Sunday, October 22, 2017

What Does Keynote Speaker Steve Bannon Augur For The California Republican Party?


Friday night, Bannon gave the keynote address at the California Republican Party convention in Anaheim where he savagely attacked George W. Bush in response to Bush's NY speech the day before about the fascism Bannon has brought to the GOP. He depicted Bush as bumbling and inept, faulting him for presiding over a "destructive" presidency. Bannon said "It was clear he didn't understand anything he was talking about."
"There has not been a more destructive presidency than George Bush's," Bannon said during his dinnertime address at the convention banquet of the California Republican Party. He said Bush had "embarrassed himself" with a "high falutin" speech.

..."He has no earthly idea of whether he's coming or going," Bannon said, implying that Bush had mindlessly given a speech written for him by a speechwriter, "just like it was when he was President of the United States."

Bannon's sharply worded takedown of the 43rd President, who disappointed many of his GOP supporters with his huge increases in government spending and lengthy military entanglements abroad, illustrated the deepening divide within the Republican Party, and foreshadowed what Bannon has described as a "season of war" on the Republican establishment a year before the 2018 midterm elections.

...The reaction to Bannon's scathing criticism of Bush was mixed. At first, some in the crowd had booed loudly at the mere mention of Bush's name. There was also scattered applause and some shouts of support. But others in the crowd remained quiet.

Asserting that his wing of the party is in the midst of assembling a grassroots army, Bannon issued a call to action to those who share his point of view.

...Bannon also dispatched an arrow at Karl Rove, who wrote what he called a "very unfriendly" piece about Bannon's plans for recruiting mid term candidates in the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal.

After an offhand reference, Bannon explained that he hadn't meant to utter Rove's name Friday night: "I don't like punching down," he said of Rove, "so I'm not going to say anything."

For a little context, Bannon's brand of fascism has been a catastrophe for the California GOP. Last year Trump did worse than any Republican in living memory. Let's go back to 1960, when JFK was elected president. California voted for Nixon with 50.1%. These are the GOP California results since then:
1964- Goldwater- 44.74%
1968- Nixon- 47.82%
1972- Nixon- 55.0%
1976- Ford- 49.35%
1980- Reagan- 52,69%
1984- Reagan- 57.51%
1988- HW Bush- 51.13%
1992- HW Bush- 32.61%
1996- Dole- 38.21%
2000- W. Bush- 41.65%
2004- W. Bush- 44.36%
2008- McCain- 36.95%
2012- Romney- 37.12%
2016- Trumpanzee- 31.62%
Last year Hillary beat Trump in the Golden State 8,753,788 to 4,483,810. Her margin was 30.11%, the highest since FDR's 35.25% margin in 1936, which was also the last time Orange County went blue until Trump showed up as the candidate. On primary day Trump had taken 1,665,135 votes. Californians gave Hillary the primary win but Bernie still outpolled Trump significantly (2,381,722 votes). Trump lost all the counties with big populations. These are Trump's percentages in the 9 counties with over a million people:
Los Angeles- 22.41%
San Diego- 36.57%
Orange- 42.35%
Riverside- 44.35%
San Bernardino- 41.48%
Santa Clara- 20.58%
Alameda- 14.66%
Sacramento- 33.93%
Contra Costa- 24.87%
Many of the Republican activists who made up the crowd at CAGOP17 booed both Bush and McCain. One screamed "Hang him!" when Bannon mentioned McCain. 2018 Is looking like a particular donnybrook for California Republicans. At this point I wouldn't bet on the reelections of Darrell Issa, Ed Royce, Dana Rohrabacher, Steve Knight, Jeff Denham, David Valadao, Mimi Walters or even Duncan Hunter, Jr.

Ted Lieu (D-CA) is the DCCC Regional Vice Chair for the West Coast. He's in Oregon this weekend, encouraging Democrats there to fight back against Trumpism and against the alt-right. Saturday night he gave the keynote speech at the Oregon Democratic Party's convention. Today he warned that, "Steve Bannon is looney tunes. He is so unhinged that even the Trump White House fired him. Now he is taking Republicans down the dark path of alt-right craziness. GOP Members of Congress in California need to either publicly disavow Bannon's dangerous and extremist philosophy, or they own it. I can't wait to plaster Bannon and his evil views all over Republican Congress Members during next year's midterm elections."

UPDATE: Devin Nunes And Steve Bannon?

Nunes' progressive opponent, Ricardo Franco, wrote us a note today telling us that "Ted Lieu is right: this is going to be fantastic for us! We've already seen some local Republicans distance themselves from the Arpaio event. Other Republicans have had to come over and voice support for DACA. I'm hearing rumors that another local republican will want to primary Devin Nunes. As a candidate, being able to bring up Bannon is a godsend in starting dialogue with unhappy, local Republicans. It allows us to come together over a common enemy and find from there topics upon which we can agree and then turn the conversation to local issues. It takes time, but it can happen." And he went on from there: 
Democrats, too, are facing their own internal struggle. Locally, we're focused on finding a winning a strategy and sticking to it. This means building up your base. However, I have proved that UNHAPPY Republicans and no party preference can be swayed. A Trump supporter even bought me a beer last week!

The problem in the valley is that the answer to a Bannon or Trump is not a moderate, Blue Dog Dem. If fearing Trump in 2016 wasn't enough to get people to vote Dem, inciting fear of Bannon won't do much to garner support of independents; it will only encourage more registered Dems to get out and vote this time which, while crucial, doesn't put us over the top.

Voters here like the "outsider," non-establishment, "one of us," practical, yet fierce fighter that they saw in Trump's candidacy... not afraid to propose big ideas, like a wall or banning Muslims. This is why the left answer to Trump has to be someone more progressive... same traits, but different agenda. If a candidate is uninspiring, they might as well just quit now.

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At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Historians would be wise to pay attention, for the coming Second Civil War is beginning here.

At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bannon augurs the inevitable and logical progression of the "party" to be exactly like their voters. White, filled with hate and incited to violence if they cannot get their way.

Of course, behind bannon is still a cabal of billionaires who are the real power and who will use the future bleached party/voters to their own nefarious purposes. But the other notable quality of those voters is they are the dumbest fuckers in the history of humankind. They are as dumb as the followers of jim jones (google it).

So there is nothing to stop all this.


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