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CA GOP’s New Strategy Meets Prince Gavin’s Curse

Mar4

In politics, nothing concentrates the mind like crushing defeat. Which is why what emerged at the California Republican Party convention in Sacramento last weekend is so potentially pivotal — a new strategic approach to reviving the GOP that places electoral success above ideological purity.

Three key speakers at the convention — Karl Rove, Jim Brulte and Ruben Barrales — all made the same point that many delegates embraced: It’s time for the CRP to rid itself of ideological litmus tests and concentrate on electing Republicans, from mosquito abatement boards and city councils to Sacramento and Washington.

As Barrales argued, this is not about “outreach,” which was the watchword of the outgoing GOP chairman Tom Del Beccaro, and all those who had gone before him. Rather, it’s about “inclusion” — which is the goal of his Grow Elect PAC that seeks to recruit, train, assist and elect Latino Republicans without regard to their stands on divisive policy issues.

Non-Partisan Races By concentrating first (and this is important, Calbuzzers) on non-partisan local elections — Grow Elect hopes to build a farm team and, over time, evolve “a Republican Party that reflects California.”

Sure, the party is still host to ideologues like our friend Jon Fleischman of the Flash Report, who want to maintain the conservative purity of GOP candidates and official positions. He’s not about to buy into electing Latino Republicans just because they’re registered Republicans. “Nobody wants a lying, unethical, Republican Hispanic,” he said of former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, whom he’s never forgiven for voting to raise taxes after pledging not to.

And the CRP has more than its share of racist whackjobs, like Gail Neira, who attacked fellow San Franciscan  Harmeet Dhillon, a savvy, conservative Sikh lawyer running for vice chair, because she “repeatedly tries to undermine and tarnish integrity (sic) of U.S. born patriotic Republicans.”

But if Brulte, the chairman elected over the weekend (with Fleischman’s endorsement), has his way, their causes will no longer consume the GOP.

“I refuse to buy into this Democratic plan, which is perpetrated by the media, which is that we ought to spend the next six months arguing with ourselves about what we believe,”  Brulte told members of the Northwest Regional caucus, blaming Democrats and the media for what is uniquely an internal GOP battle.

“We’re Republicans — we know what we believe,” said Brulte, in this variation of his stump speech. “We’re the party of Abraham Lincoln, we’re the party of Ronald Reagan. We’re the party that believes in individual liberty and greater personal freedom and individual rights. We believe in smaller government and lower taxes and greater parental control and more local control. We believe, as Ronald Reagan said, a government that’s big enough to give you everything you want is a government that’s big enough to take away everything you have. We know what we believe.”

“Get Off Your Ass” Or as Rove put it at the keynote luncheon, President Obama is “more concerned with beating his Republican opposition, breaking it apart, putting it at war with each other, creating a civil war among Republicans, making us dispirited, disorganized and on the sidelines.”

“We’re Republicans not because we believe in interests; we’re Republicans because we believe in universal values — liberty, freedom, personal responsibility, limited government, opportunity, the ability of every human being to dream a big dream and rise,” Rove said. “We have an obligation to argue on behalf of those values in every corner, every crevice and every community in our great country. And let’s be honest — we haven’t been doing that pretty well in recent years. We’ve been talking to each other.”

Of Barrales, said Rove: “His message is my message . . . We need to be asking for the vote in the most powerful way possible, which is to have people asking for the vote who are comfortable and look like and sound like the people they’re asking the vote from . . . We need to have the diversity that is America. And if we do, we’ll have success.”

(Aside: Yes, this is the same Karl Rove who had no compunction about using every racist trick in the book to destroy John McCain in 2004. But like a cockroach, Rove is a survivor.)

The Long Road Ahead As Calbuzz explained before the convention, Barrales understands that it will take years to alter the California Republican Party.

“Hopefully we’re recruiting candidates who are reflective of their communities, so hopefully they’re addressing issues of importance to their communities,” Barrales argued. “If you get more Latinos who are Republican officeholders, in a way you’ll change the party – they’ll be setting the agenda for the party. It’s a long range effort – I want to change the face of the people running the Republican Party and the people who are elected officials.”

This incremental – non-ideological — approach is already bearing results. Grow Elect helped 30 Latino Republicans throughout California win elective office in 2012. And at the GOP convention last weekend in Sacramento, where Latinos have often been an afterthought or shuffled off to a special session on “outreach,” Barrales and Grow Elect were hot attractions.

On Friday night, the Lincoln Club of Orange County hosted a reception for Grow Elect. (We’ll overlook the stereotypical mariachi band and taquitos because of the excellent hosted margaritas.) Barrales was welcomed by Robert Loewen, president of the club, which had recently adopted a position on immigration reform calling for secure borders, a crackdown on employers and a guest worker program allowing undocumented workers to transition to legal guest worker status.

It ain’t a pathway to citizenship, but it’s a long way from rounding ‘em up and shipping them home. Or self-deportation.

Overflowing Interest On Saturday, a session hosted by Grow Elect drew so many attendees, the Hyatt Regency staff had to open a folding wall to double the size of the meeting room where Barrales, Maldonado and others explained in detail what the PAC is about and what it hopes to accomplish. The audience applauded Maldonado when he said Grow Elect’s mission is “to start changing the brand of the Republican Party for Latinos.”

The case of Ignacio Velazquez, elected mayor of Hollister with Grow Elect’s help with a couple of mailers, is a perfect example: He’s a Latino Republican elected to a non-partisan office. He won huge support from Latinos and plenty of votes from whites. “People are willing to cross over and vote if that person represents them,” he said, explaining how he got Latino Democrats to support him. If and when he moves toward a partisan office, he’ll have a record, a resume and a base – or at least that’s the Grow Elect model.

To hold back this kind of grass-roots effort, Democrats and their labor allies, will have to spend money partisanizing local elections.

In the meantime, candidates sporting a scarlet “R” on their foreheads, will have a tough time – as long as the CRP stands opposed to a pathway to citizenship, choice, gay marriage and other social views that are growing in popularity in California.

Attracting voters to the GOP brand – as opposed to an individual – is a far more daunting prospect. And there is little evidence that the state party has the stomach for the internal fight it would cause to confront those issues. Not on Brulte’s watch, anyway.

The only philosophical issue on his mind right now, he said, is the old metaphysical question: whether a tree that falls in a forest makes a sound if no one is there to hear it – because the California Republican Party has failed to make a sound in entire communities throughout the state. As chairman, he promised, he’ll make sure the GOP makes noise in every community, at every level of politics.

Prince Gavin Elected Governor

The Real Action however was not actually at the convention but at the fabulous Lucca Restaurant a few blocks away, where Dr. P.J. Hackenflack, Calbuzz’s resident social psychologist, organized another of his infamous dinners for hacks, flacks and other assorted political drainpipe sniffers.

After a happy hour and a half or so, the assembled journalistic glitterati – including such low-lifes as George (Mr. Happy) Skelton and Seema (Ms. Marriott) Mehta of the ByGodLA Times, the electrifying Dan Morain and Torey (The Tulip) Van Oot of the Sacramento B Minus, Costco Carlo Marinucci and Joe (I Got a Guy) Garofoli of the SF Comical — mingled and schoomzed with Very Important Republicans like Bob White, Ruben Barrales, Rob Stutzman, Amy Thoma, Bob Naylor, Bettina Inclan, Duf Sundheim and Jon Fleischman. To name a few of the 30 or so who gathered for drinks and/or dinner of vegetarian risotto, chicken saltimbocca, pan roasted salmon or grilled bistro steak.

As is the custom at Hackenflack dinners – going back to 1987 after the Alan Cranston-Ed Zschau Senate race – a question was posed to the assembled wise and unwise persons. This time: Who will be the next governor of California after Jerry Brown?

The results of the secret ballot: Gavin Newsom, 9; Kamala Harris, 5; Alex Padilla, 2; and 1 vote each for Ruben Barrales, Anne Gust Brown, Wendy Greuel, Condi Rice, Tom Donnerly, Jim Brulte, Leon Panetta and Kevin McCarthy.

Although records were lost in the barrel of Maker’s Mark that Dr. Hackenflack had held in safe keeping for the late Kam Kuwata, it is believed that no one chosen at a Hackenflack dinner has ever been elected to higher office.

P.S. Only half of the Calbuzz World Affairs and Barbecue Excellence Desk was represented at the dinner as the other two-thirds is dealing with medical issues, utterly without complaint.


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There are 34 comments for this post

  1. avatar Ruben Barrales says:

    Phil- Nice to see you after so many years. Thanks for getting us together. Let me make it perfectly clear — I did not vote for myself. :)

  2. avatar Hank Plante says:

    Karl Rove saying “We need the diversity that is America” almost made me forget he was the guy who put anti-gay ballot initiatives on 11 states to help win in 2004. This, despite his being raised by a stepfather who was very active in gay circles here in Palm Springs — and a member of the “piercing community” here as well. Now that’s diversity.

  3. avatar Spike says:

    Anti-gay? Really?

    Did Rove advance initiatives that denied homosexuality?

    You(we) lose credibility when we(you) equate opposing same-sex marriage to anti-gay. This is the strawman created by the Left, to make anyone who doesn’t comport to a same-sex marriage paradigm as a hater.

    It is possible to oppose same-sex marriage, yet not hate gays.

    • avatar Sideline says:

      Hmm. I wonder if it equally is possible to oppose voting rights, yet not hate African Americans. I would suggest this, though, Spike: I will forever strive to protect your right to marry someone of your choosing, and oppose any law that would require you to marry someone of the same sex. That seems fair.

    • avatar Spike says:

      @Sideline,

      Emancipation & Civil Rights were advanced by the Republican Party.

      Civil Rights didn’t grant “equality” but affirmed the premise that “all men are created equal.” We didn’t affirm interracial marriage, but the premise that black man(or woman) were equal to a white man(or woman).

      Same-sex marriage demands that I(we) redefine “a behavior” as an equal right.

      Can “same-sex” marriage be advanced, without Christians [conceivably] being brought up on “hate crime” charges for continuing to believe that homosexuality is a sin? Can my pastor be arrested for denying the affirmation of marriage rites? Can I be arrested, or my children be expelled from school, for my/their unwillingness to participate in “gay pride month” for homosexual history instruction?

    • avatar Donald from Pasadena says:

      @ Spike: You continue to conflate the issuance of a civil marriage license with the religious sacrament of marriage as though they were one and the same. You then use the resulting illogical rationale to deny someone of homosexual orientation the right to obtain said license and conjoin legally with their chosen partner in life.

      You’re seeking to deny LGBT persons a basic civil right to obtain a marriage license by falsely equating that license with a religious rite, which just as falsely implies and justifies your supposed superiority as a heterosexual member of the species.

      Do you have any idea how incredibly demeaning and obtuse you sound? If that sort of ritual dehumanization of LGBT persons is not “anti-gay,” then I don’t know what is.

    • avatar Spike says:

      @Donald,

      As “same-sex marriage” has been put to Proposition, I, and a plurality of Americans(33 votes) have determined to NOT advance the premise. This, as a citizen, is my prerogative.
      If the Court deems “same-sex” marriage legal, as a State issue, I will support whatever my state dictates.
      If about “rights”, expanded [legal] Civil Unions would suffice. The gay community wants marriage redefined to “justify” their behavior. As a Christian, I cannot “vote” to advance, what I believe to be a sin. If you feel differently, that’s your prerogative.

      I can hate the sin, yet love the sinner. As a sinner myself, I am called to love other sinners, without condoning their “choice.”

      Society is deteriorating. Depravity is everywhere, and getting worse.

      As a Party, I don’t see a way forward, by orphaning values voters.

  4. avatar Spike says:

    I contend, we do NOT know what we believe. Sure, some Reagan platitudes about Limited Government sound appealing, but when the rubber hits the road, we haven’t believed(or at least governed) as a Limited Government Party for 20-30 years. Today, Conservatives are being “litmus tested” out of the Party for maintaining these principles.

    We should appeal to Hispanics(and Blacks/Asians), by espousing the virtues of Conservatism. Liberalism has failed them, as it has failed the State of California. Becoming the moderately less-Liberal Party is a HUGE mistake, not because it might not garner some electoral advantage, but because we cannot continue on our current Statist path. Whether being lead, by Liberals or Republicans.

    We cannot address Fiscal issues, by abandoning Social issues. A man cannot see the virtues of a balanced budget when he’s content to let the State feed him and his family. We must have a spiritual awakening(if even a Deist acceptance) of the virtuousness of piety.

    Opposing same-sex marriage, does not make me anti-gay. Can we embrace a same-sex marriage agenda, without orphaning a whole sub-class of Republicans(Christians), who oppose the legal premise.

    I (personally) support the expansion of Civil Unions. Gay couples should have equal [legal] protection under the law. Call it whatever you want. It’s not marriage. If you believe that this “issue” is more important than Conservatism writ large, you’re being selfish.

    Republicans / Conservatives cannot advance, unless we advance together. We need to discuss these issues, determine where we stand, and how much “elasticity” we have in what we believe. No one is the perfect Republican. We can advance a general set of principles once we determine what it is that they are.

    Spike
    Seal Beach

    • avatar Sideline says:

      I cannot imagine where to begin in response to your post. You want first to become a “limited government” party but, like Kevin McCarthy, you insist that government intervene and prohibit marriage equality. You decry a march toward a “Statist” path, but the laissez faire approach (Wall Street Unchained!) resulted in chaos in 1929 and again in 2007. You do not want government to impose any limits upon capitalist excesses, believing it should be financiers themselves who govern themselves. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      Who is this mythological man, content to let the State feed him and his family? Perhaps you did not hear of the “Occupy” movement, a movement that at its roots was a cry not for “redistribution”–although your Party’s clever sloganeering attempted to reduce it to that–but for simple access to the economy. When it no longer is possible to survive even minimally on minimum wage, and the government must subsidize wages by feeding its citizens, it is not the fault of its citizenry. As Barbara Ehrenreich noted, minimum wage earners are the biggest philanthropists in our society, because they sell an hour of their life at a pittance to ensure that you and I can buy a McDouble for a buck. This “man” of yours wants to know that if he works hard, he can get ahead. That’s an old expression, you know: It used to be known as “the American dream.”

      Opposing same-sex marriage does, indeed, make you anti-gay. And do not imagine for a moment that there are not millions of Christians who actually support the sacrament of marriage for every human being–you lump all Christians into some imagined sub-class of Republicans, and that makes you someone who stereotypes, my friend. I will make you the same deal I made you above: I would oppose any law that would require your church to perform same-sex marriages, because that’s a violation of the separation doctrine. But if MY church wants to bless the marriage of two men or two women, how about you leave us be?

      Yes, it is marriage. The statutes of our land are populated with millions of references to “marriage”–not “civil union”–and if you deny it to some then you create inequality under the law.

      Conservatism does not know what it is–on this we agree. Your party is fighting with itself over immigration, for example: The corporatists want the cheap labor; the xenophobes want to keep the brown hordes at bay. You want to cut spending, but you want to keep all the lousy defense contractors busy in your home districts. You want to reduce the deficit, but only when there is a Democratic President.

      You guys are all over the freaking map, and as long as you’re a moving target of bigotry, hypocrisy and greed, not too many normal folks are going to want to jump on board your particular high-speed railroad.

    • avatar Spike says:

      @Sideline,

      I’ll take your comments, 1 at a time.

      I’m not asking government to “intervene” in denying something. I’m asking to limit government’s expansion of “new rights” made out of whole cloth.

      Laissez Faire is not what caused 1929, or 2007. 2007 was created by the expansion of Government intervention in the Lending process, insisting that lending requirements onerously shut out low-income (predominantly minority) home buyers. The Bush Administration tried countless times to tighten Fannie/Freddie to be shot down by Barney Frank/Maxine Waters, etal.
      1929 was not different than 1920, expect in governments response(over-tighten of currency), Smoot-Hawley, and lastly, was prolonged by a decade by the New Deal. We are seeing the Newest Deal playing out in Washington, to the same disastrous results.

      Your minimum wage “meme” shows a lack of understanding of Economics, and the free market. Minimum wages suppress hiring, and limit upward mobility. see Spain/France. Minimum wage jobs are entry-level and are not intended as Careers. They are an opportunity to develop skills and to advance to other, better paying jobs.

      The government-fed man, is not a myth. government dependency is skyrocketing. Welfare, Food Stamps, Unemployment, ObamaCare, etc, etc, etc. These programs discourage employment, as minimum wage jobs, as you say don’t pay any higher than sitting on one’s ass. Of course, skills atrophy. People, like animals get used to being fed, and unlearn the ability to hunt(work).

      The “man” to worry about(the Forgotten man) is he who wonders why he works, when the state punishes his energy, confiscates his productivity to feed the man, who thinks this man an idiot for efforting to chase the American Dream.

      That you assert that I can’t oppose “same sex” marriage without hating gays, shows your lack of tolerance. That you assert that I can’t oppose “illegal immigration” without hating the brown man, shows your lack of tolerance.

      Society/Government’s trajectory is not sustainable. Easing one’s guilt over their deviancy/profligacy will not save our Republic.

    • avatar montanez707 says:

      Spike, I like your thinking. Do you have a blog? I’d like to chat with you as im a newbee in politics. Would you mind emailing me montanez707@yahoo.com

      Alex

  5. avatar smoker1 says:

    Under what circumstances does a political party with less than 30% registration launch a credible campaign for statewide office? I cannot think of any.

    • avatar Spike says:

      Registration follows an Ideological reformation.

      We cannot register voters, without convincing them of the failures of Liberalism and the virtues of Conservatism.

  6. avatar Spike says:

    BTW Sideline, you are the perfect Object lesson for my fellow Republicans.

    We could change our platform to appeal to Hispanics(by abandoning opposition to Illegal Immigration), “same-sex marriage” advocates, Secular Athiests, Big Government largesse, and you’d still vote Democratic.

    • avatar Sideline says:

      Oh, of course I will continue to vote for Democrats because on the great broad range of issues they still earn my vote. I’m not the one you’ve lost, and I would never be yours.

      But look at the rise of “Independent” voters, and look at the decline in Republican registrations. On a nationwide basis, you not only lost the Presidency, handily, but also gave up a million-plus vote margin to Democrats in congressional races. And California? Fuhgeddaboutit.

      Of course you’ll never, ever, ever have my vote. But your Party has so isolated itself within the confines of bigotry, hatred and nonsense (shall we talk about climate change?), that it makes Goldwater’s run in ’64 look positively mainstream. Oh wait—Goldwater was in favor of marriage equality.

  7. avatar chrisfinnie says:

    “We’re Republicans — we know what we believe.” Unfortunately, as Spike has so ably demonstrated here, when you talk about what you believe, you insult most thinking, caring Americans. You do this by a) saying provably stupid, untrue things and b) saying incredibly offensive things. Since everybody else has tried to point these things out already, and clearly failed to make a dent in Spike’s alternate reality, I won’t bother. As they say about trying to teach a pig to sing, it would waste my time and irritate the pig.

    • avatar Spike says:

      What did I say that was untrue?

      If you’re talking about Sideline, he is a flaming Liberal. If that’s who you want provide you(us) Electoral advice, you’re welcome to it.

      I, and thousands like me, will find solace in Texas, or Idaho.

      We cannot out-Liberalize the Democratic Party. If you think moderating our stance on some of these issues ingratiates us to these “market segments”, you’ll find, I’m afraid that they’ll continue to vote Left.

  8. avatar GeoHagop says:

    Let us not forget that Newsom, after outspending Gonzalez $5 million to $1 million, only won the SF mayoral election by 133,546 to 119,329 votes. It could be the Greens will be the second largest party in CA soon.

  9. avatar Hank Plante says:

    Well, this certainly turned into a lively dialogue. Personally, I’m convinced there isn’t a single Republican I’ve interviewed recently, from George W. Bush to Meg Whitman, who believes the anti-gay marriage line they spewed. They have bigger fish to fry. They’re only mouthing the words in hopes distracting an imaginary base. Trouble is, that base is changing (and dying off), and the remaining bigots are left holding positions that their leaders are now running from like a losing hand.

    • avatar Spike says:

      Again Hank, that you insist on inferring that, because I oppose same-sex marriage that I’m a bigot. If those who oppose same-sex marriage, a plurality of Californians BTW are defined as bigots, then “hate crimes” can be prosecuted for someone maintaining a First Amendment right to expression, and freedom of religion.

    • avatar Spike says:

      Hank,

      Should us Bigots abandon our opposition to Abortion, as well?

      How far Left do you think our Party can move, and not lose “values voters”

      And, if you’re comfortable with losing values voters, how confident are you that those who you think you’re targeting will vote Republican. As Sideline has proven, now matter how far Left Republicans move on Social Issues, he will still vote Democratic.

      You can’t Out-Liberal the Democratic Party. Thinking you can, is stupid.

    • avatar Sideline says:

      And Meg just signed on to marriage equality.

  10. avatar Spike says:

    Meg lost in 2010 because she didn’t embrace the Tea Party movement that put many other Governors and Congressman into office. when a choice between a Moderate Republican, and a Liberal, the Liberal will win 9 times out of 10.

    • avatar pjhackenflack says:

      The idea that Whitman lost because she was not far enough to the right is absurd. There is no evidence to support this contention. Not a shred.

  11. avatar chuckmcfadden says:

    “Anti-gay? Really?

    Did Rove advance initiatives that denied homosexuality?

    You(we) lose credibility when we(you) equate opposing same-sex marriage to anti-gay. This is the strawman created by the Left, to make anyone who doesn’t comport to a same-sex marriage paradigm as a hater.”

    What utter, brazen, misbegotten nonsense. Opposing same-sex marriage IS anti-gay. You know, like water is wet.

    And to say that Meg lost because she didn’t embrace the Tea Party movement, Spike, makes me wonder what planet you inhabit. For sure, it isn’t this one. Were you paying any attention at all to her 2010 campaign?

    • avatar Spike says:

      The premise that one can’t oppose “same-sex” marriage without being anti-gay is a tactic used by the Left, and an affront to right thinking individuals. If you’re going to FORCE me to accept a redefinition of Marriage, and call me a bigot for not accepting this redefinition, then I suppose my VOTE no longer matters to the Republican Party. Good luck with that.

      I made calls for Meg Whitman, and attended all of here SoCal events.

      Republicans made gains across the country in 2010, by embracing and full-throatedly articulating a Limited Government paradigm. At the end of the day, the voters saw no sunlight between her, and her Democratic opponent.

  12. avatar JohnF says:

    Where is Ernie K when we need him? A new R has arrived on the scene. Spike arguing both sides of the same issue does not make you coherent. But I do hope you stick around as it gets boring around here without the other side to responding to the Calbuzzers positions.

  13. avatar chuckmcfadden says:

    Spike, i’m having trouble (no, I’m not being sarcastic or argumentative here) trying to follow one of your sentences. It’s this one: “If you’re going to FORCE me to accept a redefinition of Marriage, and call me a bigot for not accepting this redefinition, then I suppose my VOTE no longer matters to the Republican Party. Good luck with that.”

    OK, we liberals force you to accept same sex marriage. How does that make your vote no longer matter within the Republican Party? Are you trying to say that an acceptance of gay marriage means you are no longer a full-fledged member of the Republican Party, and hence your vote no longer matters? But it would.

    • avatar Spike says:

      Chuck,

      follow me slowly. I know that comprehension is not a Liberal strong suit.

      Our Party has a Conservative wing, and a Moderate(Liberal) wing. That’s all good. We’ve maintained a set of values, that has set us apart from our brethren in the Democratic Party.

      My question to our Party leaders is; How Liberal can we move our platform without alienated our more Conservative(socially/fiscally) members.

      I don’t see how “liberalizing” our platform works. Gay individuals are still going to vote Democratic. Hispanics are 2-1 more in favor of Big Government than society at large.

      California, Illinois have abandoned Social values. Their circumstances are in decline.

      If we embrace same-sex marriage, abandon opposition to Abortion, support Amnesty, we are no longer a Conservative Party, but another Democratic Party. Will new members coming in outpace the old members moving out?

    • avatar chrisfinnie says:

      Spike. Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican. He also broke up monopolies and founded the national parks because he was an environmentalist. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. He freed the slaves and fought the Civil War over the issue of states rights. Dwight D. Eisenhower was a Republican and corporate taxes were higher during his administrations than ever before or since. He used the income to build the national highway system–which he viewed as a security issue, but that also proved a huge boost to commerce. In his last speech to Congress, he warned of the growing power of corporate money that he predicted would “sink our democracy.”

      Today, these would all be Democratic positions. But they didn’t used to be. I’m sure I could find examples in the other direction. But I happen to know those off the top of my head.

      What this says to me is that the policies of political parties change over time. Certainly many of the Republicans I knew as a young woman would be uncomfortable with positions today’s Party takes. I know my father, a lifelong Republican, was unhappy with some of the social policies the Party took before he died. A Republican friend of mine says “I’m a Jeffersonian Republican. I believe in states’ rights.” She, however, is not fond of the Party’s stances on such things as gay marriage and abortion. As a former registered Libertarian myself, I can’t imagine many of the Libertarians I know would agree with Ron Paul’s stance on abortion.

      You make a fundamental mistake when you assume all liberals hold identical views. Just as all Republicans and Libertarians aren’t identical in their beliefs. I once had another delegate yell at me on the floor of the state Democratic Party convention. He said Democrats like me who backed abortion rights, were the reason the Party was in decline. I don’t know a lot of Democrats who would agree with him. But I’ll bet he wasn’t alone. On the other hand, I know many Republicans who are for small government and fiscal restraint and are absolutely turned off by the Party’s views on social issues. Howard Dean is a Democrat who also believes in fiscal restraint. He just happens to disagree with Republicans on what the government should spend on. He actually argued for the sequester because he felt it was our best chance to cut Pentagon spending.

      I have to say that’s one spending cut I could also absolutely get behind. Subsidies to huge and hugely profitable corporate agribusiness and oil companies would be another. But, again, Democrats (and I am currently a registered Democrat) are not against all spending cuts. We do, however, disagree with many Republicans about what should be cut. Again, not all Republicans. I’ll bet my friend would also agree with me that we should cut Pentagon spending and corporate subsidies.

      The point is that by insisting that all Republicans MUST agree with the most conservative positions on social issues, the Party is turning off many moderate Republicans, Libertarians (who–Ron Paul excepted–don’t believe it’s any of the government’s business what they do in their private lives), and independents. If that’s what you want, then by all means go right ahead and espouse your conservative orthodoxy. It’s no skin off my nose. But it does leave many less conservative voters with little choice but to vote for moderate Democrats like Obama. And, yes, I do consider him a moderate. He gives liberal speeches sometimes. But he has governed as a moderate.

  14. avatar chuckmcfadden says:

    Ernie, are you paying attention? You have a compatriot here in Spike. You can comfort one another as your party’s fortunes ebb away.

    • avatar Spike says:

      Our Party’s fortunes are ebbing, at the same time that our Country’s fortunes are ebbing?

      Coinkydink?

  15. avatar Noozeyeguy says:

    Spike: You’re conflating a moderate-conservative stance with bespoke liberalism. To quote:

    “Our Party has a Conservative wing, and a Moderate(Liberal) wing. That’s all good. We’ve maintained a set of values, that has set us apart from our brethren in the Democratic Party.”

    What you’re doing there is trying to establish a new baseline for conservatism by sliding the scale leftward. The problem is that in so doing, you’re necessarily placing a lot of self-identified conservatives (myself included) in “liberal” territory. This is having several negative effects on the GOP, not the least of which is that the core of self-identifying Republicans has dropped below a third of voter registrations in California. You cannot win elections by alienating two-thirds of the electorate. The CRP recognizes this, and is (belatedly) beginning to address it. Racial, economic, and age-group demographics are not favorable to the Republican party as presently constituted. Simply put, the core of the GOP is dying off. Continued insistence on rigid ideological purity will only hasten that eventuality. Everything else is merely rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  16. avatar chuckmcfadden says:

    Spike, put simply, the problem Republicans have is that most people don’t agree with the party’s positions. The polls, for instance, show a gradual shifting of public opinion in favor of gay marriage. It has been repeated over and over again — because it’s true — that Republicans are becoming a party of old, white men living in a few places throughout inland California. That doesn’t win elections. Either the party changes some of its bedrock positions — something you oppose — or it continues to lose. To say that Whitman lost in 2010 because she was not sufficiently aligned with the Tea Party is not accurate, as even the most cursory analysis of the 2010 returns will show. Now, I understand your valid contention that moving the Republican Party toward positions more in line with what the great majority of the electorate believes will cause great unhappiness among the most conservative members, but what else are you to do? You are assuredly not going to win by hewing to a rigid far-right stance, as you seem to advocate. You could, however, have some chance of success in making it a back-and-forth among the parties about what is good and not good for bidness, as it was back in the 70′s.

    And, by the way, as to your crack about going slowly because comprehension is not a liberal strong suit, let me refer you to John Stuart Mills, who by all accounts was a pretty smart fella. He said: “It is not true that all conservatives are stupid; it is true, however, that all stupid people are conservative.”

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