For several weeks now, I’ve been hearing rumors that there was something in California called a “Republican Party” with elected officials and stuff.
But I dismissed all those rumors as crazy talk, because it has been years and years since any actual Republican has won any important election in California. Somebody told me that Maria Shriver’s ex-husband once claimed to be a Republican, but I never believed a word that guy said (and as it turned out, Maria shouldn’t have believed him either).
Imagine my surprise, then, when my buddy Joe Fein in L.A. wrote a blog post saying that not only is there a “Republican Party” in California, but they’re having what they call a “state convention.” I figured this meant that three or four guys were getting together in the corner booth at a diner on Wilshire Boulevard or something, but Joe has some pictures and at least one of them shows what appear to be at least half a dozen people in what looks like a hotel lobby.
Joe also has pictures of what he calls the “media department” of this alleged California GOP — I dunno, to me it looks like a dude with a laptop – and also a photo of a chick in front of a “Rick Perry for President” sign. Rick Perry probably heard the rumors, too, and figured what the heck, if they say they’re having a convention, might as well send a chick with a sign.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Sarcasm alert! Someone has told RS McCain that there is a California GOP and that they are holding a convention down in SoCal
More at the link. Underneath the sarcasm is a serious point: the CA GOP is a rump party because it does not act like a political party. Instead, it acts like a party-party, meaning a party to which only insiders are admitted. And when they are admitted, the insiders do things like piss away a once in a lifetime recall election on a "moderate" who turned out to prove the rule that moderates are just liberals who don't want to admit their real political affiliations.
There are California Republicans. Heck, there have been some vigorous Tea Parties here in the Bay Area, including in SF and Oakland. And, most Californians aren't really progressive or even particularly liberal; they're apathetic. But, I've never been aware of much in the way of any effort to communicate with these folks. I mean, when you go through the trouble of nominating a well known CEO of a world famous internet company to run against Jerry Brown, and her campaign is derailed without much effort by Gloria Allred and an illegal alien maid, we've got a real failure to communicate on our hands.
The basic problem with the CA GOP (the organization) is not just a failure of leadership or GOTV efforts. It's a failure to connect with the people who - against all odds - actually vote Republican in California. It's really not hard to find us. With a little effort, we even manage to find one another. And Californians are ripe for a vigorous conservative message. That was the marvel of the recall election of 2003. There was an energy around the GOP back then that was palpable. And the party elders frittered it away. Given California's present pathetic state, it shouldn't be that hard to do it again, but only if you are willing to try.