Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Even in California, The Establishment Wins

Taitz, Winograd, and Kaus all defeated in primaries

Print Email
Ex-Senate candidate Mickey Kaus, who did, in fact, quit his day job.(Bildungblog)

The Lakers won last night! But point guard Derek Fisher’s game-clinching shot occurred in Boston. What happened in yesterday’s home games? The California primary ballot was, recall, loaded with drama, much of it involving Jews, Israel, or some delightful combination of the two.

Let’s start with the big news: The Soviet Jewish “Birther Queen” Orly Taitz will not be the Golden State’s Secretary of State. She lost decisively to former NFL player Damon Dunn despite the fact that he refused to dignify his opponent with an actual campaign. Of course, as the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel pointed out, the news may be that 368,316 people voted for a woman with fewer than two dozen donors who claims that Barack Obama’s presidency is procedurally illegitimate. Thank you, California.

Now, the Senate races. On the Democratic side, incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer cruised to an easy victory over Slate blogger and descendant-of-Jewish-Gold-Rushers Mickey Kaus; he picked up just five percent of the vote share, although he does now have the right to say that 93,599 voters really, really like him. (Thank you, California.) Among the Republicans, Carly Fiorina, who made Israel an issue early in the race, earned a decisive win, polling 56 percent over moderate Tom Campbell (22 percent) and Tea Party conservative Chuck DeVore (19 percent). Was Israel the deciding factor, in the end? Almost certainly not: The venerable Field Poll indicated that Republican voters were angling not so much for their favorite choice as for the best setup for a slam-dunk win over Boxer in the fall. So, stay tuned!

Meantime, we learned exactly how much Israel is worth in the Los Angeles congressional district represented by Jane Harman, the Blue Dog Democrat who has been a longtime AIPAC supporter. Harman’s opponent, peace activist Marcy Winograd, tried to make the Gaza flotilla raid into a wedge issue in the last week of the race, and managed to net 41 percent against Harman’s 59 percent. That’s not bad for an underfunded upstart against a wealthy longtime incumbent, but when you note that she was starting from a base of 38 percent in the 2006 primary, well, it looks like Israel is worth approximately 3.7 points in said district.

See you in November!

Earlier: Israel Hits the West Coast
Related: In Doubt’s Shadow [Tablet Magazine]

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Even in California, The Establishment Wins

Taitz, Winograd, and Kaus all defeated in primaries

More on Tablet:

How To Make Middle Eastern Stuffed Vegetables

By Joan Nathan — Video: Filled with warm rice and unexpected spices, they’re perfect for a cool autumn night—as a side dish or vegetarian entree