I would like to use this occasion to wish Scott Baugh a very happy birthday.
And while I don’t know, exactly, when Baugh was born (I mean, there’s a 1/365 chance this is the day), we as a Democratic collective have done everything within our powers to make this day/week/season a very special one for the Republican candidate for the 48th congressional seat.
See, were it not for the Democrats, Baugh would have (quite literally) 0.00% chance of winding up in the upcoming general election, when the top two candidates from the open primary are placed on the ballot. Hell, he almost certainly wouldn’t have attempted to run, what with Dana Rohrabacher (the incumbent) assured of one slot and the selected Democrat (universally backed by the party) as the other.
But—nooooooooooo. We had to do what Democrats always do. Which is to say, bluntly, fuck the whole thing up. See, thanks to a divide within the party, we now have three mainstream Democratic candidates fighting for limited available votes. There’s Hans Keirstead. There’s Harley Rouda. There’s Omar Siddiqui. And, because all three have continued to run and run and run, they will almost certainly divide Democratic support, opening the way for the otherwise impotent Baugh to snag the highly coveted second slot.
And here’s the thing: It’s worse than it even sounds. Because while Baugh, right now, seems like a distant factor in the election, I’d say he’s even money to beat Rohrabacher in the general. Which is a huge problem, because while Baugh is every bit the right-wing disaster, he doesn’t come across as the right-wing disaster. Unlike Rohrabacher, he’s youngish, he’s appreciable, he’s (seemingly) agreeable, he’s great at chatting and shooting the breeze. He’s likable and level-headed, and not prone to the batshit craziness that often defines Rohrabacher. If he wins, he has the potential to stay in office for a reaaaaaaaaaallllllllyyyy loooooooooooonnnnnnnngggg tiiiiiiiiiiiimmmmme.
To be clear: Scott Baugh in office will be super hard to get out of office.
Hence, with that in mind, I would like to make one final request to Hans, Harley and Omar: This week, pick a night and meet up in the corner of a dark restaurant or cafe. Leave your handlers behind, your spouses behind, your backers behind. Just agree to meet, and don’t leave until you’ve decided on one man to lead the rest of the way. I don’t care how it goes down. If money is involved. If promises are involved. Whatever. Select one of you—then do everything possible to push, endorse, support that man. Throw everything you have behind him. Work it like you’re working for yourself.
Because here’s the thing: If the primary results in Baugh and Rohrabacher on the ballot, you three are done in local politics. D-o-n-e. You will be remembered as the three who put self over party; who decided you (and only you) were needed to lead the way. You will be recalled for selfishness. For ego. For pettiness. Seriously, I’m tired of being told that we need [Hans/Harley/Omar]. Because, truly, we don’t. You guys all fit the bill—liberal, progressive, decent. It can be any one of the three and Democrats would be thrilled.
But if it’s none of the three …
All this hard work will be for naught.
I won’t forget.