|Diane, with younger politician to her right,|
eight years her junior.
If you’re of my generation, you will remember taking civics in junior high school. Civics didn’t seem like a real course. Geography and History were real. English was a lot of work. But in Civics you got to meet the police chief, shake hands with firemen, take time off from school, go to the Town Hall and sit in the mayor’s chair. In our one-movie theater, one bowling-alley town there wasn’t a whole lot to do, so getting to go to the Town Hall was a treat.
I remember the discussions about how Congress worked, what the Electoral College was all about, and how much effort went into figuring out which laws it was up to the states to make, which to the federal government. And I remember how we were urged to read up on politicians running for office so that we could choose the one we liked best. And then stand back and say, “May the best man (sic) win.” Politicians were always men. I grew up in the 40s and 50s.
Fast forward to life in America today. Civics courses are a thing of the past, and nobody thinks it makes sense to look at all the candidates and pick out the best one. You already know going in that a) you pick the lesser evil, and b) some of them are really sinister. And who in his or her right mind picks individuals anymore? You vote your party.
In my case, how could I possibly vote Republican? They are the folks that have allowed Donald Trump to speak for them, the folks that pushed through a tax cut for the super rich, that are pulling back regulations on banks, on oversight over our air and water, the folks who are allowing the corporations with big bucks to make even bigger bucks. Why on earth would I vote Republican?
Then there is the fact that I live and vote in Northern California. Here we think of Republicans in the same category as sex traffickers and drug kingpins. Here, the fact that the Republicans are in power in both the Congress and the White House is viewed positively only by those who see it may get more people out to vote democratic in November.
Now there is a new hitch in efforts to bring back a balanced two-party system, both California and nationally. On the democratic side ideological purists are down on our senior senator, Diane Feinstein because she too often crosses the line (they say) to vote with Republicans when she thinks it’s a way to get things done. She voted for the Iraq war, she opposed single-payer health insurance, and her smooching up to Chuck Grassley when he comes to Trump’s defense, is inexcusable. They're talking up Kevin de León. He’s younger, more energetic, and is putting his efforts into the causes I care most about – the environment, closing corporate loopholes, helping immigrants, especially the DACA kids, battling for Planned Parenthood and other women’s issues, gun control and much more. We Anglo progressives learned to write the accent on San José. We're fine with de León.
But Diane still has broad appeal. I used to argue with my soul-mate Harriet Buchanan back in the day when Diane was mayor of San Francisco. Harriet loved having a woman as mayor. I thought Diane was in bed with big money and I wasn’t moved by the feminist argument. Today, I have become not quite but almost a fan of this soon-to-be 85-year-old old lady off in Washington fighting for gun control and trying to get full disclosure on America’s policy of backroom torture practices. I just got the primary ballot for June 5 in the mail and I see there are thirty-two people running for Senate. In an ideal world this would mean a healthy competition. But this is America, where real representative democracy is a train that left the station some time ago, and the only two who count are Kevin de León and Diane. More significantly, if you follow the polls, you see that Diane is so far in the lead it’s almost a joke, between 24 and 29 points ahead of de León.
So in November, the democrats' choice of “best man to win” will probably be Diane. And who are the Republicans putting up? Looks like they’re going for Patrick Little.
Now if you've got the time, you should go to Snopes.com and type in the question:
“Is a Neo-Nazi Running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate in California?
I'll save you the time. Snopes says this is:
How ‘bout them apples!? The guy’s from Albany, which is the town that borders Berkeley on the North. The little shit lives only a few miles from me.
Little, according to an article in this morning’s San Francisco Chronicle,
...was backed by 46 percent of Republicans in the poll that SurveyUSA did for a number of California television stations, including KPIX in San Francisco.
Feinstein should have no trouble getting re-elected. She’s ahead of Little 39% to 18%, with de León running at 8%. We’ll see. Nobody’s comfortable with polls anymore.
But to have a serious candidate running for the Senate in California whose platform actually includes (again, quoting from this morning’s Chronicle):
...limiting representation of Jews in the government and making it U.S. policy that the Holocaust is a Jewish war atrocity propaganda hoax that never happened.
I know it’s not 1953 any more and I’m not in a 7th grade Civics Class reading about how one should be a good sport and hope the “best man” will win, but Jesus, Mary, can you believe this?
What’s the line from the McCarthy hearing that John Welch made famous, “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
Republicans, I know you sold your souls some time ago to keep the Cheeto-in-Chief in power.
But a Holocaust denier?
Photo credit: A Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images photo from an article in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency from last November 29th about Jewish American Senators protesting Israeli policy of destroying Palestinian villages.