|Progressive Democrats Ben Allen v. Sandra Fluke for the 26th State Senate District|
Instead of writing about their policy stances, since the are mostly the same, and distasteful, I can comment on what looks like the battle taking place in the Democratic Party, and particularly in California.
When I look at the "victim advocate" Fluke compared to School Board Member Allen, their campaigns remind me of the high school stereotypes running for student council. Fluke is the popular stuck-up Cheerleader. Her claim to fame has to do with standing up to Rush Limbaugh, even though she downplayed that media-hyped event in the forum.
Limbaugh had called her a slut for wanting someone else to pay for her birth control. The truth is, a slut is someone who has casual sex, and Fluke was pretty casual about easy access to birth control. Like an arrogant high school princess, she's popular, and not afraid to flaunt her femininity.
Ben Allen is the class Valedictorian (or Nerd depending on how one respects his views, ideologies, or intellect on issues). He was the student representative for the UC Board of Regents, and in his opinion that qualifies him for state senator in Sacramento. He is smart. Attends all the clubs, took on leadership roles, volunteers in his community. 4.0 GPA all the way!
Joel Pollak of Breitbart suggested that Fluke's loss to Allen would put to death the War on Women mantra which brought her fifteen minutes of fame. I suggest that this race is the nadir point of California Democratic politics, in which an accomplished resume (on really bad ideas) is running neck-and-neck against a flighty mouth-piece for modern liberalism.
Let's be clear -- the only reason that Fluke is running for state office is that she had a high-profile dalliance with the National Democratic Party, including her photo-op with President Obama. Again, why? Because she forced Rush Limbaugh on the defense following his controversial remarks. He should have kept his mouth shut. Not because his disgust was not valid, but because this small-time attorney did not deserve the frizzy media frenzy which followed.
Limbaugh recovered, and still makes millions blasting his conservative (and sometimes rancorous) views on the airwaves. Will the residents of State Senate District 26 recover from having to deal with Fluke as one of the two terrible choices as their representative?
It's a shame one of them has to win, one member resignedly confided to me. I agree.
What is going on with the Democratic Party in California, when the best candidates they have include loud advocates for pet progressive causes, and also liberal politicians with a long record of accomplishment on key issues? Allen did help lead a school board facing tough times. What has Sandra Fluke led? A me-first feminist parade of self-congratulation? Besides her talking points about campaign finance reform and environmental protection, what does she bring?
As for the candidates' endorsements, from politicians to celebrities to political clubs, what was the dividing factor? Elected officials have sided heavily with the Nerd. Female Congressional reps and the Democratic clubs in the district choose the Cheerleader. These endorsements have nothing to do with policy or ideology, but everything to do with the hollow notoriety of identity politics.
I have chosen neither one, since neither candidate has proposed serious policy solutions for the economic malaise, the culture of corruption, and the failing vision of this once Golden State. The two of them might as well have run for President of the Eastside High School student council. They both want to join a decrepit government organization, and either slow or hasten the state's decline under Democratic polices. Super!
After the Kiwanis forum, one of the members told me that he was not voting for either candidate, either. "If I'm going to vote for a Democrat, I will vote for the worst, most disgusting candidate out there." His choice? He told me that he would write in the disgraced San Diego mayor Bob Filner, who resigned following multiple allegations of sexual assault against female staffers. He was later convicted for offenses related to one of these assaults.
At least he was forced out of office. Right now, we have to choose (or allow) one of the "none of the above" to get the state senate seat.
I wanted to give Fluke one last benefit of the doubt. I had grilled Allen on serious issues: school choice, right-to-work, tort reform, their views of the Tea Party Movement, so I asked her the same. Fluke did answer my questions without reserve. No campaign spokesman stopped me from talking to her. She supports school choice on a small scale. She opposes right-to-work, as she is convinced that there are plenty of non-union jobs which people can seek. Those who do have to join unions will find that those unions are fighting for their rights, she claimed.
About tort reform, she believed that capping damages would make it more difficult for poor and middle class individuals to file a lawsuit. When I asked her if she would support requiring the loser in a civil case to reimburse the attorney's fees for the winner in the case, she rejected it.
About the Tea Party Movement, I asked her if she agreed with anything that they supported.
Her answer? They are extremists. Yawn. Typical elitist answer from an uninformed politician playing the talking points for easy votes. "Do you support constitutional rule?" I asked her.
With a sneer in her voice, and a veneer of arrogance which I found quite off-putting, she fired back that she did. She does realize that she is campaigning for people's votes, doesn't she?
Perhaps she is another Tea Party Extremist who doesn't know it, or doesn't want to admit it.
The Cheerleader retreated back to her fan of female followers. Allen the Valedictorian will brag about his accolades and Honor Roll stickers.
Fluke claimed privately that she was slightly ahead in the polls. If turnout projections remain consistent as they do for sixth-year mid term elections, the President's own party will not turn out (as many former Obama supporters have announced) and a larger Republican vote will give Allen the needed edge to win the district.
Not that I am cheering about it.