Negative Trend: Non-endorsement In CA's Senate Race

Everybody - even Rush - has been marveling at the San Francisco Chronicle's non-endorsement in the CA Senate race, with the usually reliably liberal Chron setting out a good brief on why Barbara Boxer should not return to the Senate for a fourth term

Boxer, first elected in 1992, would not rate on anyone's list of most influential senators. Her most famous moments on Capitol Hill have not been ones of legislative accomplishment, but of delivering partisan shots. Although she is chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, it is telling that leadership on the most pressing issue before it - climate change - was shifted to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., because the bill had become so polarized under her wing.

For some Californians, Boxer's reliably liberal voting record may be reason enough to give her another six years in office. But we believe Californians deserve more than a usually correct vote on issues they care about. They deserve a senator who is accessible, effective and willing and able to reach across party lines to achieve progress on the great issues of our times. Boxer falls short on those counts.

Hey, you'll get no argument from me there, although I'm surprised the Chron is being so catty about Boxer's tendency to grandstand more than legislate. For all her other faults, she is a master of the PC media assault, one which she has used to gain favorable "Year of the Woman"-style press coverage throughout her career.

Despite this, the Chron, like many hip Californians, can't quite bring itself to endorse a (shudder) Republican, even one who as obviously moderate as Carly Fiorina.

Unfortunately for Californians who are eager for change, Fiorina has firmly staked out positions that are outside of the state's mainstream values and even its economic interest. The list only begins with her openness to offshore oil drilling, her opposition to the Roe vs. Wade abortion rights ruling and her unwillingness to support even the most commonsense gun-control measures to keep assault weapons off the street or to deny guns to suspected terrorists on the federal "no fly list."

One might argue, as Fiorina does, that the latter are settled issues and thus should not be determinant in an election that should be laser-focused on jobs. But efforts to expand health care and take action against climate change - issues with both moral and economic consequences for future generations - are very much in play, especially if Republicans gain control of the Senate. Fiorina has said she would vote to repeal the landmark health care bill, and her support for a state initiative that would halt definitive action on climate change until unemployment reaches 5.5 percent shows a disdain for science and a disregard for this state's potential to take the lead in an emerging green economy. She is similarly unrealistic in her insistence that immigration reform must wait until the U.S.-Mexico border is absolutely secure.

Oh, come off it. While Boxer is one of the most left-wing members of the Senate, the views the Chron tries to ascribe to Fiorina are within the mainstream of the GOP. I would even question that, as she has no known political affiliations that pre-date 2008 when she was working for the campaign of moderate firebrand John McCain. Elsewhere in its endorsement, the Chron laments that La Box has not been willing to "work across the aisle," yet Fiorina is just the sort of moderate Republican whom one would expect to be part of the aisle-work caucus. Proof positive that it is virtually impossible for a Republican to obtain an MSM endorsement in California.

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