Thursday, April 10, 2008

No. Freaking. Way.

Roger Simon (the Politico columnist, not the Pajamas Media CEO/blogger) writes a bizarre column suggesting the possibility that John McCain could win California in November.

Bizarre, I say, in that Simon suggests that being pro-life is McCain's major handicap in California. McCain's major handicap in California is that he is a Republican.

The Republican Party in California fell completely apart in the 1990s, and the GOP is insignificant as a political force in the state. The election of Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was only made possible by (a) Schwarzenegger's movie star fame and (b) the transparent incompetence of former Democratic Gov. Gray Davis.

After being elected governor, Schwarzenegger was unable to accomplish any of the conservatives reforms he had proposed and was forced to adopt a liberal agenda in order to get re-elected.

Simon devotes the bulk of his column to a scheme proposed by a California Republican strategist:
Giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants is unpopular in California. Schwarzenegger successfully exploited opposition to such driver's licenses in both of his elections, and McCain would have a shot at winning California by exploiting it also. . . . .
Dan Schnur, who was McCain's communications director in 2000 and is now a political strategist based in California, says the driver's license issue could trump the abortion issue when it comes to McCain.
"Even some Democrats who are pro-choice would turn to McCain over the issue of driver's licenses,” Schnur said. "There is a pretty straightforward template for winning California: You do what Schwarzenegger did two years ago, which is run to the middle on the environment and most social issues, draw a stark line on taxes and an even starker line on illegal immigration and driver’s licenses."
Still, Schnur does not minimize the difficulty of an anti-abortion-rights Republican winning California. . . .
"McCain is better-positioned to win California than any other Republican," Schnur said, "but it is still going to be an uphill fight for him."
"Uphill fight"? No, it's an impossibility. Of course, conservatives would be happy if McCain would take a tough stance against illegal immigration. But it ain't going to win him California, and every dime his campaign spends in the state will be a dime wasted. As far as California is concerned, the best hope for Republicans is reconquista: California secedes and becomes the northernmost province of Mexico, and the Democrats lose 2 Senate seats and 55 Electoral College votes.

My inner cynic tells me that this whole Politico column is just about Roger Simon helping his old buddy Dan Schnur get himself some RNC/McCain '08 consulting contracts. And my inner cynic is usually right.

There are few things so pathetically desperate as a "political strategist" hustling for a contract.

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