So Scott Baugh has officially entered the race, and I’ve made clear my feelings on this. In short, I think the Democratic Party has cornered itself into a position where the final two candidates come November will likely be a pair of Republicans.
So, yeah. That’s hugely disappointing.
But, for the sake of sanity, let’s move past that.
Let’s talk about Scott Baugh.
Now, I want to make clear that this is not a Republican thing. Hell, there are many Republicans I admire and respect. Paul Martin, a longtime GOPer running in this race as well, is a genuinely decent, honorable man; one I would be happy to have as my congressman. Ohio Governor John Kasich—truly good human being. Michael Steele—good human being. Jon Huntsman—good human being. This doesn’t mean I share all/most of their beliefs. But they’re at least reasonable and empathetic figures.
Scott Baugh, on the other hand, is slime.
He’s a politician’s politician. Slick. Greasy. Plotting. When you think of all the things you loathe about politics, picture this face:
So Baugh is the former chairman of the California Republican Party, as well as a longtime state assemblyman (well, from 1995 until 2000). He graduated from Liberty University (the Jerry Falwell-founded school that doesn’t allow homosexuals), and in 2016 began raising money for a possible run against Rohrabacher, his former friend. At the time, Dana seemed to feel (understandably) genuinely betrayed, and issued this statement:
Baugh’s record as a Trump-esque conservative is long and unruly. His record as an opportunistic conman is equally impressive. Back in the mid-1990s, he was—according to the Los Angeles Times—”charged by Orange County prosecutors with felony and misdemeanor campaign reporting violations stemming from the 1995 special election that first put him in office.” There’s also this typically gross gem, from 2013. He’s viciously opposed to unions (as GOP head he issued a manifesto, declaring that the party will not support candidates who take union support), has never offered even the slightest opinion on climate change, seems to give two shits about the environment.
And yet, he also has something Dana lacks: Charm.
He seems like a nice guy. He’s agreeable and engaging. You meet him and like him.
That’s something Rohrabacher likes.
And it makes Baugh, perhaps, the new frontrunner.