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I’m trying not to let this go to my head, but I’m starting to believe that if I told Ed Royce not to lick a metal pole during a freezing blizzard, he’d need the Fire Department to remove his tongue from it, a la A Christmas Story. WHAT a moron!
Modestly sized Orange County provided 2-1/2 of the 144 votes in the House of Representatives this evening against re-opening the government and avoiding default — that’s default on our bonds and Social Security checks! — in the process. If I said to you on October first that that would happen, you’d probably guess that those full votes would be (1) Dana Rohrabacher and (2) that guy in the foothills that no one notices, with the half vote coming from Darrell Issa, whom we share with San Diego County.
You’d be wrong. Issa — crazy, irresponsible, flame-throwing Darrell Issa — voted with most of the House leadership to avoid unprecendented and self-inflicted. fiscal catastrophe. Speaker John Boehner voted yes. Majority Leader Eric Cantor voted yes. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield voted yes.
Of the 15 remaining Republican members of California’s House delegation, 8 Republicans, to their credit, voted “yes.” In addition to Issa and McCarthy, that would be Ken Calvert, Paul Cook, Buck McKeon, Gary “Dead Man Walking” Miller, Devin Nunes, and David Valadao. That’s exactly the least radical group of Republicans you could assemble!
Voting “no” from California were John Campbell — oh yeah, that’s the name I couldn’t remember! — Jeff Denham, Duncan Hunter, Doug LaMalfa, Tom McClintock, Dana Rohrabacher … and Royce.
Yes, Ed Royce, who represents a district that is largely in the not-so-conservative district eastern San Gabriel Valley. (You can tell that’s true because even I beat Bob Huff there in last year’s State Senate race.) Royce, who is Chair of the bleedin’ HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE and might be thought of as someone who should understand the international repercussions of this sort of extreme nincompoopery. That Ed Royce.
Royce’s vote was more extreme that Darrell Issa, more extreme (by my official count) than all four Republican House members from the state of Washington, all four in Arkansas, all three from Nebraska, both from West Virginia, the two from Montana and South Dakota, nine of thirteen from Pennsylvania, five of six from Illinois and the same from New Jersey, four of six from New York, four of eight from Michigan, three of four from Colorado, and three of five from Kentucky. I repeat: Royce’s vote was more extreme and reckless than that of the majority of the Republican representatives in Kentucky.
Royce put the sophisticated Republican Party of the eastern San Gabriel Valley and northern Orange County on a par with Republicans in South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Maybe rural northeastern California belongs in that company, but we here do not.
Royce presumably thinks that this vote — from a major figure in the House Republican hierarchy — will easily be forgotten. It won’t. This was a career-defining vote. Royce put himself on the side of the nihilists.
For those Democrats eyeing running in CA-39 as a possibly better alternative to a likely losing primary campaign, Royce is practically begging for them to come after him. He only beat Jay Chen — almost unknown in the district outside of Hacienda Heights this time four years ago — by spending $5 million to beat him, a spending total that does not evince confidence. But now he’s given them an issue to run on — when the nation was staring into the abyss to which it had been led by clowns and reprobates, Royce stood with them and said: “let’s jump!”
Democrats statewide should be looking at CA-39 right now. Don’t worry about carpet-bagging; since Royce pushed Young Kim into carpetbagging in AD-65, he can’t make that argument against a heavy-hitting Democrat moving into the district without hurting Kim’s campaign. Of course, when push comes to shove, I guess he’ll throw anybody overboard — including the nation itself.