We were sitting in the surf off Waikiki recently, me on an old-style longboard and my bride Trish on a shorter new-fangled board favored by much younger people and pro surfers. In her younger days, she taught Duke Kahanamoku how to surf.
Then it happened. Suddenly, a giant, 30-foot monster rogue wave appeared! Young families were fleeing the beaches. Sirens alerted all to the impending doom.
I turned to face the beach and began paddling, eager to tame the growing liquid beast under my feet. Feeling the old board accelerate, I pressed myself up and got my front foot planted. I slid the second foot up and briefly stood, king of the Mother of All Waves, when my rear foot suddenly slipped, a victim of too little wax on my stick (thanks, Dave).
Twisting my body in a desperate attempt to escape certain death at the hands of the blue behemoth, I collided with the board, injuring my ribs. The paramedics said it was a miracle I survived.
OK. The wave was only 2 feet tall. And the families weren’t running but laughing. The “blue tsunami” that I was riding turned out to not be such a monster after all. My injury was more self-inflicted than anything.
My ribs still hurt, though. Not as much as my pride, though. True story.
This reminds me a great deal of the “Blue Tsunami” that my friend Gary Horton recently wrote about. To be honest, the success of the Democrats in flipping the House was not all that surprising. Mid-term elections often favor the party that does not hold the White House.
I think that both parties play the game of “blame the guy in the White House for all your troubles” because it’s very easy to do. And we Americans are pretty stupid, sometimes.
Of course, it helps when you have a divisive president in office who does not consider his words, Twitters while inebriated (maybe), and who actively wars with the media. This tends to amplify his worst attributes and plays into the hands of the Democratic PR machine.
But, the supposed Blue Tsunami really did not impact the Senate. In fact, it went the opposite way. Before the election, it was 51-49 red, but after, it is 53-47 red. If it was so overpowering, the Senate would be blue, too.
A friend recently sent me some interesting data. Breitbart recently reported that Congressional Dem candidates spent $2.53 billion while Repubs only spent $2.20 billion. Wow. That means a $330 million difference.
Sounds more like a Green Wave than a Blue.
Locally, the difference was even more stark. The Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org) reports that Steve Knight spent about $2.033 million on his campaign while Katie Hill spent $5.891 million (FEC data as of Dec. 3).
That’s almost three times as much money! Cowabunga, that’s a huge green curl!
Another part of the OpenSecrets website listed the outside donations for each campaign. This includes money that was not sent directly to the campaigns but was spent to oppose a candidate. Yeah, that’s where those nasty but fun hit mailers came from.
It looks like Katie got about $11.254 mil in support while Steve only got $6.916 mil. A 63 percent difference. Of the 52 outside organizations listed, only five were listed as conservative. Talk about outside interference.
All of that outside money was like pouring motor oil on Steve’s surfboard. No amount of wax was going to stop him from slipping.
I also have my unofficial subjective monitoring system as well. On the day before the election, we received nine political mailers, seven were Democrat/liberal and two Republican/conservative (22 percent red).
On the Friday before, we received 15 mailers (yes 15!) with 11 blue and four red (27 percent red). I would also hazard a guess that about 75 percent of the TV spots were for Katie while 25 percent were for Steve.
This tends to line up with the spending disclosures given online.
Unfortunately, money does often buy elections. I think that the Democrats saw their opportunity and effectively created a narrative with unprecedented levels of spending. And all it bought them was the House.
Blue Wave? Nah. Green Wave, more accurately. Cowabunga.
Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and his Hawaiian name is now “Papa he’enalu Pahale” which means “King of the Waves,” sort of. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.