Tuesday’s election was a blow to the “far right” here. Congressman Tom McClintock won (with little competition), but most all of his endorsements — ranging from would-be governor Steve Poisner to Prop. 16 — went down to defeat.
In our county, tea party supporter Barry Pruett — who was running for clerk recorder — lost by a landslide. Pruett’s spouse is McClintock’s local staffer.
In the district 3 supervisor race, challenger Terry Lamphier is beating John Spencer — the most right leaning supervisor on the board. The results are expected this week, and Spencer has a high statistical hill to climb.
Neighboring Placer County also went left. Sierra College Trustee and GOP supporter Aaron Klein endorsed Pruett and Casey Tanner for auditor-controller, who lost in Placer.
Instead of being introspective about the results, the “de facto” spokespeople for the “far right” here — George Rebane and Russ Steele — have launched into attack mode, including more verbal petards directed at yours truly.
Pruett has also been on the blogs, “shooting the messenger” instead of reflecting on his own message.
And what was hard-core right CABPRO’s response less than a week after the election? On Monday, it reprinted McClintock’s response to Mexican President Calderon, an immigration lecture from a near empty House chamber.
As reader John Regan wrote pointedly on this blog: “I hate to sound pessimistic, but the GOP/Tea Party’s losses at the local level aren’t likely to produce more moderation from the conservative side of the debate.
“If history is any guide, ideologically-driven groups tend to blame moderates — not extremists in their midst — for their defeats. They are more likely to say ‘we lost because we weren’t pure enough,’ than ‘we lost because people disagree with us, so let’s become more moderate.’”
This November, the stakes are higher for the right: Jerry Brown is running for governor, AB32 is being challenged, and some Grass Valley city council seats are up for grabs.
As always, the hard-core right needs the moderates to win an election, but their bullheadedness could stop that from happening.
Will June’s history repeat itself in November? It’s going to be close. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Democrats target McClintock in 2012. Despite his Republican district, he’s looking more and more vulnerable.
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