Using ocean metaphors is all the rage in 2018 politics. Democrats are talking about the “blue wave” — even the “blue tsunami” — coming, which they hope will flip the 23 seats necessary to win back the House of Representatives.
One Republican is also using an ocean metaphor, but it is not nearly as hopeful. The California GOP is akin to an infamous sinking ship, according to former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“Today we are the Titanic, after it hit the iceberg, but before the last bit of the ship submerged,” Schwarzenegger said.
California Republicans have “continued to embrace the fringe policies and rhetoric of the most extreme edges of the GOP,” according to Kurt Bardella, a Republican former Capitol Hill aide. “The reality is Trump’s brand of xenophobia is toxic to what little is left of the Republican Party in California.”
But Republicans like Reps. Steve Knight (Palmdale), Dana Rohrabacher (Costa Mesa), and Mimi Walters (Irvine) fully embrace Trump and his radical agenda. To continue Schwarzenegger’s metaphor, if Trump is captain of the Titanic, then these lawmakers are clinging to him, and would rather go down with the ship than change course.
Republicans like Reps. Ed Royce (Fullerton) and Darrell Issa (Vista) are abandoning ship before it goes under. Both announced their retirement, energizing Democratic activists who see both seats as prime pick-up opportunities.
Trump’s popularity in California hovers around 30 percent. He is so unpopular embattled incumbents Knight and Walters might not even want him to campaign for them this fall. But that doesn’t stop them from supporting efforts to fund an unpopular border wall while abandoning Dreamers.
The metaphors used by Democrats and Republicans may both end up being true: a blue wave overtaking a sinking ship.
And if Republicans lose their seats in November, they will have plenty of time to watch movies. In fact, they would be ousted just in time to catch Schwarzenegger’s Christmas classic, Jingle All the Way, on cable.