There’s no doubt about it, if you’re a Progressive, Liberal or a Democrat, or just plain left of center, you have to be happy about the outcome of Tuesday’s elections. For the fifth time in six presidential elections, the Democratic candidate won the popular vote for president. Democrats increased their advantage in the Senate and added more women to the Senate without needing a binder to do so. We gained some ground in Congress too and got rid of two of the worst Tea party Congressmen out there. California increased the number of Democrats in the state’s Congressional delegation.
In the state, Prop 30 passed, Prop 32 failed, and Democrats are poised to take super majorities in the Assembly and the Senate; for those state legislative Republicans who routinely blackmailed the state, good luck stopping us now.
The best Republicans could hope for locally was a shift in majority on the Irvine City Council, and a sweep of right wing nutjobs on the Tustin City Council. Costa Mesa was very much a split decision and we’re still holding out hope that Jan Flory can overcome Travis Kiger’s tiny lead in Fullerton. The OC Register’s track record on endorsements was 50-50 at best.
And Republicans can cheer OC Weekly’s arrival as the new darling of conservative media in OC. For an alternative weekly that generally should fit the model of liberal media bias, the Weekly joins the Register’s opinion section with outright direct support for conservative politicians all over the county but without the subtlety of Grand Avenue. And sorry boys, that’s what I’m hearing from my multiple Republican friends who are gloating to me about the Irvine elections. I have the emails to prove it. Thom Hartman often says Libertarians are conservatives who want to patronize prostitutes and smoke weed legally; sounds like the market the Weekly is catering to these days.
Now that Brian Calle has taken over the Register’s editorial desk (spoiler alert: big business=good, unions =bad), we’re sort of it when it comes to left-wing media in OC unless you subscribe to Rolling Stone.
There are multiple articles online of Republicans blaming Romney for being too moderate and/or not conservative enough. There are calls to fire the head of the RNC, Karl Rove and any conservative who had a hang in the election day debacle. Even conservative media is being hammered for lying to their audience about what the situation really was instead of painting a rosy prediction of a Romney presidency.
Since the local paper has two positions, right and far right, I’ll turn to the LA Times where George Skelton predicts the demise of the state GOP altogether and Steve Lopez offered advice for the GOP on getting their Mojo back.
From Lopez’s columm, this excerpt:
Your first option is to cut and run. Frankly, I regularly hear from Republicans who so despise California and everything it stands for, I’m surprised they keep subjecting themselves to so much misery. Wouldn’t it be better to sell everything, pack up the station wagon and move to Georgia or Kentucky? They think, act and vote red in those states, and they probably hate California at least as much as you do.
But here’s another option. You could sit tight here in the Golden State, wait for the Democrats to screw things up in Sacramento even more than they already have, and then raise your hand when the situation cries out for the voice of fiscal prudence.
The first thing you’re going to have to do, though, is remake the GOP. And by that I mean that you have to get rid of the Neanderthals who dominate the party. Then you need to start grooming and promoting some common-sense fiscal moderates, provided you can locate any.
What do I mean by that?
If someone believes Barack Obama is a socialist, Communist, Marxist, Muslim, radical, black liberation theologian, non-citizen, illegitimate president or Manchurian Candidate, forget about him. He may have a shot at a career in talk radio, but he’s not going to make it in California politics.
And you’re not going to breathe new life into the GOP with someone who believes the answer to the state’s problems is to deport a couple million Latinos, unless they’re working in the garden at extremely low rates.
You should also nix anyone who believes that gay people have chosen a “lifestyle” in the way they might choose toothpaste or a pair of shoes, and can be “converted” with enough hard work and Bible study.
I’m not exactly begging, GOP, but your state needs you. As your new consultant, let me say that there’s only one way to get back into the game at some point in the future: You have to look to the past.
Your hero should be Earl Warren, not Howard Jarvis. The three-time Republican governor of California raised gas taxes to build highways, he put veterans to work on public works projects and helped grow the state’s higher education system.
Or you could look to the guy who raised taxes in tough times and signed an abortion rights bill as governor, then amnestied illegal immigrants and nearly tripled the national debt as president.
What was his name?
Think about it, GOP. You’ve marched so far to the right, you practically make your party’s conservative icon look like a card-carrying liberal.
Splash a little cold water on your face, remind yourself that the year is 2012, and give moderation a try.
I had to laugh at the last part. The last time I spoke with Flash Report publisher Jon Fleischman, he was on a mission to rid the California GOP of every moderate Republican. Thanks for doing our job for us Jon.
Skelton was even more biting in his column:
The shame for Republicans is that they could have helped Democrats pass similar tax measures in the Legislature and, in turn, won major concessions. Most important for their allies in business, they probably could have gained relief from a thicket of stifling environmental regulations. They also could have owned public pension reform and, perhaps, passed a meaningful state spending cap.
Republicans claim Brown wouldn’t buck labor opposition to reforms. The governor counters that skittish Republicans never would pinpoint a concession they’d accept in trade for their tax votes.
Whatever, it’s opportunity lost. Those days of GOP bargaining leverage are history.
And when business interests and conservatives complain about liberal domination of the Legislature and labor buying votes, they should blame Republicans. They’re supposed to provide the opposition. But they’ve allowed themselves to become so weak they’re helpless.
Here’s the numerical problem: Latinos’ portion of the California electorate increased to 22% last week, up from 18% in 2008, according to an Associated Press exit poll. The percentage of voters under 30 rose to 27%, up from 20%.
Republican tacticians working on election campaigns had theorized that Latinos and young people wouldn’t turn out. “Their whole strategy was ‘Please stay home,’ ” says Allan Hoffenblum, a former GOP consultant who publishes the California Target Book, a handicapper of legislative and congressional races.
Hoffenblum adds: “This state is too large and too diverse to be governed by one party. Either the Republican Party will become a true political force again or something else will replace it.”
Tony Quinn, a Republican political analyst, denounces “the anti-tax zealots who for years have been tail-wagging the old flea-bitten Republican dog. Well, now, there is no dog; only fleas.”
Veteran Republican strategist Marty Wilson, a California Chamber of Commerce vice president, echoes the widespread theme that GOP candidates must stop scaring and insulting Latinos with their harsh “illegal alien” rhetoric.
“We sound like the group that wants to send their grandmother back across the border,” Wilson says. “It’s killing us in California.”