Don’t The Sun Look Angry At Me

by John Holbo on March 14, 2012

One of the many, many reasons to hope the unusually silly GOP primary season stretches on and on is that eventually we get to New York (April 24). Maybe all the way to California (June 5). What if California actually matters? If Newt and Santorum are still hanging on, how are they going to pander shamelessly to California voters?

I’ve gotta think Rick Santorum’s latest line is not going to play, without adjustment, in New York or Los Angeles: “Because you don’t live in New York City. You don’t live in Los Angeles. You live like most Americans in between those two cities, and you know the values you believe in.”

What will the pivot be? And remember: one week before California’s 172 delegates go up for grabs the candidates have to be banging for all they’re worth about how awesome Texas is (152 delegates).

{ 49 comments }

1

JW Mason 03.14.12 at 2:51 am

If Newt and Santorum are still hanging on, how are they going to pander shamelessly to California voters?

I’m pretty sure the word “illegals” will be involved.

2

chrismealy 03.14.12 at 2:55 am

He’d only be appealing to Republicans in New York and California. They probably share his contempt.

3

Robert Halford 03.14.12 at 3:00 am

2 gets it right. State-level Republicans in NY and California are perfectly happy to run against NYC and Los Angeles.

4

Omega Centauri 03.14.12 at 3:10 am

Red California is mainly the eastern part of the state (excepting Orange country mostly). chris has it right. NY, its probably mostly upstate?
Now I do hope the mud slinging goes on as long as possible. The real damage is not to their own primary voters, but with the so called swing voters.

5

TheSophist 03.14.12 at 3:27 am

Once upon a time, many long years ago, Warren Zevon came out for his encore and sat down at his piano. From high up in the cheap seats I yelled, as loud as I could “Play ‘Desperadoes’, Warren!” He looked right up at me, smiled, and began to play…

….and it is still the best song about being drunk and depressed ever written.

(And those of you who think I am accidentally posting in the wrong thread, you are forgiven. This time.)

6

bad Jim 03.14.12 at 4:57 am

I love being told that, as a Californian, I’m not a real American.

7

Alex Prior 03.14.12 at 5:08 am

Santorum is definitely unlikely to win the Dutch vote. Oh! Damn! My ignorance is showing. It’s the other Orange County!

8

Antti Nannimus 03.14.12 at 5:31 am

Hi Sophist,

Thanks for the Warren Zevon reference. I really appreciate it. The Eagles “Desparado” is still the germinal take on the desperation theme for me, but we need all the Desparados we can find.

Have a nice day!
Antti

9

Ebenezer Scrooge 03.14.12 at 7:44 am

May Cthulhu’s beneficence never cease. Primaries forever!

10

Andreas Moser 03.14.12 at 8:30 am

Is Rick Santorum against college education for everyone because students reduce the unemployment figure? Or because he senses that smart people won’t vote for him? Or does he think home-schooling is the only way?

11

Henri Vieuxtemps 03.14.12 at 10:22 am

It’ll be so, like, awesome. Uber-cool.

12

marcel 03.14.12 at 11:21 am

TheSophist: I grew up in central/upstate NYS, though haven’t lived there in 3 decades (I live nearby now, about 2 hours from Albany). IIRC, During the 80s through the early aughties the strongest wing of the GOP was actually downstate, on Lunguyland. This is the wing that produced D’Amato and Pataki.

13

Ebenezer Scrooge 03.14.12 at 11:53 am

The Guyland GOP was/still is a strange beast. Very much like an old-fashioned Democratic machine: high social services, high corruption, ultrahigh taxation. It tend/ed right on racial issues, and was/is a bit mixed on women’s issues. It produced a number of pretty distinguished characters, including the best state judge of the postwar era: Sol Wachtler (who subsequently had dong problems.)

14

GW 03.14.12 at 12:21 pm

This is a peculiar situation for the GOP in that a pair of big states — NY and California — with little likelihood of voting GOP in the general election no matter who the nominee is, may have decisive influence over the choice of nominees. The big “if” here, of course, is whether Santorum has the cash to sustain a campaign until then in some of the priciest media markets in the country. Citizen’s United means everything here.

This peculiar situation plays itself out on a smaller scale within these Blue states themselves. The primary in California will not be about “red California” because all Republicans in the state, even those in areas in which they are in strong minorities, are voting, so the political preferences of the San Francisco or Los Angeles Republican will actual play a role in this decision as their votes are just as weighty as the votes of Orange County or Central Valley Republicans, even though they live in congressional districts that will never go Republican.

15

bert 03.14.12 at 1:14 pm

Nixonland was incubated and hatched out in California.
Reactionary populism. Redbaiting and racism. Grievance-based finger-jabbing. And relatively little, if anything at all, about drowning government in bathtubs. It worked before. Why not again?
I pray they pick Rick, and am balls deep in Santorum right now. The prophesy says that only with a humungous humiliating defeat can the land be purified.

16

Uncle Kvetch 03.14.12 at 1:37 pm

I’ve gotta think Rick Santorum’s latest line is not going to play, without adjustment, in New York or Los Angeles

Uh…yeah. Sure.

We are talking about the kind of people who have anointed a thrice-married pillhead with an eight-figure income and a mansion in Palm Beach the voice of the people, sticking up for the little guy against the decadent coastal elites.

Cognitive dissonance is not a problem for modern American conservatives — it is the very air they breathe.

17

Pub Editor 03.14.12 at 2:04 pm

Does anyone know if California has open primaries or closed primaries?

Also, JW Mason @ 1 is right.

18

Hogan 03.14.12 at 2:19 pm

@6: Hey, your state was stolen from Mexico. Mine was stolen from Indians, the way God and the Founders intended.

@17: Closed on the Republican side.

19

Popeye 03.14.12 at 2:33 pm

thrice-married pillhead

Four times.

20

Bruce Baugh 03.14.12 at 2:46 pm

It isn’t just Central Valley and Orange County Republicans willing to hate on “California” as a cesspool of vice. Growing up in a school district that drew students in from South Pasadena and other rich parts of the San Gabriel Valley, I knew kids whose families were living lives very much like the ones in Less Than Zero…who were staunch Republican activists. They could turn on a dime from talking about dealer contacts, the best places to find cheap pick-ups for threesomes, and the like, to ranting about the necessity for more prayer in schools and rolling back access to abortion.

21

William Eric Uspal 03.14.12 at 2:55 pm

‘ Santorum is definitely unlikely to win the Dutch vote. Oh! Damn! My ignorance is showing. It’s the other Orange County!’

He has potential among Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij voters, but would have to convince them to overlook his Catholicism.

22

Uncle Kvetch 03.14.12 at 3:13 pm

It isn’t just Central Valley and Orange County Republicans willing to hate on “California” as a cesspool of vice.

Similarly, here in NYC, Santorum’s “New York City” will be heard by Republican primary voters in Queens and Staten Island as “Manhattan,” and they will respond accordingly.

Republican primary voters in Manhattan, meanwhile, know that this is how you keep the rubes distracted while you’re picking their pockets.

23

marcel 03.14.12 at 3:19 pm

Oops. Obviously, to anyone paying attn to my comment, it was a response to Omega Centauri not TheSophist.

Apologies all around.

24

JohnR 03.14.12 at 4:02 pm

I don’t see how it matters what anybody says the week, or even the day before. It hasn’t mattered for the past twenty years, why suddenly now? I think the present GOP voting pool has completely accepted that words are basically meaningless in this situation; that anybody can say anything and anything goes. Only the words directed at you and your group are the True Words; anything else is merely smokescreen designed to Fool The Liberal Media. How that actually works is unimportant and unexamined; it’s just assumed. I’m actually a little concerned about Santorum getting the nomination somehow. There are enough stupid people in this country that if the media decide to go into some sort of competitive race again like they did with Gore and Kerry, it can get out of hand before you know it. It’s very unlikely, and Obama’s probably not as foolish as Kerry and as unlucky as Gore, but history is full of unexpected results from small things that built strangely and ended in totally bizarre and inexplicable, not to mention undeserving, ways. Just look at the 1969 baseball season, for goodness’ sake.

25

Norwegian Guy 03.14.12 at 4:18 pm

“Santorum is definitely unlikely to win the Dutch vote. Oh! Damn! My ignorance is showing. It’s the other Orange County!

He did better than Romney among the Dutch-Americans of Western Michigan, I believe. And his Islamophobia isn’t exactly unheard of in the Netherlands either, so he should appeal to the Geert Wilders crowd.

26

bert 03.14.12 at 4:41 pm

John@24:
The oppo research file on Santorum brimmeth over. In fact, there are two files, one labelled “K Street” and the other labelled “Torquemada”. The first can be used to depress GOP turnout. The second will help get the Obama ’08 coalition to show up in November.

Other things being equal, he’ll lose heavily. And if the economy takes another downturn, having Santorum as an opponent will give Obama a bigger margin to absorb the damage.
And this is before you consider the main advantage of a Santorum candidacy: what happens to the GOP after a defeat. Think for a moment about the levels of insanity generated by a Romney-led loss.

Without wanting to go Goodwin on you, let me say this: Dick Cheney conjured up nightmare visions of black swan events, and used them to make bad policy.
Don’t you do the same.

27

OtPR 03.14.12 at 5:18 pm

The activating theme for California Republicans (and I can’t believe Devin Nunes isn’t getting a shout out) seems to be the crushing regulations caused by “radical environmentalists.” I can’t guess whether Romney or Santorum can be more invective against environmentalism, but we might find out.

Romney might take an “I’m a businessman and I know how pointless regulation can crush the little guy.” But Santorum might try “Environmentalism has gone too far, God’s creation is too big to be destroyed.”

28

M. Gordon 03.14.12 at 5:30 pm

I assume the title is an oblique reference to the fact that the song is about LA? “And if California falls into the ocean, like the mystics and statistics say it will…”

29

SN 03.14.12 at 7:31 pm

It should be: Because you don’t live in Los Angeles, New York, New York, Ithaca, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Austin, Albuquerque, Chicago, Tucson, Oakland, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Madison, Seattle, Portland or Hawaii.

30

Steph 03.14.12 at 10:18 pm

Maybe it’s aimed at all the Chicago voters who are going to vote for him next week. After all, we are definitely between LA and NYC, and I’m sure he loves our values. Right?

Seriously, running against the big cities probably works fine for him, since even if Republican suburban voters were inclined to get offended, which I doubt, they seem to be going for Romney anyway. Stirring up the city vs. the rest of the state sentiment seems like a reasonable strategy. Surprised San Francisco wasn’t his CA city of choice, though.

31

Uncle Kvetch 03.14.12 at 11:25 pm

Los Angeles, New York, New York, Ithaca, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Austin, Albuquerque, Chicago, Tucson, Oakland, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Madison, Seattle, Portland or Hawaii

Having lived in Minneapolis, I’d say it definitely qualifies.

32

Barry 03.14.12 at 11:50 pm

JohnR 03.14.12 at 4:02 pm

” I don’t see how it matters what anybody says the week, or even the day before. It hasn’t mattered for the past twenty years, why suddenly now? “

This is a good thing to keep in mind; the right and the elites have a track record of getting away with it.

The hope is that the right has finally p*ssed off self-identified blocks. They’ve probably lost Hispanics for a couple of decades. I really hope that a large proportion of women realized that they’ve been ‘identified’ into the ‘dirty slut who needs to be kicked’ block.

33

Norma 03.14.12 at 11:57 pm

Am I thinking of another site? Didn’t there used to be some balance and a variety of perspectives at Crooked Timber? Is there another site with Timber in its name?

34

John Quiggin 03.15.12 at 12:41 am

There is another site with “fair and balanced” as its motto, which would appear to suit you better, but it doesn’t have Timber in its name.

35

William Timberman 03.15.12 at 2:17 am

I think the present GOP voting pool has completely accepted that words are basically meaningless in this situation; that anybody can say anything and anything goes. Only the words directed at you and your group are the True Words; anything else is merely smokescreen designed to Fool The Liberal Media.

This works just as well if you substitute Democratic Party for GOP, and Independent Voters for The Liberal Media. Sadly, it isn’t only Houston that’s had/having a problem.

36

ajay 03.15.12 at 10:29 am

Am I thinking of another site? Didn’t there used to be some balance and a variety of perspectives at Crooked Timber? Is there another site with Timber in its name?

CT does have a variety of perspectives. It’s just that “Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are statesmen of rare intellect and unquestioned ability” isn’t one of them.

37

bert 03.15.12 at 5:00 pm

Norma, I had a brief look at your site.
You describe yourself as a 40-year registered Democrat.
You were blogging at the time of the last presidential election.
These posts, here and here, either side of election day, seem entirely representative.
I don’t think there’s anything more to say.

38

johne 03.15.12 at 7:20 pm

“The prophesy says that only with a humungous humiliating defeat can the land be purified.’

We can even hope for something like a beer-hall putsch, with the principals thrown in jail; I guess we never heard from them, again, right?

39

purple 03.16.12 at 12:09 am

Most California Republicans agree anyhow.

40

Murc 03.16.12 at 2:06 am

Something that bears pointing out; Texas has an enormous wadge of delegates, true, but Texas awards proportionally.

California has 172 delegates who are awarded winner-take-all. That’s something like, what, 15% of the total needed to win in one package? Coming in second means you get NOTHING.

It could very well be the state that decides whether Mitt crosses the finish line or if we go to the convention.

41

ajay 03.16.12 at 11:12 am

Good point Murc: there are some states where “who won” is really not a very important question, and others where it’s absolutely crucial.

42

Norma 03.16.12 at 5:48 pm

Thank you, Bert. But my question wasn’t about my site; I know I was a Democrat, and I’ve reformed. My question was about this site. Obviously, I’m thinking of another with a similar name; that had some vitality, some diversity, some, I don’t know, maybe a little variety? Sorry I’ve disturbed your sensitivities.

43

Norma 03.16.12 at 6:11 pm

Well, I did what I should have done first. Ask Google. Found a NYT account which describes CT as social democrat and the liberal equivalent of Volokh Conspiracy. That would explain the problem.

44

Substance McGravitas 03.16.12 at 6:23 pm

That would explain the problem.

PEBKAC.

45

JanieM 03.16.12 at 6:58 pm

That would explain the problem.

…the problem that needs explaining being why the person alleging that there’s a problem has nothing better to do than to come over to someone else’s house and spend repeated comments doing nothing but sh*tting on the place.

Done FTT, but hey, it’s a slow Friday afternoon.

46

Dr. Hilarius 03.17.12 at 2:56 am

Santorum needs to update his demographics. The total populations of Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota total to about 5.25% of the US population. California and New York state alone total to almost 20%. Most of the plains states’ populations don’t even amount to a large city.

This is the Heartland Myth. Every election season the media crowd into small rural diners to mine the wisdom of retired farmers in search of the “real America.” There all probably more urban, gay professionals than all of these cracker barrel philosophers combined. I don’t expect to see the former demographic interviewed as average citizens any time soon.

47

nick s 03.17.12 at 4:18 am

the political preferences of the San Francisco or Los Angeles Republican will actual play a role in this decision

And so far, Romney seems to have done best in the equivalent parts of other states — the wealthy and/or gated suburbs and the coastal enclaves, often areas that are likely to go to Obama in the general election. The overlay map of red/blue counties and Romney/notRomney counties is quite revealing.

48

rf 03.18.12 at 1:21 am

Well Norma I for one appreciate your perseverance. But do you really think Obamas a Marxist?

49

white collar crime kills 03.18.12 at 9:41 am

how are they going to pander shamelessly to California voters?
1. Prop8, aka “equal rights and libertacious freedom to Sacred Institutionally of Marry anyone who we tell you you can marry. (you you, you) And prop8 has nothing to do with your religous rights, either.”

2. “Union” pensions… the priciest of which are not for unionized employees. Newspapers frequently report 6 digit bonuses, parachutes, pensions of supervisors, board members, (hey! we must attract the best talent… compete with the private sector!) Then dittoheads convert that to “payoffs… union thugs”.
But trouble sprang from CalPERS incompetence and promised middleclass pensions that weren’t properly budgeted for the bubble burst.

Teapundits and dittoheads constantly berate voters about corrupt Dems, but CA voters have seen Wisconsin (et al) confirm what Reagan already proved: Repugs turn out at least as corrupt & incompetent, and bless all with a big bonus dollup/wallop of class warfare.

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