California GOP hears that giant sucking sound

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News from the Golden State:

The Warriors will repeat as NBA champions this year. It’s a good bet they will break the Chicago Bulls record season of 72 wins and 10 losses, from 1995-96. The Warriors have nine games left on their schedule and their record is 66-7. They need six more to tie the Bulls and seven to break the record.

Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry (Claudia Gestro)
Golden State Warriors
point guard Steph Curry (Claudia Gestro)

Unfortunately for Golden State their last four games are against the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies. Eh, good luck with that, Steph Curry and company. Maybe that isn’t such a good bet.

The Los Angeles Kings will probably make it back to the NHL Stanley Cup Final. But they have to get past the Anaheim Ducks, the hottest team in the NHL since the Holidays. Eh, good luck with that Milan Lucic and company.

And the five Major League Baseball teams in the Golden State will be contenders at the end of September, but the Dodgers are still the best of the California crop. Yes, I believe the San Diego Padres will have a big turn around this season … a city can dream …

Politically, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton lead the state in their respective party primaries. Which is odd, for the Democratic side. You’d think Bernie Sanders would be the people’s choice in the state that is long and hangs to the left — way to the left in some very crowded liberal pockets. Susan Sarandon feels the Bern, for golly’s sake.

But now, Secretary Clinton leads Senator Sanders by 11 points. The California primary is still more than two months away, so Sanders has time to make up the distance and if you know anything about the Bernie Sanders campaign, they are conducting a 50-state strategy, trying to win every state possible.

Like he did over the weekend when he won Alaska, Hawaii and Washington — all three caucus states — but they do little to close the delegate gap he has with Clinton.

The Los Angeles Times reported Clinton is “coasting” in the Golden State, and that a survey they conducted with USC/Dorsife says that over half the Sanders supporters expect Hillary Clinton to be the next president. What does that mean? Number one: the Bernie Berners in California might decide to stay home on June 7. What the hell, we might have a great swell that day for the southwest-facing beaches.

Hillary Clinton (YouTube)
Hillary Clinton (YouTube)

No seriously they might not vote. The age-old problem with American politics: apathy.

It’s already apparent for the Democratic Party. The turn out is lower than Democratic Party officials hoped for, the spin being, “Well, Barack Obama running for president in 2008 was a unique situation, the nation’s first Black presidential candidate for one of the two major political parties.”

Yes, but in 2008 — and this year — Hillary Clinton as the first woman presidential candidate in either of the two major political parties, that’s pretty unique and historic as well.

The difference: we know Hillary Clinton. We’ve known about her since 1991 when she was campaigning with Bill Clinton for his first presidential election in 1992. She has been in the crosshairs of the American right — from the so-called moderates to the crazy fringe, which now appears to be ruling the GOP — Hillary Clinton has been scrutinized and hammered for just being Hillary Clinton for 25 years.

Everyone talks about her high unfavorable ratings — well that’s why they are so high: the right wing crazies have pounded her and Bill Clinton over the most ridiculous things so that when something with some substance, like the tragedy of Benghazi or this email “scandal” comes to the forefront, people have been sensitized to think, “Oh yeah, Hillary is untrustworthy.”

Bernie Sanders (YouTube)
Bernie Sanders (YouTube)

It’s one reason why she is a better candidate than Bernie Sanders. The right has thrown so much mud at Hillary Clinton, for 25 years, nothing is going to phase her. Clinton knows how to spin it to her advantage — she has 25 years of experience doing it — so she can and will withstand anything the GOP throws at her in a general election.

Bernie Sanders still doesn’t know how to respond to criticism without putting his audience to sleep with mind-numbing detail.

On the GOP side Donald Trump leads in his race to the bottom with Ted Cruz. The Texas senator knows what’s going on and over the weekend he tried to put the brakes on his downhill roll.

Trouble is his policy views are the bottom of the barrel of American politics. In essence having police patrols in certain ethnic and religious communities — the extreme and crazy fringe of the GOP loves that — “FREEDOM! Unless you’re an effin’ Mexican or Muslim” — is so grotesquely un-American even Republicans like Ohio Governor John Kasich find it repulsive. Oh yeah, he’s in the race too and hopes an open Republican National Convention will pick him over the front runner(s) … good luck with that, governor.

What could only be labeled an embarrassment for most Californians, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are almost neck and neck here in the Golden State. Ted Cruz could win California, although Trump leads by a narrow margin: 37 percent to 30 percent.

According to the L.A. Times/ USC Dorsife poll the GOP is deeply divided in California with 25 percent of Cruz supporters saying they will not vote for Donald Trump if he is the nominee. Trump supporters feel the same way about Cruz.

Anti-immigration demonstrators. (YouTube)
Anti-immigration demonstrators.

This is why it’s embarrassing for anyone in California, Republican, Democrat and Independent: the big issue for both of them is immigration, in particular so-called illegal immigration. Trouble is, here in California Hispanics make up 38 percent of the population and saying we should round up and deport 11 million people living in the U.S., that we should build a big wall — to go along with the big fence just south of San Ysidro — and keep those people out … well 38 percent of California residents are “those people.”

How many legal citizens could be rounded up with the Hispanic purge? Naturalized citizens who were born elsewhere but went through the process to become U.S. citizens. People whose roots are in Central and South America, but they were born here and speak two languages — very well I might add — that is a very real possibility and quite frankly the mostly white people supporting Cruz and Trump don’t care if some of the brown people rounded up aren’t “illegal,” the less of them the better.

I know some of “those people.” Very close personal friends who are either naturalized or were born here. You can bet they hear what Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have to say about “those people.”

What’s more, there are some in the state Republican Party hierarchy who know a thing or two about California politics and demographics: Trump and Cruz — and all those that echo their views — are alienating a large portion of the voting public. Which means Trump or Cruz as the GOP nominee for president spells doom for the party up and down the state ticket.

As if it couldn’t get worse for the GOP, but it does, most California voters would vote for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders before voting for Trump. In fact, Sanders supporters in the state would be okay with Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. Which is in stark contrast to what’s going on in the Republican race. The Republican Party of California has lost the Hispanic vote and the voters the remain can’t — or won’t — coalesce behind one candidate because the two sides, Trump vs Cruz, despise each other’s candidates so much they won’t vote if their guy loses. Not even to beat Hillary Clinton.

To quote Homer Simpson: “D’OH!”