Eber: Hobson’s choice, “TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT”, await voters in California Senate race


By Richard Eber, California Political News and Views 

It is with great sadness and regret that I withdraw my support for Diane Feinstein in her race for US Senator from California against Kevin De Leon.  Up to now she had my strong backing as a result of a distinguished political career that goes back to when Feinstein became mayor of San Francisco following the assassination of George Moscone and Harvey Milk in 1978.

Prior to that time, my great uncle Dr.  Alvin Cerf was a close friend of Feinstein’s dad and fellow doctor Leon Goldman.  As a San Franciscan, I appreciated her two terms leading the place of my birth.  As a moderate, she lived by the creed of presiding over “a city that knows how.”

Over the years during Feinstein’s tenure in the Senate, I often voted for her because she consistently distanced herself from partisan politics.  Even during the confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh, the questions the Senior Senator from California asked of him were on point and reasonable befitting an individual who resides in this chamber.

Unfortunately, all of this goodwill was lost on my part when Feinstein released a letter that was in her procession for two months about an alleged incident of sexual misconduct by Bret Cavanaugh when he was in high school.

Why didn’t Feinstein bring this subject up after she received the correspondence?  Why did she not mention the matter when questioning the prospective Supreme Court candidate at the hearing?  Why did Feinstein refuse to hand the letter over to the chairman of the Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley while allowing the contents to be leaked by her staff?

With these events having transpired, Feinstein had the nerve of asking for a delay in voting for Kavanaugh while the alleged incident was being investigated by the FBI.  Such hypocrisy was more than I could swallow.

For me such conduct is three strikes and you’re out type of type of material.  In my mind  Kavanaugh’s social life in high school  is a lower priority for the  FBI to  investigate as compared to  the recent  revelation that Feinstein’s chauffer for the past two decades  was a spy for Red China!

I suppose it could be said that Feinstein’s unethical behavior regarding the Supreme Court nominee was a result of the pressures of her political campaign against ultra progressive socialist Kevin de Leon, However, that is no excuse for her dragging a decent individual such as Brett Kavanaugh and his family through the mud for partisan political purposes?

As they say in boxing, Feinstein’s actions were aimed well below the belt for my tastes.  At 85 years old, she should know better.

This brings up another important subject in California where the voting system allows the top two candidates, regardless of party, advancing to the November runoff. This often results in Democrats running against each other, leaving voters with little to choose from.

Should conservatives be forced to choose between Feinstein over De Leon which is similar to two years ago with Kamala Harris battling Loretta Sanchez for the same office? Must we end up having to vote for the lesser of two evils once again?   Is taking a Hopson’s choice “take it or leave it” alternative between administering a legal injection and facing the firing squad a viable alternative in our fragile democracy today?

Dealing with this predicament I have historically followed my Dad’s directive that it is one’s civic duty to cast a ballot in every race, no matter how bad the two finalists might be.

This line of thinking has been consistently been argued against by my editor and friend Steve Frank.  He does not believe conservatives should give in and ever support any candidate they vehemently disagree with.  Sadly, because of Feinstein’s recent actions, in this case I have to agree with him.

Of course it can be argued that Kevin De Leon poses a much bigger threat than an individual who would be 92 years old if she should serve another full term.  In addition, if Feinstein steps down during the next few years, it is likely that a progressive governor would appoint an individual who might be even more leftist (if possible) than the present choices for the office.

At the end of the day, I am being forced to abstain from voting for the Senate race and many down ballot races in California where similar dismal choices await me.

Outside of traditional differences between my own political beliefs and those who are representing me in public office, I am becoming increasingly alarmed by the ethical conduct of Democrats who think anything they do or say is OK as long as it opposes the presidency of Donald Trump.  As such we have:

  • Support given to the radical organization ANTIFA  by mainstream  Democrats to stifle conservative free speech
  • Tactics used by Diane Feinstein and others bringing up unprovable allegations which more resembles the Joe McCarthy anti communist crusade in the 1950’s than carrying out a so called transparent political process in 2018.
  • Progressives alarming tendency to call their advisories fascists, homophobic, racists etc…, to gain support from their ever demanding leftist base.
  • The “Me To” movement, especially coming from Hollywood, appears on many levels to be another PC assault on our Constitution while promoting the victimization of our society.

Those of us on the right side of the political scale are sometimes little better than our liberal enemies in name calling and criticism.  It has been pointed out to me on several cases by my friend Susan Kirsch of the non partisan organization Livable California; my remarks are often incendiary and divisive to foster constructive political change.

Susan is right. I am guilty at times of being “one toke over the line” in my criticism of the left and miss the big point of trying to bring on constructive political change.

Maybe, we should all take a collective breath and try to steer the country towards the middle which took place when Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were running the show.  I am willing to take the pledge but will others?

In the meantime we have the general election in six weeks to spend our time on.  While I am planning to abstain from backing candidates from the US Senate and several other races, it is my decision to support all outcomes that are determined by the will of the people. All others should follow this lead.

This means Democrats stop all the impeachment stuff with Donald Trump that is filled more with anger than logic.  In addition such actions take away from dealing with critical issues such immigration, environmental ,  education, urban planning  and law enforcement  policies that are much more important than engaging in name calling.

The same rules apply to Republicans, especially in Congress, who have proven to be inflexible in dealing with their Democratic colleagues these past several years. In the interim I am forced in California to continue my “You take Sally, I take Sue, their ain’t much different between the two” approach in mailing in my absentee ballot.



Richard Eber studied journalism at the University of Oregon. He writes about politics, culture, education restaurants, and was former city and sports editor of UCSB Daily. Richard is president of Amerasa Rapid Transit, a specialized freight forwarder.

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