To the editor: I found it highly astonishing that, given the tone in which Brian O'Leary Bennett wrote his op-ed article on modernizing the state GOP, he has been a conservative Republican Party activist for nearly 40 years. ("California Republicans -- evolve or die," op-ed, Feb. 25)
Bennett spoke of the need for Republicans in California to "lead their own evolution." Given the political flavor of his piece, I feel that Bennett could easily achieve his own "evolution" by merely replacing his worn out, thread-bare red suit with a brand new, shiny blue one.
Richard Smith, Huntington Beach
To the editor: Bennett makes a strong argument for bringing the GOP out of its irrelevant status. He forgets one thing in his push to re-Reaganize the state: Reagan wrecked California's leading system of education.
Schools became perennially underfunded, and the University of California and California State University systems began their decline from institutions that once provided a world-class education nearly free of charge to ones that require students to pay high in-state fees.
This is nothing to be proud of.
Peter Rutenberg, Westwood
To the editor: I couldn't help noting that Bennett doesn't say a word about human-caused climate change but attacks former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who courageously stood up to deniers in his party and fought aggressively for strong action to reduce carbon pollution.
By calling Schwarzenegger a "faux-GOP anomaly" who presided over a "failed, over-regulating administration," Bennett is only furthering his party's problem.
In fact, Schwarzenegger is the model the California GOP needs to follow. He didn't deny science, demonize those who recognized the economic threat climate change poses or shrink in the face of rhetorical attacks from those aligned with Big Oil.
California Republicans should live up to his legacy by embracing market-based efforts to limit carbon emissions.
D.R. Tucker, Brockton, Mass.