California Snoring—But May Get A Wake-Up Call Tuesday


It`s time for

another election
in California! Aren`t you excited?

Nobody here in California is,
either. Last October`s spasm of civic-mindedness, in
which we rose up and threw out

Gov. Gray Davis
and replaced him with

Arnold Schwarzenegger,
has largely exhausted
Californians` never-impressive attention span for state
and local politics.

Almost nobody has noticed that
something interesting might be happening in Tuesday`s
Republican Senatorial primary.

Californians normally find
Presidential politics more glamorous. Among California
Democrats, John F. Kerry appears to have a big lead over
John Edwards. Among Californians in general, George W.
Bush is in free fall. In January`s

Field Poll
, he led John F. Kerry by nine points, but
by late February, he trailed Kerry by twelve.

Despite widespread hopes among
stand-up comedians that the

movie muscleman`s
term as governor would provide a
bottomless well of killer material, so far Arnold has
proven to be a reassuring but snooze-inducing centrist.
He`s addressing the state`s financial disaster in what
is becoming the standard Republican fashion. Rather than
significantly cutting spending or raising taxes, he
wants voters to approve on Tuesday his plan to borrow
billions.

Politically, this is an attractive
way to bail out California, since many voters expect
that

they personally
will bail

out of California
well before the
Schwarzenegger bonds come fully due.

On immigration, the single most
crucial issue for California`s future, Arnold fulfilled
his popular campaign promise to repeal the driver
licenses for illegal aliens bill. But, with no election
coming up until 2006, he has lately been looking for a
way to

sell out
his conservative base by giving licenses
back to illegals—if he can do it without voters much
noticing.

Arnold`s one entertainingly
Arnoldian (i.e.,

hyperambitious
) moment came when he recently called
for a

Constitutional amendment
opening the

Presidency to immigrants,
such as, oh, let`s pick a
crazy example out of left field, California Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger.

So far, there has been no response
from his office to rumors that President Schwarzenegger
would then agitate for further reforms allowing
agnostics to

become Pope
and Earthlings to become

Galactic Overlord.

What is interesting, however, is
Tuesday`s Republican race for the right to run against
Barbara Boxer, the less respected of California`s two
bookend Democratic Senators. (The other is the slightly
less liberal

Dianne Feinstein
). By running against President
Bush`s

politically-suicidal
open borders plan, former state
assemblyman Howard Kaloogian is making a late surge from
out of nowheresville (3 percent support in last month`s

Field Poll
) in his long-shot bid to overtake former
California secretary of state Bill Jones, who enjoys
Schwarzenegger`s endorsement.

Jones isn`t a bad fellow. He
probably holds sensible views on illegal immigration
within the privacy of his own head. But his perception
that he can`t afford to offend the pro-illegal
immigration Bushite party Establishment has left him
sounding emasculated.

The L.A. Times reports:

"Jones
opposes driver`s licenses for illegal immigrants, but
rarely broaches the topic unless asked about it. He has
declined to take a stand on Bush`s immigration proposal,
calling it just a `framework` for reforms and sticking
to a general statement against `amnesty` for
undocumented workers."
["State
GOP Haunted by Ghost of Prop. 187
“, by Michael
Finnegan, February 21, 2004]

Now that`s leadership!

In the latest

L.A. Times poll
, Kaloogian has pulled into
second place, with 12 percent, ahead of suburban mayor
Toni Casey and former Huntington Park city councilwoman,
and Mexican immigrant, Rosario Marin (8 percent).

George F. Will declares Marin`s
candidacy "mesmerizing" in a new

column
that even by Will`s recent standards is
embarrassing. Will, once a master stylist, actually
begins his endorsement of Marin with this worn-out
pseudo-profundity: "Chaos theory suggests that the
beating of a butterfly`s wings in Brazil can set in
motion effects that include, in time, a tornado in
Topeka."

Marin is viewed as a strong
contender by Establishment Republicans because she is a
woman, an immigrant, and because, if you squint closely
enough, you`ll see her signature on some of the dollar
bills in your wallet. (Marin was a beneficiary of the
obscure tradition going back to the Truman
Administration of giving the quasi-honorary position of
Treasurer of the United States to

semi-random nice middle-aged ladies
.)

The energetic Kaloogian helped
launch the Recall Davis movement last year and then
organized the protests against The Reagans, the
TV movie that depicted the former President from a
puzzlingly

gay-centric viewpoint
. Kaloogian has picked up the
backing of State Sen. Tom McClintock, who acquitted
himself well in last fall`s gubernatorial election
debates and came in third with 13 percent of the vote.

Kaloogian`s campaign seemed to
finally kick into gear when Rep.

Tom Tancredo
, head of the Congressional Immigration
Reform Caucus, flew in to endorse Kaloogian at a raucous
state Republican convention that sounds like it was a
lot more fun than you`d normally expect. The L.A.
Times


reported
:


"Hundreds of GOP loyalists booed the president at a
rally where U.S. Senate hopeful Howard Kaloogian and his
allies denounced Bush`s plan to give temporary legal
status to undocumented workers. `Enough is enough!` the
crowd shouted. `Enough is enough!` A Kaloogian
supporter, Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado,
told the crowd he knew a gynecologist who surveyed
patients about the plan and found it rated `right below
genital herpes.`"
[February
22, 2004,

Rifts Show at State GOP Event
,
By Michael
Finnegan]

The ridiculous earliness of
Tuesday`s primary, three months before California`s
traditional primary date in June and a full eight months
before the general election, means that Kaloogian
probably doesn`t have time to close the gap. Still, the
Field Poll found that 41 percent of likely Republican
voters were undecided, so the race remains predictable.

What was predictable, however, was
that the L.A. Times would weigh in with another
innumerate analysis based on the conventional wisdom
that a Hispanic vote counts more than any other person`s
vote. Staff reporter Michael Finnegan wrote in "State
GOP Haunted by Ghost of Prop. 187
:"

"A
growing dispute among California Republicans over
illegal immigration threatens to undercut the party`s
struggle to recover from the devastating Latino backlash
against its support for Proposition 187, the landmark
1994 ballot measure… The racially charged campaign for
the ballot measure stained the party`s image among
Latinos and turned Gov. Pete Wilson into a symbol of
divisiveness."

Let`s go through this again (yawn):
In

reality
, Prop. 187 united a sizable majority
of California voters. It carried almost 60 percent of
the electorate, and endorsing it enabled Wilson to come
back from a 20 point deficit to a 15 point victory.

Reporters have a reputation for
cynicism. But the truth is that they aren`t skeptical
enough, as this theme paragraph in Finnegan`s article:

"Mike
Madrid, a Republican consultant who specializes in
campaign appeals to Latinos, said candidates stressing
tough stands on immigration risked reviving a
`mean-spirited` image that had harmed the party for
years—even if the GOP stand was in line with that of
most voters."

Finnegan is so credulous that he
bases his point of view on what he`s told by a
political consultant
—a mercenary whose career is
based on his Spanish surname!

Again, here`s what

actually happened
. After 1994`s triumphs, the GOP
Establishment, terrified of being labeled "divisive"
by the likes of the L.A. Times, ran away from its

best
vote-winning theme.

During an era when conservative
activists like

Ward Connerly
and

Ron Unz
pushed through successful initiatives
against illegal immigration, affirmative action,
bilingual education, and "gay marriage," the California
GOP ran away from opposition to multiculturalism and
nominated inoffensive lapdog losers like Dan Lungren,
Matt Fong, Tom Campbell, and

Bill Simon
Jr. (remember any of them?).

The Republicans, however, lucked
out last year. The Democrats,

foolishly believing
what the L.A. Times had
been telling them for years, decided to play … the
illegal alien card!

Of course, illegal immigrants

can`t vote,
and they aren`t very popular with
voters.

Davis, who had

sensibly rejected
drivers` licenses for illegals
earlier, signed the bill in the fall, sealing his fate.
Because the conservative McClintock was sapping votes
from Schwarzenegger in the balloting to replace Davis,
Bustamante only needed a little over 40 percent of the
vote to be elected Governor of California. But instead,
he

campaigned
as if he was running for El Gobernador de

Mexifornia
and earned a pathetic 31 percent.

Final thought: to help restore
democracy in America and to get better elected
officials, we need to rid our nation of these new winter
primaries. The general public simply isn`t paying
adequate attention this early in the year. So issues and
candidates simply don`t get the attention they require.

The major party bosses no doubt
think this is a clever way to keep control. But it
simply makes inevitable the rise of

third
, splinter parties as continued mass
immigration brings the American political system under
impossible seismic

strain
.


[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and


movie critic
for


The American Conservative
.
His website


www.iSteve.blogspot.com
features his daily
blog.]