Skip to comments.California GOP Needs Ideas, Not Just Money - What's an irrelevant party to do?
Posted on 03/08/2013 12:23:59 PM PST by neverdem
Most of the activists, insiders, and lobbyists I talked to during the recent California Republican Party convention in Sacramento expressed optimism about their party despite blistering election losses and falling voter registration levels that will soonIm only half-joking herehave the party competing with the Greens and the Peace and Freedom folks.
Their optimism came from the election of former lawmaker Jim Brulte of Rancho Cucamonga as party chairman. California Republicans have chosen a former state lawmaker known for his fundraising work to lead the party back from the brink of irrelevance in a state that once was a GOP stronghold, according to the Associated Press report.
Given Brultes financial connections and vast Capitol experience, he was able to unite the conservative and moderate wings of the party. Unite might be too strong of a word. The GOP has its back against the wall, is deeply in debt, has no blueprint for regaining momentum and is thoroughly lost ideologically. It was more of a If you want it, you can have it situation.
Also good news, the party event featured less of that internal bickering that has plagued past California GOP events (although it did have a couple of scandals, including yet another one that involved some party member talking about rape). The old saying about academic battles being so vicious because the stakes are so small should be refined. The stakes are so miniscule for the state GOP now that its not even fun to fight with each other anymore.
Convention cynics joked that the theme was, Republicans love Latinos. Almost every public event was designed to highlight the partys embrace of the states burgeoning Latino community. The party finally has recognized that it cant win without deep support from a group that doesnt vote for Republicans in large percentages, that it is now paying the price for its past approach to immigration issues, and that its outreach efforts are a joke.
Sending GOP emissaries into Latino neighborhoods to convince them to vote for the GOP worked as well as if left-wing Latino activists sent emissaries to Newport Beach to sign them up for the Democrats. The new efforts are designed to grow candidates and send them through the Republican pipeline. Unfortunately, its hard to launch this effort without it smacking of pandering. Id feel better, also, if the new candidates were more about principles, less about ethnicity and values.
If I were giving the convention a theme, Id borrow the name of the 2009 movie, Hes Just Not That Into You. Californias voters just dont care about the party. Ginning up fund-raising by nominating a deal-cutting former lobbyist makes sense from a party-structure standpoint. But where are the GOP leaders who engage in the battle of ideas? And do they even know what ideas to engage in?
The Saturday luncheon featured Karl Rove, who blasted the Obama administration for increasing the federal governments debt and failing to deal with the crushing entitlement burden from Social Security and Medicare. But as former President George W. Bushs top adviser, Rove led policies that doubled the national debt and worsened the entitlements situation under the faulty idea that voters would embrace the GOP if the party handed out goodies. Delegates in attendance should have at least walked out of the room or booed loudly.
Assemblyman Chuck DeVore of Irvine spoke at a lunch event. He is a solid conservative, but one who fled the state for Austin. He makes great points about Texas policy, but California Republicans will take away a different lesson: How do I find a good job in Dallas?
Some of the politicians were even championing their newfound willingness to reach across party lines. That sound(s) nice, but the Democratic Party is committed to expanding regulation, increasing taxes, blocking reform to union entitlements and creating new government programs and agencies. Once in a while, an occasional point of light will emergei.e., a growing consensus for reforming the project-halting California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). But the Dems dont need Republican support for that or anything else.
Whats an irrelevant party to do? Its new approach will take many years to change the states political climate at best, and California is in desperate straits now.
Instead of worrying about process, the party needs to build ideas that resonate with the public. Republicans will never compete with Democrats in the game of government give-away. They need to boisterously rebuild that old Leave Us Alone coalition and point out why government is the main obstacle to every Californians freedom and prosperity, although Im not sure how many of the partys leaders or activists believe that.
Look at how Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul single-handedly rammed the issue of the Obama administrations police-state policies on drone attacks into the forefront of the national discussion. Likewise, courageous and visionary California RepublicansOK, thats probably an oxymoronmust engage Californians about how the union-controlled democratic majority is turning our state into North Korea with palm trees.
That might not make the GOP lobbyists and consultants happy, but the party needs ideological leadership now even more than political leadership.
This man KILLED the California GOP: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Wilson him and Bush (41).
California is already lost to the GOP.
Might as well use California to experiment with a 3rd party / Tea Party. Perhaps they can gain some traction, as well as learn lessons for other states or national elections.
Simple Answer... Initiatives
Create some, simple to understand initiatives. Like Prop 13...
1. Flat income tax at 7% to replace existing Corporate and Personal Income taxes and perhaps property taxes, sales taxes, and most other taxes as well.
2. Electoral College delegates selected at the Congressional District level. The argument is very simple, count every vote.
3. Restructure educational funding to eliminate non-teaching positions and put more money into classrooms. No more money, just more money into classrooms.
If the GOP sponsored half a dozen initiatives like this, with simple messages to Low Information Voters, they could get around the D’s and the unions and begin making changes. These changes won’t fully fix California, but it would begin putting us on a better path. We need to make public office much less interesting for politicians but limiting their power.
Back in the ‘60s and early ‘70swhen I grew up there, CA was staunch GOP territory... I remember the 8th grade trip to the capitol in Sacramento... the State Assembly in 1971 was largely made up of Repubs. Things are ... well.. different now.
The CA GOP is looking for ideas...
Then I read, “The Saturday luncheon featured Karl Rove.”
Great idea !!!
I am registered GOP but would switch to TEA in a second if I could.
I'm not from California, but I'm trying to start a list for each state that includes a FReeper with a state ping list for that state if that state doesn't have one already.
If I see a story about California, I want to let you know. This is not expected to be a high volume ping list.
Do any of you have a state ping list for California? Do any of you want to volunteer and take my California list with the intent to grow it? Let me know via FReepmail. Then I can work on other states.
Yeah, and I remember the nightly news stories in the late '70s, showing dozens and dozens of people crossing into California on foot, from Mexico, right out in the open. They were running through back yards, up the median strips of divided highways, right through traffic in some cases.
I wonder if that has anything to do with why things are different now.
As Rush says, the democrats have been wildly successful in convincing the current generation that gay marriage is the most important issue and the cover news story is that BJ Clinton thinks that gays should be able to cheat on their partners in the whitehouse just like straights do.
But human nature is that money is more important than other issues. The GOP needs to divorce itself from the Big Business image and start convincing young people that democrats already are and will continue to steal their money.
Oh, and even if the GOP follows my suggestion (which they won’t) then it remains a very difficult challenge against a highly skilled opponent with a major home turf advantage and the high ground (not morally but strategically). I fully expect to see the entire nation continue on a slow, steady degradation into a Venezuelan/Chicom amalgum. Tyranny is the status quo of human history. Our historically anomolous system of government is going the way of Athens, Rome and the Dodo.
California republicans were always moderate republican, libertarian republican, liberal republican, California was never conservative, and there never was outreach or the kind of crusading passion and intensity that we see among truly conservative people, like Texans and Southerners.
But I can tell you, observing the trajectory of CA is very easily done. You see Mexican women walking around a shopping center trailing four kids 1 year apart in age, pushing a stroller with an infant, and with a huge bump in her belly. This is a runaway train that is nowhere near any conceivable stopping point. I hate to say it, but this battle is lost.
Well, did you see the story about the law just passed by our dem super majority, to forcibly (if need be) remove weapons that they say are ineligible to own/have.
Yes, there is a list of what they mean: mentally incompetent, have a restraining order, violence, and others.
As always they get to decide the definition of each.
Brulte maybe one of the biggest frauds in the GOPe
Take a page out of Rand Paul’s play book. A dramatic filibuster on the floor of the state senate.
Texas and California have the exact same percentage of Hispanics, the problems of California were much deeper than just the immigration that finished them off, California never had a foundation of conservatism.
That has a lot to do with it but not everything. Another huge factor is the concentration of voting power in populous union-infested liberal cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. They simply overwhelm conservative suburban and rural areas.
There's also gerrymandering to make certain liberal districts maintain their grip on the Legislature.
Maybe the biggest factor of all has been the State Party's insistence on putting elitist RINOs in charge. They want conservatives' money but flip them the bird when it comes to policy. Screw 'em. I've long felt this state will have to entirely collapse before there's any possibility that voters will come their senses.
Take a crack at the education of cal high school students, then take a crack at stupid laws that keep people from work, like the spotted owl. Has putting forests off limits increased the owl population or just killed jobs?
Just quibbling a bit here. Looking for ideas that resonate with people is the problem. That turns you into GOP-E.
Identify your principles and preach them and keep preaching them whether people get it or not, and keep doing it until people begin to get it. Aside from a very few, I don't hear Repubs who capably explain and defend the freedom principles. Instead I hear Repubs who blab on about tax cuts.
"Tax cuts" are short-hand for the freedom principles used by people who don't understand them and are afraid to articulate them. Its not about taxes, its freedom. The other side sells Utopia. We sell muddling through as free men and women. Its a tougher sell so you have to believe in it.