In preparation for the statewide convention of the California Republican Party this weekend, the Calbuzz Department of Process, Rules and Schadenfreude has been in secret discussions with apparatchiks who are cooking up what you might call your Soviet Rule – whereby the GOP Politburo determines who’s pure enough to get the party imprimatur in a top-two primary.
The idea is to ensure that before actual voters decide which candidates they want to consider in a November run-off election, the most conservative activists in the California GOP will meet and determine who the “actual” Republican in the race is, so that no polluted candidate can lay claim to the party label.
We’ve also taken a look at the GOP Alien and Sedition Act proposed by the cave-dwelling California Republican Assembly, which would expel any GOP legislators who vote to put Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax extension on the June ballot.
The proposed resolution (and we quote) “censures these traitorous Republicans-in-Name-Only, ask(s) for their resignation(s) from their positions within the California Republican Party, pledges to endorse and support efforts to recall them from office, and directs the California Republican Party staff, agents and officers to refuse to provide them with funding or assistance in future elections.”
As if the CRP had any money or assistance to give.
In the words of Jim Brulte, the former legislative leader and perhaps the smartest GOP thinker in the state: “If the California Republican Party spent half as much time trying to elect Republicans in November as they do trying to purify the party in June, we’d have a lot more elected Republicans.”
But the true believers would rather have 20% of the Legislature populated by purist ideologues than have 50% and a healthy dose of diverse thinking.
The Democrats also have a system for endorsing candidates that was adopted before the top-two primary was approved by the voters. But in cases where there are open seats and several candidates, the party seldom endorses because the threshold is so high. And when it does, whoever wins the primary – endorsed or not — is automatically the party’s nominee. How that will work in a top-two primary remains to be determined: maybe the Dems will come up with a similar system of purging one of their own, too.
But for now, it’s the upcoming Republican convention that’s at hand and it looks like it’s going to be a warriors’ weekend. There’s even a proposal on the table to ensure than any incumbent legislator is automatically endorsed by the party – even though those legislators may be running in different districts after the citizens’ reapportionment is completed.
Comrade Jon “Josef” Fleischman explained why the Reeps are so stirred up: “The idea is that unless the Republican Party is behind someone, we might not have a candidate in the top two.”
But what if the voters in a district opt for the non-endorsed, unpure (perhaps even –gasp – a moderate) Republican as one of their top-two choices? How will the Politburo react? Just because a candidate says he or she is a Republican doesn’t necessarily mean the party considers him or her an actual Republican. What if it’s a pro-choice Republican? Or a Republican opposed to offshore oil drilling? Or – OMG – a RINO who voted to put Brown’s tax measure on the ballot?
That’s where Celeste Greig’s grand ole’ CRA resolution comes to the rescue – with a Great Purge, cleansing the party of unclean, odious moderates, seeking to make sure cats don’t mix with dogs, that people can’t marry chickens and that marginal tax rates aren’t treated like bad cheese.
How else to ensure a robust, thriving and united party? How else to stamp out democratic centralism? How else to eliminate those Trotskyites lurking in secret cells in Anaheim, Redlands or Redding? Give ‘em the axe, the axe, the axe, we say.
This is why we love covering politics: because just when you think things can’t get more bizarre, some party chairman invites some dog-ass ideologue to debate the governor whose spokesman, appropriately, offers up an actual dog as a surrogate. Or the last remnants of a dying party apparatus sponsor resolutions and rule changes designed to narrow their party even further.
We should have to pay to cover this stuff. Oh wait, we already do.