In California, Democrats win big, showing wealthy Republicans can't always buy what they want
As it often is, my state of California is an outlier. Listening to the sports radio station that broadcast my World Championship San Francisco Giants games all summer (you knew I'd get that in on this sobering night) I got an earful of the GOP strategy for the 2010 elections. Meg Whitman had her harshest anti-welfare ads on KNBR; just today, ran an ad absolutely lying about Brown's (disappointing to me) position on Prop. 13. Only yesterday, I heard an ad attacking Jerry McNerney for supporting "the Wall Street bailout" and "the failed trillion dollar stimulus."
So even though I live in a blue-state, I got the gist of the GOP message that won nationwide -- but was defeated in California. We live in a blue bubble: Whitman lost to Jerry Brown, Barbara Boxer defeated failed Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Gavin Newsom is our new lieutenant governor, and even McNerney seemed on the verge of pulling it out early Wednesday morning.
The McNerney ad was a window on the message that worked for Republicans nationwide. They attacked Democrats for Obama programs, and pledged to look backwards – and still they won. Still, 25 vulnerable conservative Blue Dog Democrats lost too. It was that kind of year.
California will have turned out to be the party's thick blue line, especially in the Senate, where Boxer's victory almost assured the Dems would hold that body. I'd like to say that's our superior judgment and better candidates, but I'm not sure. Fiorina and Whitman defeated themselves; they were two wealthy ex-CEOs who thought they could buy their way into office, and who overlooked state voters' hunger for a government they can trust.
There were other bright lights in the darkness: Harry Reid defeating Sharron Angle; Tea Party candidates losing 54 of 89 contests, John Boehner strangely losing his composure even as he became the likely speaker, Christine O'Donnell going up in flames. But the results were bad news for Democrats, and we'll be diving into the details of the results for weeks to come.
That last sentence gets my "No Shit! of the Day" award!