Saturday, November 24, 2012

So, How Do California Republicans Stay Principled AND Reach New Voters?

It is a truly pressing question for a state party that did take a serious beating in the just concluded presidential campaign.
Of course, our "friends" at the Left Angeles Times does run this article that of course blames all the losses on. . .wait for it. . .the conservative wing of the party.
Well, the reality is that while the Republican party in California is smaller in numerous ways, it was the conservatives that had the numbers and more or less won their races.
Moderate Republicans lost to Democrats all over the state.
Leading your humble blogger to note a true rule of politics.
When a race is between a Democrat and a moderate Republican, voters go with the real deal, a Democrat. As much as one may berate voters, what they do see is that if they have a choice, then they will go with the real deal rather than a pandering Republican.
So, in the article, it quotes one of those moderates, Rob Stutzman as saying this gem:

"For the business community, there is a recognition that the best path forward for the state from a governance perspective is with moderate Democrats."

Oh, and Mr. Stutzman was doing consulting as a Republican for the California Chamber of Commerce and advising on candidates to back.
Mr. Stutzman was also one of Gov. Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger's leading advisers.
So, one has to wonder who Mr. Stutzman advised the CCoC who to back in the just concluded election.
And in the same article, it cites these moderates of breaking with the party to support the massive tax hikes proposed by that paragon of moderation, Gov. Benedict Arnold, in 2009 that was just supposed to solve our state budget deficit.
And what happened to these people?
Two were ousted form leadership and eventually are out of office and one was almost recalled.
Again, I refer you to the rule I cited earlier.
One person in the article that actually made some sense is the former Republican leader in the state senate, Jim Brulte.
It appears that he wants to run for state GOP chair.
And he is stating the obvious.

"Demographics do not have to be destiny," Brulte said. "But if Republicans don't do a better job of reaching out to all Californians, they are going to be."

He is correct.
But the key is how to reach out to these voters. Do Cali GOPers just shed any principles and run as Demo lite? Or do they reach out to these voters with a compelling, conservative message that at the same time does not make them feel inferior?
Of course it is go for the latter.
And I would recommend that if Mr. Brulte is serious, he should read this awesome piece from Rachel Campos-Duffy in the American Spectator. As a second-generation Mexican American, she has an insight that most of us non-Hispanics do not have.
And the reality is that Republicans are not going to get the majority of Hispanics or Asians in the next election. If at all in the next several election cycles. But it is important to be totally competitive in these communities. It will be through that consistency that the numbers will really change. And the Cali GOP can start rebuilding both with outreach and principles.
One area that Mr. Brulte should take to heart if he cares to read Mrs. Campos-Duffy is the following from her article:

For too long, the party’s strategy has been to hire a few Beltway conservative Latinos six months before an election and call it “outreach.” What’s needed is permanent outreach at the grassroots levels between elections. Conservative Hispanic activists on the ground know that the GOP needs to take a few cues from successful groups like the far-left La Raza, which has made its mark by bringing public policy to the neighborhood level.

Yes, Mrs. Campos-Duffy is totally spot-on. Especially her point about carrying outreach between elections.
As an pseudo-Anglo who has lived among Hispanics all my life, I know that for sure there is a lot of work to do. Many Hispanics and now Asians will just not think about the R-word because of some pre-conceived ideas. And of course there will be those that think we can not reach out to certain voters because all they want is their snout into the government trough. Again that is not true and they just need to be sought not just because they are Hispanic and or Asian. It is because they are but another part of the American dream and could be Republicans if only they were sought after.
The really frightening aspect of the obliteration the Cali GOP took is the reaction of people like this dude, Mike Madrid, a supposed Republican consultant:

"It will be easier to moderate the Democratic Party than to fix the California Republican Party."

Good Lord, insert laugh track here, please!
The Democrat party is so dominated by the lefties from Los Angeles county and the Bay Area that if one followed Mr. Madrid's "logic", he would be inviting the kind of lefty rage that conservatives had in cutting a deal to raises taxes under Gov. Benedict Arnold.
What needs to be done is someone who is a conservative that can follow a game plan to contest not only every part of this state, but for those votes that the Democrats take for granted. Like Hispanics and Asians. And remember it will not be done overnight. It is part of a long-term strategy.
I am beginning to think that for the start of this task, Jim Brulte would be a good choice for Cali GOP
But the bottom line is that we cannot lose out principles in the process.
And that leads back to the question of how does the California Republican party do just that?

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