One political rule is that “The party in power typically losses seats during a midterm election.” Another rule that “Trumps” this rule (pun intended) is that “All politics is local.”
[Source: Trump Tremors Will Cause Cracks in California’s Blue Wall, by Patrick Bobko]
California is the land of “virtue-signaling.” As you are likely aware, virtue-signaling is the practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue. The “cost” to the virtue-signaler is typically nil.
The California Democrat Party is intent on “doing battle” with President Trump. They went so far as to hire Eric Holder to be their “general” – bad choice. What might this foreshadow in the November 2018 election? It has the potential to be for the Golden State what November 2016 was for the rest of the nation.
[From the Bobko article] Here’s how it could happen. And if it does happen, it will happen first at the local level. Let me explain:
The Trump earthquake that shook the nation last November apparently stopped at the California state line. People in Michigan and Pennsylvania actually felt the tectonic political plates move. California didn’t. In fact, California’s voters went in exactly the opposite direction from the rest of the country and awarded the state’s Democrats a legislative supermajority. Republicans play approximately the same role in Sacramento that the Washington Generals did for the Harlem Globetrotters – and win just about as often.
Emboldened by these results and whipped into a demagogic lather by their constituents, California’s Democratic politicians are now tripping over themselves to “resist” President Trump. To date, the “resistance” has largely taken the form of cities declaring themselves “sanctuary cities…” There are now approximately 40 such cities in California, including a number of less-affluent, predominantly Latino cities in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
On its face, this is good politics. Like Horatio at the gate, local politicians who declare theirs is a “sanctuary city” have the opportunity to symbolically place themselves between their constituents and the Manhattanite ogre in the White House.
Two such cities are Maywood and Santa Ana, California where the local politicians sound like they are literally prepared to draw guns against ICE agents. However, this particular “virtue-signal” will have a cost and that cost will be significant. In Santa Ana, for example, ICE leases detention space in the city’s jail (more than $2 million per year in city revenue). As well, Santa Ana gets $146M in funding from the federal government.
How will Santa Ana pay for these shortfalls. Well they shouldn’t expect the local public employee unions to help by accepting reductions in pay and pension benefits.
Maywood has an annual budget of approximately $13M, and about 10% of that comes from the federal government. Its decision to be a “sanctuary city” has likewise put those funds at risk.
When 2018 rolls around the services and jobs that have been lost because the elected officials decided to “virtue-signal” will be front and center in voters minds. The Democrats won’t lose the State House but local officials will start falling by the wayside.
[From the Bobko article] Politicians impelled to declare their cities “sanctuary cities” will be undone by the day-to-day reality of governance. Politics is the art of the practical, and what really matters to residents of any city are things such as the trash being picked-up once a week and potholes getting filled. If it isn’t, or they aren’t, even the most popular local politicians are held accountable at the ballot box regardless of the symbolic stands they’ve taken.
All politics is local.