So it has been brought to my attention that Harley Rouda, one of the early Democratic entrees into the 2018 congressional race against Dana Rohrabacher, donated to Republican governor John Kasich’s presidential campaign.
This information did not go over well on the Indivisible OC 48 Facebook page …
… and it did not go over with me.
While I have nothing personal against Kasich (in fact, he’s one of the more reasonable Republicans these days), I can’t imagine being a Democrat and hoping he (of all people) winds up our next president. Kasich, if you don’t know, is a fiscal conservative and a big player in the pro-life movement. Again, not a heinous human being. But hardly someone I’d choose to support.
Anyhow, the revelation—made at a March 8 Democratic Party meeting—flew like a lead balloon, and may well sink Rouda’s efforts before they truly begin.
But here’s a point worth making: We Democrats need to decide what we want from the next election. I’m being serious, because it’s not as simple as lose vs. win. Although many people (myself included) hate to hear this, District 48 is a rough uphill battle in 2018. Can we triumph? Sure. But, in the spirit of March Madness, let’s be honest about our status: We’re a No. 15 seed taking on a No. 2. We’re Delaware playing Duke. We’re Sam Houston State playing North Carolina. We’re Vermont facing Louisville. It’s not an impossibility. We’re not a 16 seed. But it’ll be v-e-r-y tough.
Dana Rohrabacher is a crumb. He is, however, a well-financed crumb with a lubricated political machine and a genuine talent for connecting with his supporters. I hate writing all that … but it’s true. You don’t win re-election 9 million times without having some things going for you.
So, with that all being said, Democrats have a choice to make. If we want to win in 2018, it may well take someone like a Harley Rouda (aka: A Democrat with some Republican leanings and a bunch of viewpoints that might drive you to drink). This district is certainly turning more and more blue. But it’s not there yet, and the idea that we can put forth a hard-left liberal and come out triumphant is far fetched. It just is, and while that truth stinks … well, truth often stinks. So ask yourself: Can I live with a moderate Democrat, if it means beating Dana?
Now, maybe the answer to that question is no. If so, we put forth a traditional liberal candidate, we continue to work out the message, we register and register and register young voters, we tie local GOP officials to Trump lunacy, we hope blue overtakes red and, come 2020, we’re finally in a strong position with a candidate we like.
I don’t know the answer to this one.
But it’s an interesting question.
PS: Apparently Harley is holding an event. There are certainly some things to ask him …