UPDATE: the California Republican Party chairman Tom Del Beccaro has posted a statement on the www.Politico.com Facebook page in response to the New York Times article. He writes “The New York Times piece is grossly inaccurate. It reads like someone who wrote it by doing minimal surface research and calling the usual suspects/detractors.” He also sees hope in the November 2012 elections: “This November, Prop 32 could well pass bring reforms to our system including barring direct contributions from corporations and unions and paycheck protection. When that passes, California will have a more level playing field, Republicans will have a new day and be rather competitive statewide.”
Remember this old slogan of Huntington Learning Center from the late 1980s and early 1990s: “Is Your Child Caught in a Failure Chain?”
I always snickered when I heard or saw those advertisements.
An article in the January 23, 2012 New York Times (“In Ads, Learning Problems Get a ‘Solution’“) reported that the company has “rebranded” its advertising to be more upbeat and positive. According to the article, “Huntington’s spots became known for their stern, stentorian approach and just-the-facts style, in depicting conflicts between parents and children over bad grades and poor performance in school.”
Maybe Huntington Learning Center (now Huntington Your Tutoring Solution) has abandoned the stern, stentorian approach and a depiction of conflicts over poor performance, but the New York Times finds such an approach to be still appropriate when reporting on the California Republican Party. And I’m sure smug urban liberal educated New York Times readers are snickering as they read the July 22, 2012 article “Republican Party in California Is Caught in Cycle of Decline.”
I agree with the general theme of the article, that the California Republican Party should be thriving as the Democrats drive the state into economic oblivion, but instead it is “caught in a cycle of relentless decline, and appears in danger of shrinking to the rank of a minor party.”
Suggested reasons for the Republican Party decline in California include the usual suspects: not supporting government benefits for illegal immigrants, holding onto old-fashioned traditional positions on sexuality-related issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, and not supporting the environment, which I’m assuming refers to the Republican Party wanting to reform the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and voting against the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32).
In a shocking case of journalistic oversight, the article neglected to blame the California Republican Party’s decline on its opposition to further restrictions on gun ownership. How did that favorite Democrat talking point slip through the cracks?
The suggested solutions from people quoted in the article include abandoning ”ideology,” no longer being “doctrinaire,” being “welcoming of dissent,” and ceasing to resemble a “cult” that tries to punish “heretics.” Then perhaps the “changing electorate” might vote for a Republican sometimes.
This makes sense, since the California Democratic Party has been extremely successful through being very open-minded and tolerant, accepting a broad spectrum of ideological views and doctrines, and never imposing discipline on its elected officials when they don’t support the political agenda of unions and all the other leftist groups in the state that provide them with financial and organizational backing. (Ha – just joking, of course.)
Also, the article claims that the Republican decline began in 1994, when the California Republican Party and Republican Governor Pete Wilson supported Proposition 187, which cut off government benefits in certain circumstances to illegal immigrants. Allegedly this ballot measure offended so many Californians that only old white people wanted to vote for a Republican again.
Strangely, California voters enacted Proposition 187 in 1994 despite being offended by it. And California voters also enacted Proposition 8 in November 2008 to prohibit same-sex marriage, even as Democrat candidates experienced huge election victories at all levels of government. How does this agree with the theories cited for Republican decline in California?
The article doesn’t mention unions at all. That in itself indicates to me that the article may not be on the right track.
WHO HAS REAL, ACHIEVABLE, CONCRETE SOLUTIONS?
In an upcoming post, I will outline a detailed strategic long-term plan to reverse course and advance economic and personal freedom in California. The plan will provide numerous roles and opportunities for ordinary, average Californians who see the problems in this state but don’t see any alternatives to an inevitable slide to bankruptcy.
I’ve been working on this project for many months and have a very different perspective from the conventional wisdom that has been bandied about by the news media for 15 years about the California Republican Party’s decline.
I won’t be directing my plan to the California Republican Party’s structural apparatus, which really doesn’t care what I think unless I can back up my ideas with a lot of money donated to the Republican Party and its various committees and candidates. Ironically, that relentless obession with money as the silver bullet/easy solution is one of the biggest reasons for the decline of the California Republican Party.
Intellectual ideas are the foundation for a successful and enduring political party. Money is simply a tool for the party to achieve goals that are part of a mission, all in pursuit of a vision. “Raising more money for campaigns” is not a vision that can change the future of the State of California, despite the impression one gets from many prominent leaders of the Republican political establishment.