Right makes might

Triumphant return: The timing couldn’t have been better, or worse, depending on your political perspective. Conservative icon Rush Limbaugh returned home to Sacramento on Friday like a victorious general back from bloody battles abroad, just days after Republicans took decisive control of Washington, D.C.

He wasn’t coming back to gloat—not just to gloat, at least. Limbaugh came for the 80th birthday party of radio station KFBK 1530 AM, the launching pad that took him from conservative local-radio commentator to the chief propagandist for all that is right-wing in America.

After years of getting nothing for his hard work but millions and millions of dollars and the adoration of legions of dittoheads, Limbaugh finally has accomplished his grand goal of a conservative lock on national power.

And, at the very moment of his crowning glory, there he was, back in Sac, onstage at the Hyatt, speaking to a sold-out crowd of 1,200 who had shelled out $125 each for the occasion. General Douglas McArthur probably wasn’t as warmly welcomed during his promised return to the Philippines.

Dressed in a white blazer and black shirt and dwarfed by a gigantic American flag behind him, Limbaugh did his usual schtick, skewering the liberal icons with zeal and making enough off-color quips to make sensitive lefties choke on their tofu.

Limbaugh also took a shot at the Sacramento Bee, by bitterly recounting a tale of liberal-media bias about the time a reporter shadowed him, goaded him into a feast and then portrayed him as a glutton. This, of course, was back in the days when Limbaugh was tipping the scales at about 320, nothing like the svelte figure he is now.

Limbaugh spent much of his time reminiscing about starting out here in Sac before moving into full-gloat mode about the fresh election returns. “How about California?” someone shouted during his Q&A period at the end. “I was trying to end this on an upbeat note,” Limbaugh said, allowing himself a few digs at the liberal state’s much-mocked governor. “I think we have to say that the Democrats own this state lock, stock and barrel. All you who live here are in deep doo-doo.”

Game on: Deep doo-doo, of course, is relative to one’s political persuasion. Limbaugh and his ilk may appreciate President Bush’s now-unchecked power to lower taxes and drop bombs, but Democrats in Sacramento see only doo-doo in such can-do.

But that hangover hadn’t yet kicked in on election night, when the Democrats preferred to focus on their Golden State sweep rather the Bush junta’s consolidation of power in the Beltway.

“It’s a great night for Sacramento and a great night for Democrats,” Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, declared from the podium of the Sheraton Grand Ballroom. He was celebrating his victory and those of Treasurer Phil Angelides and Senator Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento, and he made the statement before all the electoral dust had settled. “Tonight is another night for the Democrats,” he said.

Perhaps they’re just weary from the campaign season, but everybody has sounded conciliatory tones since the election—more of that boring bipartisan BS. Yet, politics being the blood sport it is, that will change. It likely will be replaced by some fun feuding between Sacramento Dems and D.C. Reps.

How bad could it get? Well, just consider the potentially prescient intro Angelides got on election night, when he was introduced as the treasurer from the “capital of the nation-state of California.” Viva la revolucion!

The scoop will be televised: When word got out last week that Sacramento Police Chief Arturo Venegas was packing his parachute, it wasn’t the big boys of local media who trumpeted the news.

Rather, it was scrappy little KTXL Fox 40 that beat everyone else. Reporter Donna Cordova dropped the story on Tuesday night while everyone else was waiting for election returns.

Other TV stations followed KTXL’s story two days later, as did the Bee with a banner headline that announced in snarky “we know a secret” style that Venegas planned to make the official announcement the next day. Sly, sly as a fox.