There’s an obvious reason that President Donald Trump allowed only one political power couple, Orange County’s Shawn and Michelle Steel, to greet him when he arrived in March at LAX: The Steels have the current White House occupant’s back.
That stance proved true again this week when Shawn, a Seal Beach personal injury attorney and member of the Republican National Committee, tried to shield the president from responsibility for what was once considered impossible: likely complete Democrat control of all Orange County congressional seats in a place once hailed as Ronald Reagan’s most solid territory.
In an guest opinion slot at the conservative Washington Examiner, Steel—whose wife, Michelle, is an Orange County supervisor—wrote a Nov. 14 piece titled, Why California Republicans lost it all in Orange County (Hint: It’s not Trump), that concedes Republicans in California have hit desperation mode, but argues they have themselves to blame.
“A convenient narrative has formed: California Republicans are a casualty of President Trump,” Steel wrote to explain why his party was “completely” outmatched. “Yet, the party’s problems have been around longer and run much deeper than any one person.”
Steel argues Democrats dominated because they massively outspent Republicans, invested in targeted voter registration, exploited social media to increase enthusiasm for their candidates and benefitted from a few rich liberals who poured millions of dollars into the election.
He also blames a steady departure of wealthy, frustrated conservatives from California, one of the highest tax states in the nation.
None the less, no explanation will likely soothe the emotional wounds suffered by former Republican incumbents Dana Rohrabacher, Ed Royce and Darrell Issa, all of whom were considered to be immune to challenges as recently as two years ago.
Former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough, the host of Morning Joe on MSNBC, said today that Democrats performed “a complete wipe out” in “Reagan county.”
It was a little more than a decade ago that the California Republican Party could rely on Orange County’s unswerving conservative suburban voters to help offset statewide votes by Democrats in Los Angeles and San Francisco; those days are done.
Go HERE to read Steel’s entire editorial.
CNN featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.