Ro Khanna's challenge to Rep. Mike Honda, a fellow Democrat, has always been predicated on just two things: Khanna's belief that Honda is insufficiently subservient to Silicon Valley's tech titans, and that, at age 73, the congressman is too old to serve. The latter charge is just scurrilous nonsense, but Khanna's been very vague about his intentions in regard to the former. (A classic Khanna post-partisan dodge: "I believe there are ways of cutting past some of the ideological logjams in Washington when it comes to issues of American economic competitiveness and a pro-growth agenda.")
Now, however, the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce—a group whose endorsement Khanna sought and recently received—has helpfully clarified exactly what Khanna's all about:
Jim Reed, the chamber's vice president of public policy, said members of the chamber's PAC "looked at Ro and they saw the face of Silicon Valley: international, results-oriented, entrepreneurial, whip-smart."How wonderful! Just what the citizens of a district that gave 72 percent of its vote to Obama needs: a guy who's "right-of-center" representing them on economic issues. For the tech industry, that means lower taxes, less regulation, and an expansion of visa programs that help the industry, rolling in record profits, keep worker pay down. (Oh, and maybe a little help with that whole wage-fixing mess?)
"This is the perfect guy to represent our region," Reed said. "He's left-of-center on social issues, right-of-center on tech and business issues, and he's not afraid to make waves."
And all this at a time when Silicon Valley's unprecedented success has left huge segments of the population falling further and further behind, locking in a two-tiered world of haves and have-nots. This is precisely what the chamber wants, and what Khanna wants to help them achieve, with his "right-of-center" views—a characterization Khanna did not dispute in the least:
"I am a pragmatic, pro-economic-growth, independent-minded Democrat who wants to build a broad coalition and isn't afraid to challenge the old machine. Honda represents an old, orthodox wing of the Democratic Party."Yes, the "old, orthodox wing" of the Democratic Party that believes in reducing economic inequality, protecting and expanding the social safety net, and ensuring that all Americans share in our prosperity. That's the party Mike Honda believes in, and it's emphatically not the party Ro Khanna believes in.