Opinion

Tea Party takes a hit and Sacramento becomes hip. Honest

Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

Our editorials today focus on an errant legislator and Sacramento’s rising hipster status. We are, we’re told, the new Oakland. Shawn Hubler offers her take on competence in governance and what American voters can learn from Gov. Jerry Brown’s California. And, yes, the Donald Trump follies continue. Running mate Mike Pence broke from the top of the ticket by endorsing House Speaker Paul Ryan’s re-election. A question facing the GOP is how many Republicans will follow Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman, the 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate who announced plans to vote for Hillary Clinton. We hope there will be more.

Take that

Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas was a classic tea party conservative, one of 87 Republicans who swept into office in the historic 2010 election when the GOP took control of the House.

On Tuesday, Huelskamp lost his primary, as Kansas voters, tired of the tax-cutting conservatism of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, veered moderate, The Kansas City Star’s Yael T. Abouhalkah reports. Now, conservatives blame Speaker Paul Ryan for failing to defend Huelskamp, Politico reports.

Huelskamp was chairman of the Tea Party Caucus, pushed to shut the government, defund the export-import bank and challenge John Boehner’s speakership. That cost him his seat on the House Agriculture Committee, not a way to maintain support in the breadbasket state.

Huelskamp had won in 2010 with money from former Republican leader Eric Cantor, mainstream interests such as AT&T and the American Medical Association, and the likes of Koch Industries and the Citizens United political organization. What moneyed players give they can take away.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce aired $400,000 worth of ads to take out Huelskamp, and he lost to a physician, Roger Marshall, by 14 percentage points. Huelskamp blamed “billionaires and Washington special interests.” Maybe he should blame his rigid views.

Questions: Will Huelskamp’s defeat trigger a challenge to Ryan? Does Huelskamp’s defeat signal a moderate shift coming in November?

Take a number: 58 percent

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce targeted Huelskamp in this week’s Kansas primary after he scored 60 out of 100 on the chamber’s legislative scorecard in 2015. That was lowest among all Kansas House members. Our own Rep. Tom McClintock, who represents the Sierra from his home in Elk Grove, scored lower, 58 percent. That’s below all other California Republicans and some Democrats, including McClintock’s congressman, Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove. The chamber gave Bera a 65 percent grade.

McClintock has nothing worry about this fall. Does he?

Our take

Editorial: Not that it will go to our head, but the rest of the country is starting to see what we knew all along. Yes, Sacramento is hip.

Editorial: How ironic that Assemblyman Roger Hernández was out sick this week as the Legislature reconvened from its July recess.

Shawn Hubler: I’ll take a grinder any day over a grifter. Know-how matters more than most of us realize.

Joe Mathews, among our regular contributors: Stressed about pot industry changes? Chill out.

Retired Brig. Gen. Robin Umberg says Donald Trump’s insult to Gold Star parents demonstrates that he lacks the judgment to order our nation’s finest to fight and to sometimes die for us.

Their take

Orange County Register: A chilling tale from inside LAX security.

Mercury News: Federal attorneys who so effectively prosecuted the criminal case against PG&E owe the public, particularly San Bruno residents, an explanation for suddenly recommending leniency.

Raleigh News & Observer: U.S. District Court Judge Thomas D. Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, gets to the point of North Carolina’s HB-2 with a very simple question.

Tacoma News Tribune: Bankrolling high court candidates tears at the integrity of a judicial system that’s supposed to be impartial. This practice would be out of bounds for football, but it’s somehow acceptable for democracy.

Virginian-Pilot: Compare Donald Trump’s response to Khizr Khan and Ghazala Khan with that of President George W. Bush who, in 2005, was asked about harsh words by by Cindy Sheehan, who had lost her son in Iraq and called for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from that country.

Ben Shapiro in The National Review: Hillary Clinton’s presidency does not snuff out conservatism, even though it provides a serious danger to the republic. Donald Trump’s presidency does.

Syndicates’ take

Dana Milbank writes about how it might end for Donald Trump: not with a bang but with a child’s whimper.

Thomas Friedman says Hillary Clinton could knock out Donald Trump with a real pro-growth, startup, deregulation, entrepreneurship agenda.

Tweet of the day

Shane Goldmacher @ShaneGoldmacher: “Just a reminder that Khizr Khan did not speak in prime-time and far, far more Americans now know what he said than would have otherwise.”

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