November 08, 2002

Dept. of Extremely Wishful ...

Dept. of Extremely Wishful Thinking: Check out this spin-job, by lame-duck California Republican Party Chair Shawn Steel. Though it attempts to be an upbeat, we're-all-on-the-same-page post-op, you can just feel the intra-party Civil War bubbling up in between the lines. Note, too, how his subliminal message seems to be -- President Bush, don't abandon this state! After having spent some time recently with the state GOP (the subject of tomorrow's National Post column), I can tell you the obvious -- Republicans are a freakin' mess in California. The Riordan Moderates and the Simon Conversatives despise each other, and are busy blaming the other for Tuesday's fiasco. Bush, via Karl Rove, still insists on having his man, Gerald Parsky, run things here, even though he has alienated most everybody. The wrestling match for the Party leadership in March should be uniquely ugly. This will be a Blue State for some time....

Posted by at November 8, 2002 02:25 PM

1. The GOP in this state is still dominated by agricultural interests in the Valleys and far Northern Californa. These guys want cheap labor (Mexican wage slaves), environmental de-regulation, roads to get their produce to markets, and no taxes. They don't have a clue or an interest in city problems; schools, crime, transportation, lack of jobs, new tech, and so on.

The result is at least a perception of racism; Republican interests who regard Mexican and other Central Americans as just cheap laborers; a party that wants to pollute so they can make money; a party that doesn't care anything about public education; a party that isn't interested in business; and paradoxically not in favor of unionized labor either.

2. This party is 95% white, but white farm interests not whites in any other economic area. They are completely insulated from the rest of California. In LA they don't even answer their phone. Go to any meeting. Old jerks. Dead wood.

Getting an actor to lead a non-existant party ain't gunna cut it. I think Bush is right. Either the Party gets real new leadership of varying races with interests outside of farming or it's not worth messing with. This huge deficit presents the GOP with opportunity, but they are like the national Democrat Party in that all they do is sit on the sidelines and carp.

I don't see how it can be changed.

Posted by: Howard Veit at November 8, 2002 05:22 PM

Howard, put down your copy of Carey McWilliams and look out the window.

The GOP took every suburban county in Southern California. They took the farm country, the Sierra (with the exception of Bay Area-expat Gold Country), and everything except LA, Imperial, the Bay Area, and the far north coast.

My neighbors...the SUV-driving soccer moms and the pickup-driving craftspeople are getting screwed by current economic trends and policies, and the Dems are walking away from them because they listen to KZLA and not KROQ or, more to the point, KCRW.

There's an audience out there for someone ... for a Pat Brown or an Earl Warren (I know he was Republican) ... to bring a Progresive message back to CA.


Posted by: Armed Liberal at November 8, 2002 09:56 PM

Pardon me, but what Republcan Party won what county? A few legislators won. The anti-Davis vote was large. The turnout was pathetic.

The party is comatose, a barely breathing drooling mumbling near corpse with nothing to offer the majority of Californians.

Talk about "no message" Democrats, just what did they offer that would solve the $20 billion deficit? Anything? The last time they won anything here was in the '94 Gingrich land slide and those rube farmers totally blew it up in Sack Town.

There is NO Republican Party in California. Just a small BYOB dinner in Bel Aire.

Posted by: Howard Veit at November 9, 2002 03:11 AM

Matt, you could have mentioned the Parsky/Simon connection. Who knew better than Gerald Parsky that Bill Simon was a dolt? They go way back but Parsky is hated in a different matter. The reason why the "conservatives" hate Gerald Parksy is that he wants to take away their punch bowl. He is trying to reform the state party.

The party in this state is an absolute mess. It seriously pisses me off that some segments want to hold on to power no matter what. I know somebody back in the mid-nineties who was trying to get involved in the Republican party in L.A. county but was scared off by neanderthals he encountered. Many of these people don't have an agenda that is realistic for this state. They are still stewing over 187 when the focus should be on more libertarian oriented issues.

Posted by: Bob at November 9, 2002 04:35 AM

It's awful. In a Republican tide GOP picked up no Congressional seats, no seats in the Legislature, and only two seats in the Assembly.
GOP lost every other sate wide elective office and the Party is Happy.

That collection of jerk offs would rather lose. It's going to take a lot of money from out of state and direct intervention of the National Party to blow those people out and replace them with people who want to win and who can win.

Posted by: Howard Veit at November 9, 2002 02:37 PM

Howard you are really full of shit. Much as I think Matt is right about the mess the state GOP is in, you are hopelessly naive about the origins of the mess. Personally, I put the blame on Parsky and his White House backers for arrogantly dismissing the conservative grass root support as though we don't count or exist. And I blame Riordan, not for being moderate - I would have happily voted for him as the stronger and more capable of the two candidates had he not ineptly hired and listened to homeless Democrats (ie his wife, Pat Caddell and that other gal who ran Dukakis' campaign) while namecalling and being clueless to Republicans who don't happen to hail from the Jonathan club. Now I agree, California is a socially liberal, libertarian leaning state and the party needs to reflect that. But that doesn't mean pissing off the remaining religious and social conservatives to no effect. Agree or disagree, abortion, gun control, bilingual ed are either off the table or electoral winners for the GOP at this point. This stuff doesn't matter! Bush/Rove will need to get involved, if only to undo the damage they've already done and give a well deserved slapdown to the liberals who caused the problem in the first place.

By the way, I notice the most competent and most conservative candidate, Tom McClintock for controller, came within a whisker of actually winning, unlike the rest of our lameass slate.

Posted by: Lloyd at November 11, 2002 11:56 AM
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