stage and it isn't me." It doesn't even matter WHICH candidate said this.

So the back story is that the Republican primary for governor in California is such a non-event that it can be run entirely as theater with no real media coverage. My apologies to the press who HAVE written good stories, I'm sure you are out there, and it is far from your fault that your stories haven't risen in the search engines. It is the fault of the fact that the broad consensus is IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER.

Another amazing thing about this primary is that the only two candidates are moderate billionaire ex-CEOs with little (Poizner) or no (Whitman) political credentials. I'd love to think that their real motivation is to think that they can step in from outside and dial back the suicidal course that California State Government is on. And god knows, maybe that is what will happen.

So where ARE the usual collection of ding-dongs that show up for republican primaries? Is the state of the state so dismal that even the hyenas and jackals have left the field?

I have to decide to what extent I am willing to stand back from the ridiculous theater of it in order to decide who to vote for. But how do you pick a candidate when you know everything they say is bullshit? Can I really trust myself to read behind the lines, the lines in their scripts that is?

You might wonder, why not just go for Brown? Well, I might. Whatever else he is, he isn't this particular kind of theatrical clown. But I really do want a revolution for California. I really do want someone to press the "reset" button in California, and knock out the 5,000 pages of education code and stop giving everything away to the public employees unions and blah blah blah. Amazingly, all three candidates will probably run on this platform.

I have peaked in to the sausage factory and I have already tossed my cookies. What do I do next?