The GOP Civil War — California edition

THE GOP CIVIL WAR — CALIFORNIA EDITION…. In New York’s 23rd, Dede Scozzafava enjoyed the support of the Republican establishment, but the base preferred Doug Hoffman. In Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter enjoyed the support of the Republican establishment, but the base preferred Jim Toomey. In Florida, Charlie Crist enjoys the support of the Republican establishment, but the base prefers Marco Rubio.

And in California, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina the U.S. Senate candidate with the strong support of GOP leaders. But she’ll face state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore in a Republican primary. For the right-wing activists that dominate Republican politics, it’s an easy call.

As Dave Weigel reported today, DeVore is the one who “talks bluntly about fascism and even about Barack Obama’s birth records.”

From the conservative activist’s perspective, DeVore’s an ideal candidate. After writing a war novel, “China Attacks,” in 2000, DeVore became a frequent reviewer at Amazon.com. His take-outs on action novels and political texts reveal more about his political thinking than most candidates would be comfortable divulging. On a Tom Clancy novel about the threat posed by Japan Devore wrote: “Replace “Japan” with “China” and the thesis holds together rather well in 2005.” On Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism”: “Roosevelt’s New Deal had much in common with Mussolini’s fascism.” […]

[A]sked what he thought of Brown’s ideas, DeVore didn’t take the chance to denounce “birther” rumors or the movement itself-which has been heavily active in California.

“The president is doing himself no favors by spending millions of dollars to block the release of documents surrounding his birth certificate,” said DeVore.

A Birther who gave “Liberal Fascism” five stars and who compares the New Deal to Mussolini’s fascism? Running statewide in California — where Obama won with 61% of the vote? What’s not to like?

For the record, while nearly all of the party’s top leaders have rallied behind Fiorina, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has endorsed DeVore, citing his “willingness to stand up against his own party leaders.”

In other words, as far as DeMint’s concerned, DeVore is to the right of the already-conservative Republican Party, which makes him perfect.

The Republican primary is June 8, 2010. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is no doubt looking forward to it.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.