Friday, November 26, 2010

Move Left

The election results in California are at last final, and it was a complete disaster for the Republicans. They lost every single state-wide office and even lost a seat in the state legislature. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that yet one more post mortem has appeared.

This one was written by two of the contributors at Cal Buzz, Phil Trounstine and Jerry Roberts and they have some advice to the state Republican Party on how to get back on track in this traditionally blue state.

First, their assessment of the November 2 debacle:

The state's Republicans are now so trapped in their ideological hall of mirrors that they have become a distorted caricature of themselves. The midterm election demonstrated that they utterly fail to reflect the impulses of the vast majority of California voters, who tend toward fiscal conservatism and social moderation. ...

The party's fixation on opposing everything the Democrats propose is hurting Republicans more than it is their opponents. ...

Republicans don't have to continually serve the interests of the wealthiest 2% of California families; they can focus also on the struggling middle class. And they need to remember that California is not Kentucky or Alaska or any other state where the so-called tea party is a big deal. In California, tea party ideology has little appeal to the vast majority of voters.

I'm not so sure most California voters are fiscally conservative, but I do think they are at the very least socially moderate, and I think Trounstine and Roberts have done a pretty good job in diagnosing just what went wrong in the election. What surprised me is the antidote prescribed for the ailment. Here are a few of the suggestions offered to cure what ails the state GOP:

A change of position on providing a path to citizenship. ...

Getting on board with green jobs and environmental conservation. By arguing that people must pick between the environment and economic development, Republicans are creating a false choice. And voters know it. ...

Changing the party's stance on abortion. There's a way to move to the center on this issue. The party could support a woman's right to choose in line with Roe vs. Wade without endorsing or even supporting abortion. ...

Although this sounds like reprise of George W. Bush's "Compassionate Conservatism," it actually is a bit more grounded in reality. What Messrs Trounstine and Roberts are suggesting is that the state GOP move away from the far, far right and move to the left a little.

Why am I providing a platform for healing the Republican Party? Simple, this is the same prescription I would issue for the state and national Democratic Party: move away from the conservative wing of the party and take some giant steps to the left.

Each one of the suggestions offered by Tournstine and Roberts should also be heeded by Democrats. It's no accident that many of the Democrats ousted on the national level were conservative Blue Dog or DLC types. They were "Republican-lite", and they didn't have much of a chance when real conservatives (however wacky) showed up to oppose them. They lost because real Democrats weren't enthused enough this time around to show up and hold their noses when voting. They didn't bother.

I firmly believe that when we groom and develop real Democrats, those in the tradition of Roosevelt and Kennedy, we'll do better, and so will the rest of the country. That will only happen when our candidates and our party moves away from the corporatists and imperialists and towards the people.

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Anonymous Jamie said...

Are the fruits of the fatally flawed Ca budgetary process finally coming ripe?

12:41 PM  

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