The Insanity of the California Grand Obstructionist Party

The California Republicans are holding their annual convention this weekend up in Sacramento at the non-union Hyatt where party activists were attending workshops on "understanding how to build our party" and "strengthening the Republican brand." Earlier this week, California lawmakers approved a budget that includes more than $12 billion in tax increases. Six, dare I say it, courageous, GOP lawmakers voted for the budget. But one man's courageous lawmaker is another man's rogue legislator. Via the San Francisco Chronicle:

A California Republican Party committee has voted to reprimand six GOP lawmakers who voted for a compromise budget plan that boosts taxes. The measure, which was endorsed Saturday during the party's spring meeting in Sacramento, also denies the lawmakers any financial support from the party during the 2010 elections.

Only one of the six lawmakers faces re-election then, freshman Assemblyman Anthony Adams of Hesperia. The others could suffer, however, if they run for other positions or seek a statewide office.

The rogue lawmakers supported a $42 billion budget package negotiated between GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders from both parties.

The party's vice-chairman for Southern California, John Fleischman, sponsored the resolution, which goes to a floor vote of the delegates on Sunday.

It's not for me to comment on the internal ruminations of the Grand Obstructionist Party of California, but if they want to commit political suicide, that's their business though I can only hope it is soon. I hate lingering political deaths. But I do question why the San Francisco Chronicle would refer to six GOP legislators who crossed the aisle as "rogue." And then I wondered if this committee would reprimand the Governor for signing the budget but apparently one GOP delegate, Alex Burrola, has a different idea that has to be read to be believed.

"Whereas, in 2003 a grassroots effort was begun to recall then-Governor Gray Davis from office on grounds which included gross mismanagement of the budget and finances of the State of California;

"...Whereas, candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger campaigned as a reformer and champion of fiscal discipline and responsibility who would bring change and reform to government which it sorely needed;

"Whereas, in the subsequent years Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has instead proven to govern as a tax and spend politician precisely similar to the one he campaigned to replace in the recall election;

"Whereas, the trust and confidence of Republicans has been betrayed and shattered by Governor Schwarzenegger's repeated and ongoing efforts to collaborate with Democrats in the Legislature to seek solutions to the state's fiscal crisis by irresponsible borrowing and increasing taxes and refusal to make the needed reductions in state spending;

"Whereas, Governor Schwarzenegger's current budget solution includes more than $14 billion in higher taxes on sales, income, gasoline and the car tax which he specifically attacked Governor Davis for raising;

"Whereas, it is plain that Governor Schwarzenegger has abandoned the most basic tenets of Republican ideology and rendered the whole purpose of the 2003 recall pointless;

"Therefore, be it resolved that the California Republican Party officially extends a heartfelt and sincere apology to former Governor Gray Davis for its role in recalling him from office."

An apology? As if that would make up for six years of insanity. Frankly, I like the mass suicide idea a whole lot more. Then again as Jaime Regalado, director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles notes "The party is at war between its most conservative flank and its moderate flank that is trying to come up for air." Maybe it's more like a murder-suicide pact instead.

Tags: California, GOP (all tags)



New party

If the GOP keeps this up, I think we will see the rise of a right wing populist party.

by bruh3 2009-02-21 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: New party

No doubt, it is a party at war with itself. Couldn't happen to nicer people.

by Charles Lemos 2009-02-21 05:29PM | 0 recs
Re: New party

That's not necessarily a good thing for Democrats. That means that there is a party that can appeal to the crazy right Social conservatives, and progressives who care more about economics than social issues. Right now the Dems are mostly center right of economics, and thus the door is open. It probably won't happen, but if it did, the Dems are screwed.

by bruh3 2009-02-21 05:57PM | 0 recs
Old party

I thought the Republicans were a right-wing populist party

by riboflavin 2009-02-21 06:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Old party

based on what?

by bruh3 2009-02-21 06:06PM | 0 recs
California GOP

America has Rush Limbaugh, we in California have John and Ken (plus the local talk shows in San Diego).  That's today's GOP.  There's so much anti-this and anti-that sentiment.

Prop. 13 started the beginning of the end of the moderate wing of the California GOP).  I know, Arnold is still a Republican, but he's the end of the line.  We'll see if there's a further decline.

I'm hoping for a California comeback, but none of the Democratic candidates for governor are exactly inspiring.

by esconded 2009-02-21 05:53PM | 0 recs
Dear California: Screw You - love, the GOP

What's most shocking about the GOP and the budget is that they've left California in such dire straits, even with the so-called "compromise." And that the news media have let them get away with it, calling it a legislature that can't get it together -- rather than noticing that the GOP has refused any compromise that would yield a budget to cover basic state responsibilities.

Thanks to the GOP's "no new funding" pledge, California will now be 50th in the nation in per-student funding -- worse than Alabama and Arkansas in support of education!! All state services will grind to a slowdown. City governments are going broke, as the state takes taxes it was meant to distribute throughout California and holds them to pay basic costs.

This is also the outcome of Prop 13 -- meant to freeze Grandma's property taxes in the 1970's -- but it also froze the property taxes of all corporations in the state -- resulting a switch in funding from corporations to individuals. Prop 13 also halted the steady, predictable income from property taxes, as rates rose only when the market was inflated and houses sold. In their wisdom, the "no tax" prophets did not put any funding in its place, and the state began to run on deficit funding.

Question is: will the California voters end the GOP stranglehold on the budget by ending the insane requirement that 2/3 of all legislators must approve any taxes and any budget. That means despite the Democratic majority in the state, it takes 3 Republican votes to get any tax or budget legislation done.

Sign pledge to end the 2/3 requirement in California. See what Rachel Maddow says about the GOP shenanigans!

by MS 2009-02-21 07:29PM | 0 recs
The GOP should commit hara kiri

or it should reform itself quickly.

The health of our democracy requires two functional parties.  If the GOP remains dysfunctional for too long, then (I suspect) it the Dems will become dysfunctional too (Illinois comes to mind)

by Ravi Verma 2009-02-21 07:35PM | 0 recs
I live in CA and they (GOP) are in for a shock

The loathing among even the Republicans I know for what the GOP has done to our state is palpable.  So many will be voting Dem for the first time next election.  Hope we make it til then.

by scytherius 2009-02-21 08:55PM | 0 recs
Some of them are not that dumb

The last holdout for the budget was able to weasel a statewide referendum for CA having an open Primary into the compromise. Darrell Issa should be proud.

Meanwhile we have to educate convince people why a Closed primary is preferable.  Since there are damm few Republicans who could win the election for dog catcher, they want to play spoiler in the Democratic primary contests.  

by NvDem 2009-02-21 09:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Some of them are not that dumb

Agreed.  But the GOP hates the open primary as much as the Dems do. here.  I just don't see this one passing.

by scytherius 2009-02-22 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Some of them are not that dumb

Than why were they so intent in getting it into the budget accord?  The Issa initiative failed, but this by-passes that effort and expense and puts it on the ballot.

To your contention that the Republicans don't want an open primary, consider this:  The CA-GOP knows it is going into the wilderness for years, hopefully decades.  Practically, This means they Won't win an election for a while.  

However, with open primaries, they can focus their power on crossing party lines and on putting the worst Democratic candidate on the ticket (who will probably win in the general).  We both know there are some real wack-jobs and people who just are not competent to hold elective office that run as democrats.  If the Republicans make them the victors of the primaries and then they win the general by default.... A few of those, and people will be looking for Republican Salvation.

No, this is a long term effort to undermine the Democratic Primaries.  Knock off some of the other side's best and rising stars.  Keep the incompetent, dumb, and banal.  Pretty soon you'll have a revolution on your hands.  

What worries me the most is that they will sell it as being "Fair and Equal"

We need to be working on the counter punch yesterday.  

by NvDem 2009-02-22 06:52AM | 0 recs
Here in CA

there is a major movement afoot to obliterate the GOP.  I don't know any Republicans (granted Republicans in CA aren't nearly as conservative as Nationally) that are going to vote Republican next election.  Their theory is that they need to essentially "kill" the current version of the GOP and then replace it with another.

But CAs biggest problem is the Prop vote.  Props are all funded by special interests in order to govern by mob rule.  It has just about killed the state.

by scytherius 2009-02-22 05:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Here in CA

Does this movement you mention exist in the Central Valley? The San Diego area? The Sacramento Delta? The Gold Country? Anywhere north of Redding?

I'm willing to venture that in the whole it doesn't exist in the areas mentioned above.  For that reason you will continue to have Republican representation that is just over 1/3 of the legislative body.  Those are the more conservative areas of the state, the Population corridor of Sacramento - San Francisco - Los Angeles carries the liberal power.  That fight needs to happen in the rural areas I mentioned above.

The only way I see to equalize the proposition problem is to have a second vote on every proposition that passes in the next general election.  Let it become law in the first election, then let it live or die after people experience what life is like under it the next... (irony, the only way it would pass is by proposition).

by NvDem 2009-02-22 07:08AM | 0 recs


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