A harsh expensive buzz for the Golden State
Now, I’m not sure how things are going to play out on November 2. Perhaps the $140 million that California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman spent of “her own money” — to which my involuntary response goes something like “[cough cough] Koch Industries [cough cough] Valero, Tesoro [cough cough] horsepucky bullswaggle [cough cough]” — will be enough to propel her into the governor’s office. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that Mrs. Harsh is going to be horribly butthurt on the morning of Wednesday, November 3, however I am not a psychic so don’t count on my hunches and above all don’t put any money on them.
Anyway, I like Meggie’s whole California poppy logo thing and also her ads, which have a certain pastoral vintage Massengill vibe to them. But one thing that bothers me is this whole “I’m gonna run California like a business” meme that she’s been banging like Khrushchev’s shoe on a U.N. desktop throughout her campaign. A lot of these conservative pols seem to get mileage from the idea that a government would be much better if it were run like a business, which I can’t understand. They’re two different things.
For example, when I had a dog, I wouldn’t try to run him like a cat, which would have meant that I could just let him out into the street whenever and expect him to come back, and ignore him except to feed him and clean his box, which he would not be crapping in, because as much as I might wish that my dog was a cat, a dog is still fundamentally a dog, unless you feed him magic mushrooms, at which point if you then duct tape a cute little pair of red paper antlers on his head, he becomes a reindeer.
Also, if I stick the keys into the door of my apartment and expect the engine to start so I can drive my apartment over to your place so I can raid your refrigerator because I’ve heard really nice things about the fruits and vegetables you keep there, as much as I want to step on the gas and get over there mucho pronto for the putatively topnotch snackage, it ain’t gonna happen; first, there’s no gas pedal, second, there’s no steering wheel, and third, a house is not a car, unless you’ve of course ingested certain ergot-derived chemicals, at which point Jack Webb will be stepping out of his pale blue Fairlane sedan to have a talk with you.
Let’s review: A dog is not a cat, and a house is not a car, and government is not a business. One cannot step in and fire everybody willy-nilly and outsource half the various state departments to, oh, Sri Lanka, or Andhra Pradesh, and one cannot just randomly “clean house” in Sacramento because one spent the equivalent of a million dollars a day for almost five months to get elected, which entitles her royal imperiousness to come tell us how a CEO does things in “Silicon Valley” — let’s see, you clean out the company treasury, you tell anyone who complains to go “fark” themselves with Steve Jobs’ pointer, maybe you run a hostile takeover on Nevada, or maybe Oregon, and then you go spend the rest of your time enjoying all your purloined loot somewhere else, like a villa in Tuscany.
My gut sez Guvnah Meg’s a longshot, but is she does pull it off, her shenanigans will make great fodder for editorial cartoonists and comedy writers. Nothing says “ha ha ha” like a Nurse Ratched lookalike behaving like Marie Antoinette might after polishing off a box or two of Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes, before crashing from the high and getting really really surly.
As for my vote, you’ve probably figured it out now. We’ve already had five years of what was essentially George W. Bush with an Austrian accent and a bunch of IMDb credits. We can ill afford another four or eight years of disastrous governing, especially from someone who looks like serious trouble, who spent several dozen buttloads of cash to buy the office of governor, who spouts all the usual dogwhistle memes about aliens and Mexicans, and whose own grown children have a history of behaving like entitled thugs. Not promising. So, yeah, I’m gonna vote for Jerry Brown, who will take office and immediately be besieged by every nitwit radio nutjob who’s trying to make his bones with Clear Channel or Citadel, not to mention Sal Russo and the rodeo clowns over at Eighth and L Streets, who should be bored and disenchanted with the whole Tea Party Express juggernaut by then so they’ll go back on the Hating Governor Moonbeam wagon. Which ought to be fun to watch, as they wheel out that perennial weapon in the arsenal of butthurt California Republicans all over this great state of ours: the recall.
Pardon me. I’m going to the store to stock up on popcorn. This oughta be good. —Jackson Griffith