The Fringe on Top

Extremists Help the GOP Muscle In on the Golden State

For in California, the national Republican Party, the one led by President Bush and steered by Karl Rove—and whose goals are not moderate at all—is achieving one of its most cherished political aims: a political foothold in the nation's largest state, a state Bush needs to secure himself re-election, where Democrats have maintained a stubborn control for almost a decade. The White House has kept hands off the circus in California up to now, when it seemed the province of crackpots. It doesn't matter: What they didn't do was shut the fringe down—as centrist Democrats are always so desperate to shut Democratic fringes down, to keep them from taking any ideological risks at all. The Republican command center simply let the game take its course. The right-wing extremists set up the pitch. A "centrist" was able to step in to hit out of the park.

Presto: The political playing field in California has shifted. George Bush will probably have the home-field advantage there in 2004. And it never would have happened if the freaks hadn't taken the original risk. If the center had led, the Republicans would have been waiting to try to replace Gray Davis until 2006.


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"Der Vild, Vild Vest! Arnold Rides In With His Own Brand of Machine" by Michael Musto

"Mondo Washington: In Arnold's Shadow, Dean Could Strengthen Lead" by James Ridgeway

"Shlock 'N' Roll: Sources Confirm Schwarzenegger Candidacy Really Just an Elaborate Joke." A cartoon by Ward Sutton

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