A Bold Idea for California’s GOP

After attempting to energize the grassroots back in January with mass emails declaring “President Trump Needs Your Help!,” and “President Donald Trump vs. 45 CA Democrats,” and “Trump wants to fix California’s homeless problem,” and “Will the Impeachment Sham Ever End?,” this month the California State Republican Party’s emails have a new focus. Instead of defending President Trump, they are attacking Governor Newsom.

Unfortunately, in both cases, this appeal to the grassroots rings hollow. Despite 4.7 million Californians voting for Trump in 2016, and despite the president retaining overwhelming popularity among California’s registered Republicans, the CAGOP establishment knows better than to spread a pro-Trump message to California’s wider electorate. They launched a targeted endorsement of Trump to their base that was designed more to raise money than to convey any sort of sincere appreciation for Trump. It was a hollow gesture, and the base knew it was a hollow gesture.

What the CAGOP leadership did, acting like they support Trump while being terrified of saying so to a broader audience of Californians, might be forgiven as simply an acknowledgement of political reality. That’s debatable, of course, if you believe, as the GOP base obviously does, that Trump’s policies matter more than his personality, and that on policy, Trump has been right again and again. Why not proclaim that, if that’s true? Why not own it? But in any case, Newsom is a completely different story. The CAGOP attacks on Newsom don’t have to ring hollow.

What Gavin Newsom increasingly represents […] Read More

A Vision for California’s Visionless Republican Party

About a month ago, the California Republican Party apparently harvested my email address, because since then I’ve been the lucky recipient of an email avalanche from “CAGOP.” Now, almost daily, their messages turn up in my in-box with subject lines such as “Are you as tired of Gavin Newsom as we are?,” “Are YOU watching this impeachment sham, Edward?,” “Nancy Pelosi continues to drag on the impeachment SHAM,” “Will the impeachment sham ever end?,” and “Nancy Pelosi is Obstructing the Senate.”

A few weeks ago they sent a “Sustaining Membership Statement” in the mail, complete with a “Member ID” and “Member Code,” and a “2020 Election Year Sustaining Membership Renewal, Requested Contribution” of, get this, either $290, $435, $580, or “other.” Check a box. Enclose a check. Huh? I’ve never been a “sustaining member” of the CAGOP. And what’s with the odd amounts of money? Did a focus group indicate that putting weird amounts into a letter would get our attention?

The letter, like the emails, was filled with short, single sentence paragraphs, liberally sprinkled with words written in all capital letters, or underlined, or in bold fonts. Written in a style that would not challenge the average third grader, all of them were designed to throw red meat at knee jerk paleo conservatives, but offered nothing in the way of a policy agenda. We push buttons. You give money. Me Tarzan.

This is condescending, hypocritical garbage, coming from party leadership that is ran by consulting firms whose mission is […] Read More