I really wished that this guy, Tom Del Beccaro, had been the chair of the California Republican party during this past election season.
Mr. Del Beccaro (yes, I know, I misspelled his name is the previous post-sorry :-( !) in this last of a three-part series hits it on how the CRP needs to maximize it status as a minority party and that the effort is a long one.
Mr. Del Beccaro states the obvious. That it will not happen overnight. It may not happen in one or three election cycles. But, we do have opportunities to highlight issues that we as conservatives and Republicans can win on.
It is clear that while California voters punished the CRP in the past election, the ideas that are the heart of the party were endorsed on the innititive side.
As I noted in this post, all tax and or fee hikes were rejected by California voters. Even the attempt to legalize marijuana lost. And a proposition that did one bad thing was sold as anti-politician and did win. In other words, in a strange way, the CRP won on the issues, but lost all over the place.
The primary reason I firmly believe that the CRP sucked at all levels is two-fold.
One, voters gave Gov. Benedict Arnold an unceremonious goodbye. No, they could not vote him out. But he so damaged the Republican label that voters took it out on the candidates. And speaking of candidates, the one at the top, Meg Whitman, took the whole ticket down with her.
Peter Foy, a Ventura county supervisor explains it here. Yeah, Mrs. Whitman won the Republican nomination. But she never really got the activists over on her side. And because she did a lot of maneuvering and dancing. And of course, there is the little Nicky Diaz matter. All together, it led to the worst showing for the CRP in decades.
So, let us put that behind us for now.
The issues on are the CRP side.
Later in the column, Mr Del Beccaro writes what I have said for eons. Per Mr. Del Beccaro:
By now we should know that, for the Democrats and their allies on the Left, politics is a full time endeavor. Indeed, the Left and their politicians have made more than a living by exaggerating the problems of the private sector and the free market and then pushing supposedly corresponding government responses – every day of every year.
Right on, Tom!
Until we realize that we have to play like the left, we will always be at a disadvantage. There can not be summer vacations in August. Winter breaks around the Christmas season. It has to be hand-to-hand combat every day. Just like the left.
Mr. Del Beccaro notes that the CRP is not doing a good job in defining issues. In other words, and this is what happened to Mrs. Whitman, the media and the Democrats defined the issues. The CRP and allies need to play ahead of that curve. Again, the intuitive process is one way to go being the minority party and shut out, essentially, in the state legislature. And, as I noted, we conservative and Republicans need to go anywhere and everywhere. Dammit, I will not believe that we have to keep ceding whole areas of the state because we have not won elections there. We have to try. And try hard.
And yes, Mr. Del Beccaro deals with the fact that the way the CRP is, or is not, dealing with illegal immigration is hurting the party. Like it or not, there are other issues that conservative Republicans and many Hispanics agree on. But if we just focus on illegal immigration, it does make some wonder if the CRP really wants to build a relationship with like-minded Hispanics. And, despite what many in the leftywhore media and the Democrat party want you to believe, many Hispanics support securing our borders before anything is done on any reform of immigration.
I like the way Mr. Del Beccaro frames the issue. And, it is not just in relation to Hispanics but Blacks, Asians, and others:
There simply are a host of issues upon which Republicans should be building bridges, using a more diverse set of messengers and candidates. We must understand, however, that that effort will take time and cannot be confined to an election cycle. Quite simply, voters often don’t care what you know until they know that you care – and that takes showing up in their communities instead of leaving the microphone to the Democrats. By demonstrating their concern about those issues and by providing practical solutions, over time, Republicans can build trust and bring California together even while working on tough problems. Without bringing us together, however, trust among those communities we have failed to reach for so long will remain a bridge too far.
Remember, building bridges does not mean abandoning principles. Something the moderate wing of the CRP does not get.
One thing that I believe will help is getting CRP people out there on all media possible.
Another is that some people who are comfortable in an office should think about making a run for another.
For instance, Sen. Dianne Feinstein's senate term will be up in 2012. I can think of three good potential candidates in congress that would be great against Sen. Feinstein.
One is David Dreier. He has been in the House a long time. And has been mentioned as a senate candidate for eons. He is a solid conservative. He is constantly on all kinds of programs, talk radio, any media he can. People know of him all across the state. I hope that he considers making the effort. Another is Mary Bono Mack. She has a more moderate record than Mr. Dreier. But she has a solid record on the center-right and has been winning tough election campaigns for the past three cycles. And there is my personal fav, Tom McClintock. He was Rand Paul before it was cool to be Rand Paul. He has been railing against big government in the state legislature and now in the halls of congress. I hope that he considers that as well.
The work ahead for the CRP will be long and arduous, but Tom Del Beccaro will be a great CRP chair and is committed to building up the party at all levels. And that will be the only way to win elections in California.