The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

California GOP: Falling Down

Posted on | March 19, 2011 | 10 Comments

“After LA lost the aerospace industry during the Clinton Administration, we lost a half million aerospace workers, voters and donors.”
former California GOP Chairman Shawn Steel

That quote reminded me of the 1993 movie Falling Down starring Michael Douglas as a laid-off Los Angeles aerospace engineer trying to make sense of a world falling apart. And it seems to me that the California Republican Party’s response to its 15-year decline has been scarcely less counter-productive than Douglas’s actions in that movie.

More from Joe Fein’s interview with Sean Steel:

The first question was: How to win Los Angeles in 2012?
Mr. Steel answered by saying, “The formula for winning Los Angeles is 60% Asian, 40% Latino and 55% Caucasians,” He continued, “When we battle, we [in RPLAC and CAGOP] must use the 40 – 55- 60 rule.”

Really? I mean, really? Instead of talking issues, message, organizing and campaign strategy, the first thing that pops into your mind when you’re asked about a plan for victory is demographics? And please explain how you think the GOP is going to get 60% of the Asian vote or 40% of the Hispanic vote when it can only get  55% of the white vote?

When I visited California I was struck by the fatalism of the state’s Republican officials, who simply write off most Democrat-held districts as unwinnable and passively accept the idea that huge swaths of the electorate are immune to GOP appeals.

Go read the rest of Joe’s coverage of this weekend’s California GOP convention. Maybe there’ll be some glimmer of hope.

Or else conservatives everywhere can get an object lesson in how not to run a Republican Party.


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