‘A Really Good Guy’: Don’t Trade in Our Best Dem for One of Your Worst Reeps


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Josh Newman had the wittiest signs in the 2016 primary election: the “Hello Newman” signs that later won awards for their unexpected wit.  Those signs — daring in their humorous take on introducing himself to the voters — made people grin.

If politics leaves you glum. Josh Newman has the cure.

Newman is now being supported by the best signs in the 2018 primary, although they are coming from an independent campaign sponsored by the California Nurses Association.  These signs — you can see an example up top — make people smile.   They’re not as easy to appreciate as the bam-in-your-face riffs on the Seinfeld phrase, because their warm humor is most apparent to people who have come to know Josh Newman and who realize that the Nurses absolutely nailed it:

                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a theory that Josh is going to lose narrowly among men and win by 10-15 points among women.  These Nurses’ signs are devastating because they crystallize exactly why voters — and women especially — should not want to get rid of Josh Newman in today’s election: Because He Truly IS a Really Good Guy.  And Really Good Guys are rare and precious — almost like finding a four-leaf clover in the field of politicians — and you don’t just toss them away.

These signs seem to have been ripped down wherever they were posted.  As I imagine it, there was one young woman in the Republican headquarters, far in the back corner of the room, when Republican analysts pulled out one of these posters so that they could all enjoy snickering at the glurge of it together.  I imagine this young woman getting more and more nervous about speaking up, the more that they laughed.  Finally, in about one parallel universe out of seven, the woman did speak up:

“Guys, I hate to say this, but we’re in real trouble here.
As a woman, uhh — that sign makes me want to vote for him.”

First they laughed.  Then they stopped laughing.  The one slow guy who was snickering at her got stared into silence.  And then our went a squad, and the signs started getting ripped down.

While there are plenty of male nurses, nursing is still seen primarily as a female profession.  The CNA cleverly took advantage of that in that ad.  “We women have the x-ray eyes giving us the power to look into men’s souls,” is its subtext.  “We know who the jerks are and who are the princes.  And Josh Newman — he IS a Really Good Guy.

He’s the sort of person who transcends prejudice …

He’s the sort who stands with the downtrodden …
He’s the sort that represents the best of the Democratic party — but unwilling to be its captive and willing to work with Republicans who are willing to put aside ideology to solve problems.

And it’s funny — because it’s not something usually said sincerely in politics, or of many people in politics, but as soon as it’s said, most observers know that it’s true.  Josh IS a really good guy, and it takes a group of women to say it out loud and value it appropriately.  He’s decent, witty, warm, self-deprecating, doesn’t take himself too seriously, but is both brilliant and (as his casting this risky vote itself showed) — brave.

He knew that this vote could break him — and he also know that while fearful Democrats and heartless Republicans were willing to let their impasse go on forever while roads didn’t get repaired.  Sure, the government could have adopted the minority Republican approach to politics and demand that first CalTrans fire 1300 engineers — but that was never going to happen.  My guess is that many Democrats themselves were surprised that Josh — the only person in his Yale graduating class to volunteer to go off to war, recall — was willing to bite the bullet and cast a vote that would raise taxes.  But he was — on one condition: he was not going to let Democrats use this money as a slush fund.  It was going to be used for its intended purpose — starting with fixing the structure and the concept of the deadly 57/60 interchange.  It would never happen without Josh — but it’s happening now, because of Josh.  And it’s being done in such a way that it won’t necessarily lead to a bullet train or a streetcar or anything else that was hard to justify.  It was being done to allow people to solve a problem collectively that they could not possibly solve individually — the quintessence of when government leadership is necessary.

Why did he do this?  Why take the risk?  Because he’s a … well, you know the words by now …

Let’s be clear about one thing, about which some recall proponents seem to be a mite unrealistic.  If Josh is removed in today’s vote, he will be replaced by Ling-Ling Chang.  Not by Bruce Whitaker, not by Fraudulent Josh Ferguson, who is pretending to be a Democrat.  It will be the party’s choice, Ling-Ling — because that’s how Republican politics works.  Ling-Ling — former Mayor of Diamond Bar, the city most affected by the horrors of the 57/60 — either would have betrayed her city by refusing to take the deal or betrayed her principles by accepting it….

JUST KIDDING!  Ling-Ling has no principals!  She was the primary mentee of corrupt Bob Huff — sorry, Tim Shaw, but it’s true that you were always #2 on that totem poll — and putting her into his spot would do nothing to clean up government or hold down wasteful spending.

If that were your real aim, you would stick with Josh Newman, who has already touched the electric fence and now has a better idea of how far he can and cannot go.  The tax increase is a fait accompli — NOW the fight is over having those funds administered honestly and efficiently.  Who do you want helping to make that happen — Josh Newman or Lying Ling-Ling?

It’s really not a hard choice.  You want the person who is down to earth rather than bedazzled by wealth.  The one who can’t be bought.

Here’s the odd thing about this sign: so far as I can tell, there have been no photos of it on the internet, anywhere, before today.  (Seriously — I looked all over.)  Now there will have been eight of them.  I’m so happy for that, because this sign drills down to the truth of why Josh is going to win over Ling-Ling.  He’s a really good guy.  And we certainly need those in government.

I know that people are pissed off about the gas tax — despite that it was the only real way to solve this particular problem and that Josh’s Prop 69 will make it as good as it can be.  But now we come down to this: do we want to replace the best of our party — our version of Tom Tait — with one of the worst of yours?

OF COURSE NOT!  You leave us the best of our party and I’ll certainly try to leave you the best of yours.  That’s how the saner and more decent parts of both major parties can work together towards a stronger, saner, and more decent government.  Don’t rip it apart today.

Those off us who favor wise stewardship need each other.  Don’t teat our best hopes to pieces.  It won’t do you any good to see our party lose someone this smart and this decent just because you want to make a point.  The point has been made — now don’t replace our best with your worst.  Help the good guy win.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose worker's rights and government accountability attorney, residing in northwest Brea. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Occasionally runs for office to challenge some nasty incumbent who would otherwise run unopposed. (Someday he might pick a fight with the intent to win rather than just dent someone. You'll know it when you see it.) He got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012 and in 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. A family member co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)