Outmaneuvering the Radical Right

· long story short

My fellow Democrats:
When Arnold wins in California next week, there will be lots of talk by the national party that this was a successful plot by the Republican Right to subvert the will of the state’s Democratic majority. But really, that’s missing the point.
Arnold didn’t need the recall to beat Gray Davis. In a general election, you could beat Davis. I could beat Davis. Pretty much everyone but Bill Simon could beat Gray Davis.
No, Arnold needed the recall to get past the straight-talking, unassuming, is-it-just-me-or-is-this-guy-a-little-cross-eyed? political juggernaut known only as: (add dramatic echo here) “Tom McClintock.” Because in the California Republican primary, otherwise altogether unappealing fellows like Bill Simon and Tom McClintock just can’t be beat.
With his boyish grin and small-town charm, and that way he’s got of staring straight into the camera and…and…never ever raising taxes and stuff, Tom would have pounded Schwarzenegger into a steely-eyed, square-jawed, closet-liberal, Kennedy-loving, Austrian variant on polenta. Much like Simon thumped Riordan. And Dan Lungren thumped…whoever the hell it was he thumped while Davis was off making preparations for his triumphal march.
But not this time. This time the not-quite-so-Right Republicans got wise, see. They hatched a canny plan. And so, my fellow Democrats, take heart. This whole recall thing wasn’t a successful plot by the Republican Right to subvert the will of the state’s Democratic majority. Far from it! This was a successful plot by the Republican not-quite-so-Right to subvert the will of the Republican base.
Now don’t you feel better?