Great action movie sequels involve an even greater villain than the original.
Best example? Oh, I’d probably say the Emperor stepping up in Return of the Jedi, when he proves himself 100 times more loathsome than Darth Vader. More recently, we had Creed II, where young Donnie Creed needs to topple Ivan Drago’s sinister son to hold onto the championship. Those sort of characters make follow-ups work. They add intrigue, suspense, even a bit of pain via the viewing experience.
My friends and readers, we are about to enter our own political sequel.
In the first installment of this film, the upstart Harley Rouda somehow overcame the odds to toppled Dana Rohrabacher, the longtime congressman who sustained myriad shots to the chin before, finally dropping. It was a story of a challenger defying the odds; a story of good over bad; a story of hope and change and optimism and …
Shit’s about to get ugly.
The woman pictured in the above photograph is named Michelle Steel. She is the Orange County supervisor, and she’s already announced plans to challenge Harley for his 48th congressional seat. If you haven’t heard of Steel, or you’re taking her lightly, or you think, “Well, Harley’s on a roll and this will be easy”—um, wake up. Seriously, wake up.
Steel is the wife of Shawn Steel, a prominent GOP leader who serves on the Republican National Committee. They are hard-core, hard-core, hard-core Trump supporters who actually (if this is possible) drift to the right of Rohrabacher on some issues. They also, apparently, have little need for, oh, ethical behavior or decency. Back in 2018, when the emperor, eh, president came to Los Angeles, our Michelle thought it appropriate to depart the regular meeting of county supervisors, during which (according to Voice of OC) “they discussed and decided on issues ranging from mental health spending, homelessness, and the controversy over taxpayer-funded mass mailings featuring the supervisors’ names.”
Here, this from Nick Gerda’s piece:
Why was Steel absent? Because she had to greet Trump.
Here’s the thing: Steel is not to be underestimated. She’s a Korean woman in a county where Asian voting numbers are through the roof, and (past numbers suggest) people often vote via ethnicity more than any other principles/reasons. She’s going to receive enormous financial support from the GOP. If you read her literature, she comes off as this kindly, humble, “shucks, I’m just happy to be here” sort—which, while pure nonsense, is powerful.
She could not be a bigger Donald Trump enabler, and she’ll try to hide that.
The game is on.