Anyone who has followed the candidacy of Tan D. Nguyen in California's 47th Congressional District has to wonder just what he's thinking. Running on a campaign slogan which proclaims "Not afraid to tell it like it is," Nguyen's campaign ship has hit the iceberg for telling it like it isn't.
Not long ago, the question being asked was whether the Orange County, California GOP was going to support their candidate or not. The self-proclaimed center-right blog noted that a defeated Hispanic candidate was "training" for 2008 while the primary winner had to buy assistance from the OC GOP committee.
This leads one to wonder why this would be so.
Reading Tan's position statements on his web site, astute political observers can see where he's in trouble quickly. Many of his positions are quite liberal-sounding to a staunch Bush-variety Orange County "conservative": He's opposing Bush Administration policies on immigration and foreign drug purchases. He also opposes job exportation - an issue which then-Secretary of State Colin Powell promised to continue to support and promote when speaking in India in 2004 - and believes that retirees should be able to count on receiving their pensions.
It also can't help that Tan ran as a Democrat in 2004. That alone might normally be enough to merit the sort of neglect he's receiving from the OC Machine. But the recent anti-illegal mailing, of which Tan is accused by top OC GOP officials of being complicit, points to something more sinister being perpetrated.
Before I get into this, I should point out that a person seeking to get elected to Congress isn't likely to switch parties between elections when it becomes evident that he can't knock out the incumbent — as was the case when Loretta Sanchez trounced him in the 2004 Democratic primary. But if one is ambitious and doesn't care how one achieves the desired result, one horns in where one isn't wanted and disrupts long-term plans of the new party affiliation.