Why I can’t wait to leave California

DQ here.  Yesterday, Republicans made gains all over the country, in the House, the Senate, the Governorships, state legislatures, pretty much everywhere it seems.  Except California.  As I write this, in California Democrats lead every statewide race but one (Democrat Kamala Harris is narrowly leading in her bid to become the worst Attorney General ever), by double digits.  Oh, wait, Fiorina has narrowed the gap to 9.8%.  If Republicans can’t make headway now, when they are gaining everywhere else and when they have poured money into the races (counting, of course, the money Fiorina and Whitman spent on themselves), how can they ever make headway here?  Man, I can’t wait to get out of this cursed state.

BTW, yesterday before the polls closed I made the following prediction in an e-mail to Book — “Whitman and Fiorina lose, Fiorina by double digits (I know this is contrary to your polling, I just think her bad ads and Boxer’s attack ads will have their effect).  Republicans win [net] 50 seats in House and 6 in the Senate, giving them a majority in the House but overall disappointing them.”  That prediction was pretty darn close, slightly understating the Republican victory.  It came as a combination of the mainstream media (which was dead on the money) and my innate pessimism.  Maybe we should give the pollsters a little more credit.

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  • suek

    Heh.  I guess it’s like an alcoholic – they’ll just have to be at the bottom of the barrel before they’ll make a change.  For the first time, my husband said this am that “it’s time to leave”.  Not going to happen for a year or two, but I suspect it’s time to begin a strategy.
    Texas, here we come! (I have a son there… and I like their outlook)

  • SGT Dave

    I figured about 60 House and eight Senate seats gains for this session; it was a projection based on the voting cycle (04 was the last Republican year for the Senate).  I can see more gains in ’12 based on the continued loss of moderate-leaning seats (like MO) in the senate, along with a hold of about 240 in the House.  This, of course, also depends on the re-districting following this year’s census. 

    California is a long-term issue; like I mentioned to BW, I figure it will take about 15 years for the worm to turn there.  In between, there will be a great deal of upheaval.  Generational changes in the Asian and Hispanic demographics (both conservative leaning and growing) and the continued self-destruction of the African-American communities will be the key items. 

    As a side note, to where are you relocating?  I see that SueK is going to Texas (though that is a large target – what part? And good luck in the move!).  I personally like the midwest (Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas), but I admit a lot of that is bias from my background.  Of course, I’m looking to take a year-long, all expenses paid vacation to the wonderful mountains of southwest Asia next year, so I shouldn’t complain about how people choose to live here.

    Good luck on your move, and remember that while Rome wasn’t built in a day, it didn’t fall in one, either.  (and it had a lot of good days, even in the fall).

    SSG Dave
    “Winning big is important; staying on target is more important.”

  • Gringo

    National Review had a good take on California election results. California voted for continued fiscal irresponsibility, setting themselves up to seek a federal bailout in the future. Unfortunately, the Republican House will not bail California out.
    I agree with DQ: get out of California. Housing prices will only collapse further, so get out now before your housing nest egg disappears.

  • suek

    Texas is a VERY BIG state.  You’d probably noticed.  I’m still working on the “where” in Texas.  Son is in San Antonio, but that’s _dry_ country.  I’m living in dry country – I want to live where God waters the veggies I intend to plant, and not have to depend on some local organization to keep water flowing.  That cuts out about half the state.  Then you have tornadoes.  They’re pretty much limited to the northern half of the state.  That reduces the area to about the southeast quarter.  Next, there’s the frequent hurricane problems…but I think that as long as we’re at least a hundred miles or so inland, the effects won’t be _too_ bad.  So…about 100 miles south of Dallas/Ft Worth and preferably west of Houston – which is typical south … hot and _humid_.  With _big_ mosquitoes.  Anyway…that still leaves me an area about the size of Rhode Island to explore!
    Hmmm.  California only has earthquakes.
    If it weren’t for the blasted politicians…I’d _never_ want to move!

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    @suek:  Austin is lovely, but it’s not called the Berkeley of Texas for nothing.

    @SGT Dave:  As I said, I’ll hold you to that prediction 15 years from now.

    @DQ:  Ever since you predicted, back in 2004, that Obama would be President (although I think the speed of that ascent surprised even you), nothing you predict surprises or dismays me.  Your instincts are good.  But I sure will miss you when you leave California.

  • garyp

    Leaving CA makes sense to me.  I lived in San Diego in the early 80’s (my ship docked at 32St Naval Base).  It was not my cup of tea, although I was offered a good deal at UC La Jolla for a PhD in Chemistry and considered staying–shortly.
    CA has the same problem of all urbanized areas: government programs breeds dependency on the government (their sole purpose) which breeds desire for more government programs to provide more “free” money which results in more dependency on the government.  As they say: “Wash, Rinse, Repeat.”  Until the government looses the ability to provide the largess, it will never stop.  It cannot.  The government is as trapped in this dysfunctional relationship as are the people the government has corrupted.  The enabler can no more stop providing the poison than the addict can stop the substance abuse.  It is the only way the two know how to interact.  Only when the bottom (collapse of the system) is reached will the sick relationship end.  Will the enabler then turn on the addict and punish the addict for accepting the drug or will the addict lash out at the enabler for providing (or more likely, stopping providing) the drug?  Probably both.  Unfortunately, those nearby, even if they opposed the bad behavior of the government and its serfs, even if they remained outside the sick game, will be affected by the coming collapse.
    CA is further along that path to Hell and societal collapse than the rest of America, but not by much.  SGT DAVE is correct that how long this collapse will take is unclear and it could be long enough to see me over the bar, but it is coming.  Alternately, it could happen very quickly.  America is quite dependent on the “kindness of strangers” to support our obsession with living beyond our means.  The way current accounts work is rather complex but even supposing that the Chinese want to keep feeding our addiction to spending more than our income, this will not be possible forever.  Also, the Chinese (despite the cheer leading by our “betters” about how they have “seen the future (in China) and it works,” China is a very fragile economy and state and could suffer major reverses that would prevent them being able to loan us more rope (cheap money) with which to hang ourselves. (to better understand China’s issues, read Mike Pettis’ blog “China Financial Markets–http://mpettis.com/)
    Regardless, all one can do is live today as best one can.  We must wait until tomorrow to fight tomorrow’s battles.  If we allow the seemingly inevitable tragedies of the future to overshadow today’s joys, we are giving up on life and I refuse to do that.  Life is ultimately futile as death awaits us all.  Nothing, not people, marriages, religions, countries or political philosophies last forever.  America, as we know it, is inevitably doomed but we cannot know if what will come next and whether it will be better or worse.  Despite the problems of our country, it is still a good place to live.  Despite the pains, illnesses, and losses we suffer, life can still be beautiful.  We must acknowledge and accept our fate, and the fate of all we love,  but if we allow that acceptance to prevent us from enjoying today we are foolish and childish.  If I cannot enjoy what I have because I don’t have everything I want, I am rejecting God’s gifts (and God’s mercy) because it is not exactly as I would want to it be.  Best not look this (flawed) gift horse in the mouth.  Better to dig through the box of horses**t looking for the pony.
    Our world is definitely not the best of all possible worlds (at least to my mind, perhaps God knows better) but it is the world we have.  Try to take (and give) something positive from (and to) it every day.  That is the best you, or any other person, can do and it is really quite a privilege if you think about it.  So many have been denied even that.  Rejoice that you were born in this place and this time.  Do your duty as best you can, accept the sorrows you must while fighting the evils that can be opposed.  At best, we will make a little progress in our small portion of the world.  That is a great accomplishment and you are very lucky to have the opportunity.  Enjoy it!

  • http://problemiserisa.blogspot.com/ Richard Johnston

    Speaking from moderate-ville I can suggest the California primary process has not been favorable to Republican fortunes in general elections.  I for one can assure you I would have voted against Barbara Boxer just about every time she’s been on the ballot, except she’s generally been running against a Republican I considered to be even more unacceptable.  Why have I had to choose between Boxer and the likes of Jones and Herschenson, and this time Fiorina?  If the Republican primary would produce a candidate like Tom Campbell, Boxer would lose in a bloodbath, if you ask me.  Campbell may not be your personally-preferred Republican candidate but it is just unrealistic to expect a far-right candidate to prevail in a general election in California, any more than it would make sense for the Dems to expect to win with a far-left nominee in, say, Utah or Mississippi.  A moderate ‘pub could clean Boxer’s clock, but we’ve yet to have one running against her to vote for.  Tom Campbell in particular would not only easily win a general election, he’d be great for the state, but he can’t get past the far-right-dominated primary.  Anyway it’d sure be nice to be able to vote for someone instead of against their opponent.

  • suek

    >>CA has the same problem of all urbanized areas>>
    I think part of this is the water problem.  California is the land of milk and honey as long as you have water.  No water, and you have the present Central Valley – dry desert.  To ensure the water supply, you need infrastructure, and for the most part, that means that you have to have population to pay for it.  The result is that populations get concentrated.  Urban populations simply cannot do for themselves what agrarian populations do for themselves – for two reasons – property ownership, and impact on neighbors.  You have to ask permission to do stuff, and the permitters are those who _like_ the control of issuing permits.  As a result, like flies to honey, you get the people into government who _like_ to govern, and who avail themselves of every opportunity to make themselves important – and rich – and available to their courtiers.  Little emperors one and all.


    DQ – If I read this short snip in The Onion, I’d find it funny. The new and improved proclamation from Arnold  reads: simply pathetic. The majority of California voters do not enter the ballot box – the just keep buying tickets for the Rocky Horror Picture Show and do the Time Warp Dance en mass.
    What in the sane world,  were they thinking, by allowing welfare recipients to cash-in on this list to begin with?!
    Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneger says welfare recipients can no longer use state-issued debit cards at medical marijuana shops, psychics and other businesses whose services have been deemed “inconsistent with the intent” of the program.
    The Los Angeles Times reports that Schwarzenegger sent a letter to county welfare directors Monday announcing that ATMS and point-of-sale card readers in such businesses will be removed from the network that accepts California’s Electronic Benefits Transfer cards.
    Other businesses affected by the ban include bail bond establishments, bingo halls, cruise ships and tattoo parlors.

  • suek

    Brown will probably reinstate the use…

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Johnston, your strategy just means you will replace Boxer with somebody else that will become just as bad. That kind of strategy is just a circle that repeats itself. The snake swallowing its own tail.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    “Maybe we should give the pollsters a little more credit.”
    For creating a self-fulfilled prophecy, sure. Otherwise known as stacking the deck.

  • Oldflyer

    Oh my!  Our California based daughters have waged a long campaign to get us to move out there.  As we toddle into our mid-70s we see the wisdom of being close to those who care about us.  But,we find it very hard to “pull the trigger”.  After yesterday, it may be impossible to ever do so.  The state appears to be on track for a train wreck, and determined to accelerate the  process.
    We have lived in California before.  Three short, but glorious, years in Monterey, and two years that seemed like a life-time in the Central valley. California has been greatly blessed by the Good Lord, but people seem intent on squandering them.
    Suek, we have enjoyed the area around Waco, Tx.  I have a cousin who settled nearly fifty years ago in a small town about 20 miles from Crawford.  It seemed like a good place to live.  Summer heat, of course.  You can’t escape that in Texas.

  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com Don Quixote

    SGTDave, we’ve purchsed a home in The Villages in Florida.  We’d planned on being down there by now, but the collapse of the housing market set us back a couple of years.  We’re now looking at May, 2012.

    Y-man, the polls are only self-fulfilling if one believes that voters make their decisions on who to vote for (or, perhaps, on whether to vote) on what the polls say.  I don’t believe that for a minute.  Do you have any evidence that many voters do so?

    Suek, you stole my immediate thought about Brown.  Great minds think alike, I guess.

    Richard, gald to have you here.  I wish this blog had more moderates and liberals reading it.  However far to the right the Republican candidates have been, Boxer is farther to the left.  Similarly, Brown is farther to the left than Whitman is to the right.  The problem is that this whole state is far to the left of center.  You are exactly right, that it is to the left as Utah or Mississippi is to the right.  You are also correct that the problem with the primary system in general (everywhere, and especially in presidential elections, not just in California) is that it tends to benefit more radical candidates whose followers are more passionate and more active.  I don’t have a solution to this problem.  Any ideas, any one?

    garyp, good message, thanks for writing.

  • suek

    Oldflyer…look at the bright side…the price of housing is very likely to fall…!
    As for Waco…very definitely on the “watch” list.  When that terrible Waco siege occurred, the TV coverage was a bit strange.  They couldn’t get in, so they were prowling around the edges trying to get good angles, but the area isn’t exactly conducive to close up shots.  Watching the shots of a lot of nothing, I was impressed with how high the grass was on the barbed wire finces.  Looked like pretty good pasture!  And it was in the middle of summer.  Definitely on my list.  The base there influences real estate prices though, so I’m looking a bit “easter” but not too far away.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    “I don’t believe that for a minute.  Do you have any evidence that many voters do so?”
    Politicians make plenty of choices based upon polls. In this instance, polls are used as only one small cog in larger propaganda operation to sway voters. It’s used to demoralize Republicans from voting or defending their candidates. It is used to help Democrats become energized to get out the vote and gives Democrats a way to attack nay sayers and other enemies.
    The key is this. Politicians do not vote simply because a poll says they should vote that way. Politicians make decisions upon what to vote using polls as a way to judge what is or is not true. And when a voter allows media reports or news, that uses polls, to tell them what is true, their voting pattern becomes determined by what polls are used.
    I have evidence that people believe Sarah Palin said she can see Russia from her house. I have evidence that people believe Barack Hussein is intelligent and an American patriot. Both because the media said it was true.
    I have plenty of evidence to demonstrate that when the media tells the public that A is true, that a significant part of the public believes A is true. Polls have many questions and parts. A media report using polls as support for a claim against republicans and for media boosts for Democrats, can accomplish much of a shift.
    You don’t think that affects people’s perception of the candidates?

  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com Don Quixote

    Y-man, you changed the subject in the middle of your comment.  Unless they are cheating, polls don’t tell people things; they ask people things.  As long as they are conducted fairly and reported accurately I don’t have a problem with them.  Anyway, my point was, when pollsters tell us who is leading and by how much (not what is true or what we should believe, which has nothing to do with the kind of poll I was talking about) we might ought to consider the possibility they are right, rather than automatically assuming they are dishonestly trying to manipulate the vote in some way.  While there are always a few surprises, the polls have by and large proven to be strikingly accurate, as they did in this election cycle.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    “Unless they are cheating, polls don’t tell people things; they ask people things.”
    Polls are not created simply because people want to know what the public thinks and is willing to pay. People and organizations pay for polls because they’re using them for something.
    This is like saying a gun shoots bullets so this means a gun can’t be used to detonate a gasoline barrel 100 meters away.
    And you should have heard by now that the way a pollster asks his question can dramatically shift answers one way or another. Even the existence of the poll, assuming nothing else happens, has already altered people’s perceptions and answers.
    ” rather than automatically assuming they are dishonestly trying to manipulate the vote in some way.”
    Asking a question already impacts the answer. That’s not an assumption. That’s a fact.
    “While there are always a few surprises, the polls have by and large proven to be strikingly accurate”
    That’s also proof for a conspiracy. Facts don’t just support one side. They support a whole slew of interpretations. Accuracy is not truth, only correlation. The cause of that correlation can be lack of malevolence on the part of pollsters or users of polls. Or it can simply be a networked cooperative venture to match the end result with the polling in order to justify victories or to create public desire for a recount.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Your view of accuracy seems to be that if they can predict who wins an office, this means they got it right. My definition of accuracy is that the percentage of who voted for what is consistently precise and accurate throughout the entire election process. That includes the end, the beginning, and everything in between.
    Any presence of inconsistency or guess work, is grounds for proof of inaccuracy.

  • Mike Devx

    I’m not sure I could stay in California to help put it back togther.  I’d leave, too.  The people have spoken, and my God, are they irresponsible.
    Good luck on the move, DQ!  Just as I tell my family: The Democrat Party is not your grandfather’s Democrat Party, not anymore.  I say to you and Book: California is not the California you grew up in and loved.
    Good luck with staying, Book.  I understand you love the place.  If I were you, I’d leave until things get to the point where you’d like to return.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    If family is campaigning for you to move to California, just do a reverse and campaign for them to get out first.


    California Wins Dumbest State Award in Landslide
    The state flag needs to have a dunce cap on the bear.

  • suek

    >>The state flag needs to have a dunce cap on the bear.>>
    Sitting on a stool in the corner…