GOP Goes Full Metal Trump Jacket

In the 2016 election, many Republican state and local candidates distanced themselves from Donald J. Trump.  Not in 2018. Success breeds imitation.  And Trump has been so successful he has transformed his party into his own image. 

Fortunately that image, despite the showbiz flair and Twittering bombast, is in a generally conservative direction. One only need look at how he has embraced pro-lifers, and they him, attending their functions in person, something even Reagan didn’t do, instead speaking via radio hookups.

Out here in Insaneifornia, Democrats have been salivating like Pavlov’s dog over gaining GOP seats in the House, even in Orange County, making Nancy Pelosi again majority leader and turning America into Venezuela Norte. One race is for the seat of longtime Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, where I live. 

A May 7 article in Capitol Weekly enthused, “Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles, said Rohrabacher is one of the most vulnerable Republican congressmen in the nation. His district, which was a reliable Republican stronghold, voted for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.

Here enters California’s peculiar Top Two voting system, where the primary brings two winners who, regardless of party, or no party, face off in November, with no other candidates on the ballot. It was imposed on the state by a referendum pushed in 2010 by departing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as he was trying to advance his “moderate” position. It was supposed to attenuate the “extremes” of both parties. Instead, as shown in the 2016 election for U.S. Senate, featuring liberal Rep. Loretta Sanchez vs. far-left state Attorney General Kamala Harris, two Democrats, it led to a runoff with two “extremists.”

Dems look to how Hillary was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Orange County since the Great Depression. But they ignore that Trump didn’t campaign in this state after he won the California primary with great enthusiasm. And except for the Sanchez-Harris non-contest, and a couple initiatives, there wasn’t anything on the ballot statewide.

This year, Trump will be out here in September and October campaigning for loyal Republicans.

For the 48th Congressional District election on June 5, the likely Top Two winners are Rohrabacher and Scott Baugh, a former Republican leader of the state Assembly and former head of the Orange County Republican Party. Democrats are running five unknown candidates who will split their party’s vote. Ha ha. They’re so obsessed with attacking Trump they can’t unify around one candidate.

What’s noteworthy is how both GOP candidates are going over the top identifying with Trump and his issues, while demonizing the other guy as a tool of Pelosi. One Rohrabacher campaign flyer features pictures of him as a young speechwriter standing next to President Reagan; next to that is a picture of Trump. The words highlight three issues: “Leading the fight against illegal immigration….Working to end the unfair ‘Gas & Car Tax’…. Supporting President Trump.” The Gas & Car Tax actually is a state issue on which congressmen have no say, but a repeal initiative is in the fall ballot and also will bring out GOP voters.

An anti-Baugh hit piece “Paid for by Rohrabacher for Congress” shows Baugh as a pawn on a chessboard, while behind him Pelosi, as the queen piece, is grinning.

A Baugh for U.S. Congress flyer reads, “Scott worked tirelessly to help Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.” It quotes him, “The thought of Hillary in the White House was repugnant to me. I raised money and campaigned hard for Donald Trump and I fully support his plan to build the wall.”

I’ve written on Fleming Foundation about how the County of Orange and many of our cities have opposed California’s pro-sanctuary policies. Baugh’s flyer features a picture and quote from Sheriff Sandra Hutchens: “Scott Baugh stands with me in strong opposition to Sanctuary State/City Laws passed in Sacramento.” Yet Rohrabacher’s campaign site features her in a picture next to him.

Baugh’s anti-Rohrabacher ads attack him for passing only three bills in his 30 years in Congress, the last one 14 years ago, even though the GOP controlled a majority in the House most of that time. And, “Overseas travel – 172 trips including 11 to Russia.” He’s also attacked for “Promoting Russian President Vladimir Putin,” which is unfair given it’s part of the left-wing attack on Trump – but since when is politics fair?

So the California GOP has embraced Trump. Although Schwarzenegger pops up for political posturing now and then, his “moderate” shtick is as defunct as his marriage vows. Bush Republicanism ran out of gas along with “Low Energy” Jeb. 

Talking to Republicans throughout Orange County, I haven’t met one who is dissatisfied with Trump’s performance in office, aside from some quibbles. Sure, people wish his private life had been less scandalous. But when you finally get a champion who actually delivers the goods – on the economy, pro-life, judges, cutting bureaucracy, Korea – and pushes aside the despicable Main Stream Media with the truth, you keep going with a winner.

I expect in November, the whole country will stick with the Trumpified GOP Congress. Then, with Paul Ryan gone, maybe we’ll finally get the Wall.

John Seiler

John Seiler