Gazillionaire Meg Whitman Goes Right for the Jugular

In California today there is zero respect for members of the Assembly or State Senate. Everybody hates them. The colossal failure of our elected “leaders” to deal humanely with the state’s finances cancels out any effort by well-meaning legislators who might be trying to do the right thing. The Republicans, who control the state’s finances through the “two-thirds rule,” tell us every day that in a $1.8 trillion economy we can’t do anything but cut, cut, cut because we simply “don’t have the money.” They tell us that a $19 billion budget deficit — about 1 percent of the state’s GDP — requires us to dismantle the higher education system, lay off teachers and social servants, close parks, and demolish public institutions that took a generation to build. Deservedly, the State Legislature has a 13 percent approval rating, and the Governor’s is about 25 percent.

The nation is catching up to California. The contempt directed at Sacramento politicians is already bleeding over on every other politician in the state. What happens in California has national significance. California’s deficit fetish (which is really just an excuse to gut social programs the Right has always opposed) paves the way for Washington’s own deficit fetish that is sure to dominate the national discourse in the next few election cycles.

The nation should take a hard look at Meg Whitman’s gubernatorial campaign. Her Karl Rove, Mike Murphy, recently threatened to tear apart her Republican rival, Insurance Commissioner Steven Poizner, with a $20 million negative ad buy if he didn’t exit the race. Whitman has already spent $39 million of her own money without even securing her party’s nomination. Granted, $39 million is pocket lint for this billionaire, but how bored do you have to be to throw away that kind of money just to stroke your own ego and have the chance to hobnob with presidents and Senators? Seventy-five percent of Californians say the state is heading in the “wrong direction” and Whitman wants to step on the gas.

There’s something creepy about a billionaire calling for gutting what’s left of California’s beleaguered welfare system and throwing tens of thousands of poor women and children into the streets at a time when unemployment is 13 percent and people all over the state have lost their homes.

Whitman’s pricey, stylized TV buys are currently inundating the airwaves. It’s all soft-focus emotional bullshit right now, but she’ll have no choice but to go very, very negative in the general election this fall. It promises to be a spectacle worth watching. It will reach a new low in Swift Boating.

The U.S. Congress, with the Republican minority owning the Senate, is growing in unpopularity. Most people don’t pay attention to process so they just blame the institution. The Republicans’ strategy of blocking everything and letting the country deteriorate is paying political dividends as the contempt for Congress grows and voters move to punish the party “in power.” The strategy is working in California and it will work like a charm nationally too.

Joseph Palermo

Republished with the author’s permission from the Huffington Post


  1. Elaine says

    Joseph Palermo – Meg Whitman is California’s best chance of getting out of its downfall. You have been lead by the worse Democratic Senators & Congressmen in the entire U.S.. well, almost the worse. I have never understood why all of you did not help those farmers in Northern California that needed the water so bad for themselves & their gardens to grow food. Instead all of you let them not send the water down to them to save a stupid little minnow fish. Those stupid little fish were worth sacrificing for human beings, needed food & those farmers income. I do not understand that. So maybe you better get this progressive thing that is going to send you back to exactly what our forefathers fought for & brought us to America for & wrote the Constitution for us to follow to get us away from Europeans & their way of life.

  2. BillG says

    I guess the point of this article is to tell us that things will get a lot worse with no chance (but only politicians’ promises) of getting better. It is strange because California has as close to a real democracy as is possible. The California people seem to have the final say on most critical matters and many tools at their disposal.


    They say water seeks its lowest level.

    But in California, democracy seeks its lowest level.

  3. says

    I would merely suggest that one buy and read:”Europe’s Promise” by Steven Hill. One would hope that our educated grandchildren read the book and give thought to leaving our rapidly deteriorating society. It would surely appear that we in the USA, and I am delighted to be 88 years of age, face a situation akin to the latter days of Rome, the end of the Spanish Empire, the fall of The British Empire, and the latter days of the Soviet Union. I have compassion and concern regarding our minority of thinking young people as they had nothing to do with producing the catastrophy that we are facing.


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