Patterico's Pontifications


Is Obama-Style Immigration “Reform” Popular with Rank-and-File Progressives?

Filed under: 2014 Election,General — JVW @ 1:43 pm

[guest post by JVW]

In the avalanche of news that came from the elections results on November 4, it was easy to overlook many smaller races that yielded interesting results. Progressives, who otherwise got metaphorically smacked in the mouth in the election, like to point to successful minimum wage hikes passed by initiative in several states as well as the defeat of personhood amendments championed by pro-lifers in two states (though a third state, Tennessee, voted for an amendment asserting there exists no right to abortion or taxpayer funding for abortion services). Writers at left-wing organizations such as Mother Jones, Slate, and the New York Times have used those results to suggest that the results of the election were a reaction to Obama Administration’s executive and bureaucratic difficulties and not a rejection of progressive principles, which they believe remain on the ascendancy.

But not all went swimmingly for the Vast Progressive Consensus on election night. It initially escaped notice outside of a narrow slice of the Pacific Northwest, but voters in blue, blue Oregon voted by a two-to-one margin to prohibit driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants in the very same election in which they overwhelmingly voted to reelect their Democrat governor, their Democrat U.S. Senator, and their Democrat U.S. Representatives (four of the five seats, each of which was won by no less than a 14% margin).

For some reason, this news hit the Internet over the past weekend with several outlets running this story. I found out about in the print version of my local newspaper this morning, with a brief blurb about the vote. It’s even being spun as a warning to President Obama that elite progressive opinion on what the administration likes to call immigration reform doesn’t necessarily filter all the way down to the rank-and-file Democrat voter. Now Oregon is but one data point among the blue states, but it’s looking more and more to me that this whole charade is being driven largely by activists in three big states, California, Illinois, and New York, with garden-variety media and academia lefties who live in the other 54 47 states obediently parroting the party line, with dissenting voices within the Democrat party having been shamed into silence. The President and his court eunuchs would do well to ponder the notion that there is a groundswell of popular resentment that their arrogance and isolation allows them to overlook. And the “immigration activists” who are so skilled at dominating media coverage might consider that perhaps their demands are too far ahead of public opinion on this issue.



It’s All About the Voter Suppression, Don’t You Know

Filed under: 2014 Election,Buffoons,General — JVW @ 10:43 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Some gal named Maria Theresa Kumar on MSNBC claimed during that network’s election coverage that changes to the Voting Rights Act contributed greatly to the GOP wave earlier tonight. She lamented that she had been at the University of Florida in Gainesville a couple of weeks ago and “50,000 students found that their voting booth had been removed.” Not sure what she means – is she talking about a removal of all polling locations from the campus? That would presuppose that all 50,000 students live on campus, which I find to be highly unlikely, but let’s put that aside for a moment. Were University of Florida students left without any voting locations on Election Day 2014? Let’s go to the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections website and see for ourselves. Here is a map of the area around the university with the polling locations marked with the blue pins:

Gainesville map

By my account that’s at least four (and probably five) on-campus polling locations, with another five or so within a mile walk of the campus boundaries. Yep, those poor college kids sure are finding lots of roadblocks in front of them in trying to vote. But nice try anyway, Ms. Kumar.


When You Have to Vote for a Democrat (Or Not)

Filed under: 2014 Election — JVW @ 3:23 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Today in the race for California State Senate District 26, I marked my ballot for Ben Allen, a Santa Monica Democrat with impeccable lefty credentials. A tour of his website demonstrates that Allen is all-too-familiar with silly progressive talking points, especially my perennial favorite, the notion that government spending is really an “investment.” Here is a partial list of all the things that Ben Allen believes California’s government should be “investing” in:

Our children
Early education programs
Public college and university system
Our workforce
High-tech jobs
Rainwater diversion, drip irrigation, covering the aqueducts, and water recycling
Renewal alternative energies
Mass transportation*
Drunk-driving prevention**

It is worth noting here that nowhere on his website does Ben Allen promise not to raise taxes; in fact, there is ample reason to believe that Allen would seek to raise taxes by repealing the parts of California’s Proposition 13 which apply to business properties. This while he promises to “work with local businesses to create a friendlier atmosphere for job growth” because who after all expects a Democrat to have a consistent message on taxing and regulating businesses?

And naturally, Allen has all of the requisite progressive beliefs in forcing employers to pay for their employees abortions and birth control, ensuring that LBGTQ students never hear a dissenting word uttered in college, publicly funding campaigns, and jumping aboard every trendy environmental fad as soon as it rears its head.

Still, I voted for him. Why? Because his opponent was none other than Sandra Fluke, whose puerile campaign website not only matches Allen’s hyper-leftism, but takes it a step beyond where even Allen dares to go. Just look at Fluke’s list of endorsements to see the absolute dregs of the modern Democrat Party.

I filled-in my little ballot oval for Allen with passion but certainly no sense of satisfaction or joy. What do you think? Should I have not voted for either candidate and run the risk that Fluke somehow managed to squeak through? Is the lesser of two evils still too much of an evil to garner your support? Leave comments below.



*Actually Allen doesn’t directly call for “investment” in mass transportation, but he criticizes what he terms the past “disinvestment” in mass transport, leading one to conclude that he wants to “reinvest” in mass transport.

**While he doesn’t use the word “invest” in that regard, here is the exact language from his website: “Ben will reduce the terrible tragedies that DUIs are causing each year by providing the resources necessary to hire additional officers to protect our roads and support education campaigns that help discourage people from driving under the influence.” That sounds like “investing” to me.

***Sorry to shamelessly steal the whole Mickey Kaus footnoting thing.

(- JVW)


Primary Night in California [Updated]

Filed under: 2014 Election,General — JVW @ 10:03 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Polls in California have closed and it’s time to tabulate the vote. You can follow live at the Secretary of State’s website. Here as of this moment (9:37 pm update) are some notable results:

Governor: Jerry Brown winning 55.3% of vote. Battle for second between GOP contenders Neel Kashkari and Tim Donnelly is close, with Kashkari at 17.6% to Donnelly’s 14.8%. Cindy Sheehan (yes, that Cindy Sheehan) is at 1.2% for the Peace & Freedom Party.

Secretary of State: This is one of the only statewide offices where a Republican might stand a chance to win in November. Right now, party favorite Pete Peterson is polling at 29.8%, slightly ahead of state senator Alex Padilla at 28.7%. Fun fact: state senator Leland Yee, who has been indicted on charges of gun-running and accepting bribes is bringing in a respectable 10.7%. Hooray for the low information voter!

Controller: Amazingly enough, two Republicans are so far leading the field, Ashley Swearengin (23.7%) and David Evans (23.0%) currently edging out Betty Yee (21.8%) and assembly speaker John A. Perez (20.0%). Should Perez finish in fourth, or even miss qualifying for November’s runoff by finishing third, it would have to be seen as a massive rebuke for the state legislative leadership. As speaker, Perez is arguably one of the three most powerful politicians in the state.

State Senate District 26: I reported on this one earlier so that everyone could share my excitement in Sandra Fluke’s maiden (whoops, poor choice of words?) run for political office. This is a neck-and-neck race with Sandy at 17.6% trailing fellow Democrat Ben Allen at 23.2% and law professor Seth Stodder, with no party preference, at 19.5%. Still in the running are former assembly member Betsy Bulter (Dem) at 16.3% and Manhattan Beach mayor Amy Howorth (Dem) at 14.3%. Under the open primary system, the top two finishers will move on to face each other in November.

The State Senate District 26 race featured seven Democrats and the one no party preference candidate. No Republican made it on the ballot, which is every bit as much an indictment of the local party as it is of Democrat dominance in this state.

U.S. House of Representatives, District 33: This is my congressional district, most recently represented by the retiring Henry Waxman (don’t get me started). The odds-on favorite has been my current state senator, Ted Lieu, a decent and patriotic sort of guy who suffers from the sin of unbridled ambition and whose every action reminds you that he aspires to move rapidly up the political ladder by pandering to every conceivable Democrat constituency. It was assumed that he would run for California Secretary of State, but changed his mind when Waxman suddenly announced his retirement. Surprisingly, he is running second as of right now to Republican Elan Carr, a criminal gang prosecutor. Nipping at Lieu’s heels is former Los Angeles City Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Wendy Gruel. Knocking Lieu out of the top two runoff would be a huge deal, though I think the prognosticators expect him to pull through. Flaky New Age guru Marianne Williamson is running a left-wing campaign with no party preference and thus far drawing 8.6% of the vote, so it would be awesome if she is responsible for denying Lieu a top two finish.

I wasn’t a big fan and didn’t vote for it, but I think I am starting to warm up to the open primary where everyone runs and the top two go on to face each other in the fall. Hopefully there will be some interesting results to discuss tomorrow.

UPDATE [10:45 pm] In the Controller’s race Betty Yee is gaining ground on the two Republicans, so she’ll probably slip in to the final two. It wouldn’t surprise me if John Perez does as well, what with the – ahem – success that Democrats traditionally have had in finding extra ballots while tallying up the vote in close races.



This Happened Today

Filed under: 2014 Election,General — JVW @ 3:41 pm

[guest post by JVW]

My hometown newspaper, The Daily Breeze, published their endorsements for the June 3 primary today. Who did they judge to be among the best two choices for the state senate in my district? None other than Sandra Fluke.

Seriously, Sandra Fluke.

Here is what they had to say:

Fluke is an attorney and women’s rights activist best known as the woman who radio’s Rush Limbaugh called a slut — he later apologized — after she testified before Congress in favor of birth control. She may be young (she’s 33) and a first-time candidate for public office, but she has the spine and the know-how to take on Sacramento.

Her fast rise to national attention and the way she handled all the buzz was impressive. Even more impressive are her clear and thoughtful ideas on policy. If elected, she said she would focus on issues such as water conservation measures, easing congestion on Los Angeles’ Westside, expanding Hollywood tax credits, and coastal preservation.

So according to the Los Angeles News Group (they are the parent company of the Breeze and they make the endorsements), a woman who rose to fame on the specious yet obnoxious notion that a Catholic university should be forced to pay for birth control for 30-year-old law students is the best choice to represent my district in Sacramento. So hey, you might be saying, perhaps ol’ Sandra has some really good ideas for how to reinvigorate the California economy, create a stable flow of tax revenue that does not depend upon windfalls from the stock market, or address the looming public pension bills which threaten to overwhelm our budget. I will save you having to make a visit to her puerile campaign website, chock full of trendy liberal talking points delivered straight from the hack factory at the DNC, but here are the issues that Sandra specifically calls out:

* affordable health care
* access to a quality education
* LGBTQ rights
* economic justice

In other words, she’s running a 2008 campaign in 2014. Is there anyone with even one iota of sense who thinks that any of the four items above (with the possible exception of education) is a burning issue in 2014? Even if you think that health care and education are important, I doubt if you would be impressed with Ms. Fluke’s proposed solutions. Not to mention the fact that Ms. Fluke’s whole adult life appears to have been spent either as a student or working for some left-wing nonprofit advocacy group, all of which I’m sure will be invaluable in helping to facilitate growth in the private sector.

Oh well, we’ve ruined this state so much that maybe at this point it would just be fun to watch it all crumble down in a spectacular way. Go Sandy!


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