The New York Times knows just how to rebuild the Republican Party in California...in the image of The New York Times. In Thursday’s paper, correspondent Norimitsu Onishi highlighted the Republican nominee for governor, Neel Kashkari, “a social moderate backed by the Republican establishment.”
“Social moderate”? In the next paragraph, we learn Kashkari “is of Indian descent and supports same-sex marriage and abortion rights, all positives for a party that has been steadily losing influence because of California’s increasingly diverse and liberal electorate.” So he is a social liberal, which the Times thinks is where all “moderates” belong. He's not one of those unelectable "Anglo" conservatives.
Onishi reported Kashkari defeated “Tim Donnelly, a state assemblyman who focused on gun rights and illegal immigration” and “who has likened President Obama to Hitler and tried to link his rival to Muslim fundamentalism (Mr. Kashkari is Hindu).” Donnelly tried to make a scandal out of Kashkari speaking at an Islamic-banking conference.
As usual, the Times champions the moderates, as if they weren’t the ones losing over the last 20 years. Meg Whitman spent a record $160 million in 2010, and lost. The Republican Party may be on the outs, but it can’t be argued that moderation and victory are synonymous. The only Republicans quoted think they "dodged a bullet" in not picking an "Anglo guy" conservative:
''You're just not going to beat him, so the expectation is to run a strong, respectable race and position yourself for 2018,'' said Bill Whalen, a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University who was a speechwriter for former Gov. Pete Wilson, a Republican.
Mr. Whalen said that Mr. Kashkari had to start ''rebranding'' the Republican Party in the state, perhaps by making a major speech in support of immigration overhaul. The party could then start chipping away at the Democrats' dominance, a goal that some Republican leaders said would have been impossible under Mr. Donnelly, who appeals to a narrow, though fervent, base of white conservatives.
''California Republicans dodged a very large bullet on primary night,'' Mr. Whalen said. ''If Donnelly had been the nominee, it would have caused all sorts of problems down the ticket.''
With his youth, ethnic background and personal history as the son of immigrants, Mr. Kashkari could be a powerful force in reshaping the party's image -- particularly against an incumbent who is the son of a former governor and already California's oldest-serving governor.
Mr. Kashkari ''is not your typical Anglo guy,'' said Ed Costantini, a professor emeritus of politics at the University of California, Davis.
Onishi can't seem to do basic political math. How do the Republicans build a majority by bizarrely expecting the "Anglo conservatives" to vote for someone favoring abortion, amnesty, and gay marriage? What's the difference between the Democrat and the Republican?
The Times story also ignored the fact that "social moderate" Kashkari voted for Barack Obama in 2008 -- another reason for conservatives to stay home.