Dear Big Daddy,
I never bought this idea the media was trying to sell us that the Jerry Brown-for-governor train was unstoppable. Do you think his old liberal radio show rants are going to keep him from getting elected?
Moonbeam Hater in Hanford
Ah, the open microphone. Like whiskey and loose women, they can be your best friend, worst enemy, or a bit of both. It all depends on what you do with them.
The story of Jerry’s loose liberal mouth has gotten the Capitol chatterbox all atwitter this week, with stories of pow-wows with Noam Chomsky and comparing Bill Clinton with Dick Nixon. Sure, it makes for good fun and games while we wait to find out what version of the water deal is going to get flushed by the Legislature.
But I’m guessing this story has about as much legs as Lt. Dan in “Forrest Gump.” If you’re aware of Jerry Brown’s existence, you probably also know that he has a mouth on him. If his tofu trap was gonna do him in, it already would have happened and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
In this age of quotes so canned they’ve got bisphenol A in them, it’s refreshing to see a pol who’ll shoot his mouth off like he’s sodium pentothal bender. Brown is a calculating political bastard (and I mean that with affection), but you wouldn’t know if from reading his transcripts. Or maybe you would. If you say enough crap—and good old JB has about 20 pages of musings on ThinkExist alone—no one will think much of it when you invent the Internet or drop a macaca bomb. It’ll all get lost in the background noise.
Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the political calculus. Now I seriously doubt any liberal rantings from a decade-old radio show are going to cost him any points in a Democratic primary. Given that his major opponent is Gavin “GAY MARRIAGE!!!!!! OMG!!” Newsom, liberal rantings delivered while at Burning Man while tripping on mescaline and wearing stilts and a tutu would probably still be fine. To the extent that Democratic voters in this state are even aware of Noam Chomsky (no, he’s not one of the seven dwarves), he’s more like to gain you votes than lose them.
And unless Chomsky firebombs a department store sometime soon, he probably won’t be an issue in the general either. If Brown’s opponent ends up being Meg Whitman, well, let’s just say there’s far more hazard when she opens her mouth…because if anything coherent about state politics has ever emerged from that locale, I’ve certainly never heard about it.
If it ends up being Steve Poizner or Tom Campbell, well, that could be a little different. Both are smart, articulate…and nearly unheard of. Jerry’s well-known, amusing as all get-out, and also has a history of supporting the flat tax in skeleton closet of his Oakland loft.
In other words, happy hunting. But I think we’re probably in for four more years of a guv without and edit function in his software.