Are Republicans sinking their own Ship?

Over the weekend California Republican Party leadership and activists met to discuss (among other things) whether or not to revoke the Party’s endorsement of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who is seeking re-election this year. But the sad fact is that no matter what they decide, we (the GOP) will end up looking stupid.

The CRP broke with a long standing tradition of not endorsing in GOP primaries when it voted to endorse the re-election of Governor Schwarzenegger more than a year before the campaign was to begin. Many warned against doing such, pointing out that there is no way to know what may happen in the next year that could impact the election. But there are those in our party who believe that winning is more important than sticking to our principles.

As those who champion victory over values gain traction in the Republican Party, this lose-lose scenario that now faces our party will prove to be the tip of the iceberg.

My buddy Eric Hogue articulated their argument best in a recent blog post:

I’d love to be able to say that a 100% conservative candidate can win a statewide election in California, but it is just not true. This state is 35% social liberals, and 35% social moderate…conservatives ‘might’ have a voting base 30% – maybe.

Eric goes on to point out that State Senator Tom McKlintock couldn’t win in his 2000 race for state controller because he is too conservative and could not raise enough money. But Eric ignores the fact that Tom got more votes than any other statewide GOP candidate that year; including President Bush who’s campaign was headed by libersal GOPer’s like Gerald Parskey. In addition, McKlintock came within a few thousand votes of winning despite getting no financial support from the party.

That’s right buddy… it is moderates like the New Majority and the business community who now control the purse strings in the GOP that are most responsible for the narrow defeats of conservative candidates and causes. These are the folks who refused to put one cent into the campaign of a man who could have been the only Republican elected to statewide office in California; those like RINO rising star, Seve Poizner who instead of supporting a conservative Republican, gave money to Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry. These are the same folks who refused to support a common sense initiative like Prop. 73 and left it to languish with only $250,000 to run a statewide media campaign.

I have stated numerous times that conservatives and moderates have to learn to get along if we are to win in California. In June, we will hold a primary election to determine what candidates will represent our party in the November general election. And who ever that candidate is; Moderate or Conservative we should support them…. as long as they can be convicted of being a Republican.

However, the inference by many in our party is that conservatives must support moderates, but, moderates do not have to support conservatives. And that we conservatives are supposed to sit down and shut up while liberals, calling themselves conservatives support policies that undermine the very core of our conservative values. I DON’T THINK SO!

Anyone who would sell out their principles in order to obtain power will eventually go even further to maintain that power. Thus, conservatives not only have a right, but a responsibility to stand up and speak out. As the conscience of the GOP, we must stand firm in supporting the principles upon which our party and our nation were founded.

Unfortunately though, removing the endorsement of the Governor won’t fix the mess that has been created by liberal republicans and “sell out for a win” conservatives. While it would serve as a nice moral victory, it would in fact hand the Governor’s office over to the most liberal, tax and spend, anti-God factions of our state. No matter how conservatives may feel about he current administration, this nightmare scenario should frighten them into rethinking their strategy.

Actually, Eric does offer a much better approach:

If you’re mad at Arnold, then the GOP should release (in writing) its determined platform, and its criticisms of the governor’s new direction – not the governor. Offer a press brigade against his direction, but don’t remove the endorsement and offer another candidate, it will kill the party for the future.
If we want the Gov to STOP nominating liberal, Democrat judges, state such. If we want him to remove Susan Kennedy, state such as a party. If we are upset over the increase in borrowing and the hike in minimum wage rates, state such AS A PARTY…LOUDLY…
I would encourage the CRP and the Governor’s campaign to wake up to the reality that they cannot win without conservatives. And whether they want to believe it or not, many conservative voters will stay home if they believe that their choices boil down to a liberal with a “D” after his name versus a liberal with an “R” after his name.

Craig DeLuz

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www.craigdeluz.com