Conservative Thoughts on the State of Liberals
Re “State Republicans See Light in 2006,” by Shawn Steel, Commentary, Nov. 8: It is clear that Steel’s Republican fantasy is out of step with the pulse of California politics. The election proved what many have already been saying: California is a liberal state. If anything, the results of a Democratic sweep prove that Democrats want and need an opposition party -- a party with clear distinctions and leaders who have convictions.
I’m euphoric about the general election but profoundly ashamed of California. It’s as if San Francisco sprang a leak and poisoned the rest of the state. Friends of mine from elsewhere suggest that even living and paying taxes in California is counterproductive, but there must be hope for a state that gave us the likes of Ronald Reagan. So I guess it’s better to hang around and try to change things. Besides, I like the climate.
As a lifelong Republican, I did not know whether to laugh or cry after reading Steel’s commentary. Talk about denial.
In an election with record low turnout (which always favors Republicans) and a Republican juggernaut in the rest of the United States, California Republicans lost badly in every statewide race and reduced their representation in our congressional delegation. Many competent Republican challengers once again went down to defeat.
Somehow the California Republican Party leadership cannot seem to understand that winning elections -- not conservative ideological purity -- is the key to political power. Unless the party reaches out more effectively to women and minorities and broadens its statewide base of support, it is doomed to irrelevant status in this state. The only way California Republicans will fare better in 2004 or 2006 is with an immediate change in leadership.
Walter B. Rose
I had to chuckle when Louis Packer (letters, Nov. 7), a self-proclaimed “lifelong Democrat,” lamented that, “As usual, the California Republican Party decided it would rather be ‘right’ than victorious.” It’s called principle. This lifelong Republican wouldn’t have it any other way.