By Doug Porter
It’s getting harder to tell the players without a scorecard in San Diego politics these days. Take a couple of days off from the news babble and the whole landscape might be changed.
Friday night six hundred local Republicans gathered round at the safely white Rancho-Bernardo Inn for their Lincoln-Reagan Dinner. Congressman Darrell Issa regaled them with stories of Benghazi while Rueben Barrales and Puerto Rico’s recently defeated Gov. Luis Fortuno pitched the crowd on the ‘natural tendencies’ of the Latino population.
The whomp whomp of Issa’s figurative Molotov cocktails aimed at the Obama administration (and Hillary’s potential candidacy in 2016) faded into the background quickly on Saturday as Nathan Fletcher, the formerly ‘reasonable’ Republican-turned-independent announced his switch to the Democratic Party.
In a lengthy post on Facebook, Fletcher explained his reasoning by recounting a conversation he’d had with an old Marine buddy:
…during my year without any party affiliation, I’d had time to reflect on my values and principles and where they fit best. My votes and positions, candidates I endorsed and voted for had been in line with the Democratic Party. I told him I’d watched President Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention three times trying to find something I disagreed with. I couldn’t. It was clear – at least to me – that I was a Democrat.
I explained to Lou that because I grew up in a working class blue-collar Democratic family I was often asked why I was a Republican. It was because I thought their policies provided the best access to the American Dream. I no longer believe that is true. In my opinion, the GOP today is more focused on protecting those who have already achieved the American Dream than allowing others access to it.
Navy veteran and semi-pro ‘top commenter’ Peter James Jon Fonte apparently was unhappy with the decision, posting on Facebook:
Apparently you peaked when working on Chelsea‘s Law (which is gradually getting picked apart by commielibs and other Socialists in Hacramento via the courts.
I once thought you to be a guy with a conscience….I can see that I was wrong. To join the liberals after nearly eight years of the RAPE of the Constitution (not to mention the American people) tells me you’re just like all the others in politics. And you haven’t got the stomach for what it takes to REALLY make a difference.
We’re better off without you.
Fletcher wasn’t the only politico switching sides on Saturday. Ryan Trabuco, president of the Clairemont Town Council and former president of the Log Cabin Republicans also announced he was switching to the Democratic Party.
So on Saturday Night, the Democrats’ “Painting the Town Blue” dinner at the Hilton San Diego Resort in Mission Bay was a celebratory occasion. Mayor Bob Filner delivered the opening remarks to the six hundred or so in attendance, and Obama insider Christine Forester gave the keynote address. But it was Fletcher who got the standing ovation and generated the buzz.
Todd Gloria is Not Making the Switch
Meanwhile up in Rancho Bernardo, Colleen O’Connor was busy weaving a spell, hoping to derail the Democratic course San Diego has embarked upon as of late.
Writing for the Rancho Bernardo Patch, she purports to offer readers an easy path towards a recall of Mayor Bob Filner, whose very existence in office has come to represent everything that is wrong with America’s Finest City. (Emphases below are mine):
Here is a realistic scenario.
At least three Republican contenders are capable of challenging Filner. Former mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio; City Council President Todd Gloria; and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.
All three have sparred with the mayor, enjoy strong constituent support, and possess more than enough time and money among themselves to reach the 103,000-signature threshold.
However, should Filner be recalled, the Republicans would split the vote for the replacement mayor. Hence, a wariness about running.
Enter the dark horse and third-place finisher in the last mayor’s race—former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher. A lifelong Republican turned independent for the mayoral contest, and just this weekend—a Democrat.
Later editions of the Patch were updated to change the word ‘Republican’ in the above statement to “candidate”. It was ‘typo’, we’re told. No word about how this changes the ‘split the vote’ part of the equation.
Gloria heard about the story via Twitter and responded by pointing out the he’d spent the day campaigning for the Democratic Party’s candidate (Myrtle Cole) in City Council District 4.
Given how much the tensions between Gloria and Filner have been played in the news lately I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that folks in the northern reaches of the city are considering the City Council President to be a Republican.
Oh, and while we’re at it, I suppose it would also be proper to point out that O’Connor’s premise that a recall is easy is also flawed, as this article in Voice of San Diego points out. Money quote:
So, when some talking head or public relations flack invokes the specter of a “recall,” keep in mind what they are describing is actually a brutal five- to eight-month process that will consume untold millions of public and private dollars and grind municipal government to a chaotic halt.
The Alternate Reality of ObamaScare
Our local daily fishwrap is undertaking a week-long misinformation campaign designed to scare the crap out of everybody because Obamacare IS COMING.
This move comes as Congressional Republicans are moving to take their 37th vote to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act. It seems the newbies on the Hill need bragging rights back home.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that Obamacare is far from an ideal solution. (I favor single-payer) But let’s look at the alternatives the Republicans are offering…
The Republicans’ solution—voting to repeal ObamaCare– is to keep a system where 26,000–45,000 Americans die every year for lack of insurance. They’re voting to keep paying for working Americans health care in the dumbest possible way —emergency rooms, to allow insurers to deny coverage to kids and adults with pre-existing conditions and for a system where your insurer can invent some reason to drop you when you get sick.
Now you might find this shocking, but there was once upon a (recent) time where a Republican leader, no less than House Minority Leader Eric Cantor, actually introduced a bill that he thought would address some of the shortcomings of the healthcare plan.
Cantor was in for an education. From the National Memo:
Cantor came up with a bill that at least appeared to help those Americans who have been denied by insurers because of pre-existing conditions and weren’t being helped by Obamacare. He even gave it one of those names that you can’t vote against without shaming everyone in your gene pool – The Helping Sick Americans Now Act.
The response from the conservative base was as predictable as it was loud. Fix Obamacare? Accept the results of the 2012 election? Appear willing to help extremely sick people? Oh, hell no. The right-wing blog Red State decided that for the very first time they would “score” a vote.
“Vote no or you’ll get on our scorecard as someone who voted to help fix Obamacare and save it,” wrote Red State’s L.Ron Hubbard-figure Erick Erickson — one of the chief proponents of using the debt limit as a hostage to demand cuts, a gambit that cost America as much as $18.9 billion.
The Party of No, No & No!
So, much as I sometimes question his authenticity as a Democrat, I’ll quote Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid to give all this Republican obstructionism some meaning. From The Hill:
“We have a situation where this country has been driven by the Tea Party for the last number of years. When I was in school, I studied government, and I learned about the anarchists,” Reid said. “Now, they were different than the Tea Party because they were violent. But they were anarchists because they did not believe in government in any level and they acknowledged it. The Tea Party kind of hides that.”
My apologies to any regular flavored anarchists who were offended by that statement…
On a Happier Note
I don’t think this needs any embellishment. From Politico:
The Rush Limbaugh Program is considering ending its affiliation agreement with Cumulus Media at the end of this year, a move that would bring about one of the biggest shakeups in talk radio history, a source close to the show tells POLITICO.
Should the move take place, 40 Cumulus-owned radio stations would lose the rights to the most popular talk radio program in the country. In addition, the show might be picked up by competing regional radio stations in Washington, New York, Chicago, Dallas and other major markets.
According to the source, Limbaugh is considering the move because Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey has blamed the company’s advertising losses on Limbaugh’s controversial remarks about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student. In Feb. 2012, Limbaugh referred to Fluke as “a slut” because she had called on congress to mandate insurance coverage of birth control. The subsequent controversy over those remarks resulted in a significant advertising boycott.
Check Out the SDFree Press Calendar
Thanks to the efforts of Brent Beltrain, the San Diego Free Press now has an on-line calendar of events. You can see events in the arts, performances and political gatherings of every persuasion by clicking on the ‘Calendar’ Tab at the top of the page. To get your event listed, drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
On This Day: 1882 – The Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act. The act barred Chinese immigrants from the U.S. for 10 years. 1957 –U.S. Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his book “Profiles in Courage”. 1965 – Keith Richards began writing the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” in a Florida hotel room.
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bob dorn says
Those striving, struggling GOP memetoads are having a tough time lately, raising the temperature on Benghazi and attacking Obamacare. Their transmissions seem to have gotten stuck in reverse.
Frances O'Neill Zimmerman says
Doug Porter is in rare form on this Monday in May. Everything he writes is true AND funny — from political Dino Logo to Chinese Exclusion and with whomp-whomp Issa, floundering Fletcher and regular-flavored anarchists in between. Today’s “Starting Line”
is a keeper.