It’s gotta be tough being a California Republican. Over the years they’ve seen their numbers slide, and with the latest reconfigureation of districts and top two primary rules they stand to lose even more ground in 2012. Any time there is an open seat in a safe district, hungry GOP politicians scramble to grab what little real estate they can still represent.
The latest dogfight was triggered by the retirement of Congressman Wally Herger. State Senator Doug Lamalfa jumped into the ring and appeared to be a shoo-in for the job…but wait!!! From the bowels of retirement Doctor Former Assemblyman/Senator Sam Aanestad suddenly appeared, tanned, rested and ready to contest the annointment. It seems that Lamalfa’s conservative credentials are not in order. One, he had the audacity to endorse moderate Doug Ose over uber-conservative Tom McClintock in the last congressional knife fight in the 4th. Two, he took government subsidies to help keep his farm business competitive! There is no greater sin in conservative circles than to accept, no, ask for goverment hand outs.
Dr. Sam’s street cred is in order. He served in the legislature for umpteen years until term limits forced him back to the business of pulling teeth. During that time, he endured the role of chief naysayer for the right, annoying the dominant Democrats but accomplishing little else. In Congress, he might actually get to pass a law if the GOP can hold on to their majority. He’s paid his dues and has come back to collect.
It’s pretty much a given that one of these two will grab the golden ring. Democrats have made some gains in Nevada County, but the district, which is rural and larger than some states, is still in the red column.
But here’s the conundrum for the Repubs; pushing for state’s rights will only make them more impotent in Ecotopical California. It looks like the Dems will gain the sweet spot of two-thirds majority in the State Senate, inching them closer to the dream of a one party state.
The Republicans are hoping that will change once the Democrats drive the state off a cliff into the Pacific, but if they’re driving a Chevy Volt, it could be years before it actually happens. And it is no guarantee that Californians embrace the puritan politics of the right. Like it or not, a new breed of Republican will have to emerge to capture the votes of the Golden State’s diverse urban population.
I sympathize with Republicans in their quest to stop the madness in Sacramento. I watched the Conservarama Summit of business owners held by Dan Logue, Tom McClintock and other dignitaries at the Rood Center last year, where struggling businesspersons vented their frustration with the volumes of regulations that spew forth from the capitol like vomit at a frat party. I agree that it’s a travesty that lumber yards must purchase a state-sanctioned tape measure that costs 800 times what a normal tape measure goes for. But it’s not going to change any time soon.
There’s a lot of praying going on in conservative circles right now. The presidential primary battle for the Reagan Legacy has taken some ugly turns. Those damn Ron Paul libertarians won’t go with the program. Every time Newt opens his mouth he sounds more like Caligula than Coolidge. Romney is as inspiring as yesterday’s broccoli. And Rick Santorum couldn’t get elected as dogcatcher, due to his objections to the unnatural acts of spaying and neutering. A divisive candidate at the top of the ticket could squelch any hope of defeating the hated Obama, and lessen the chance of gains in the House and Senate.
Things could change if gas prices escalate or we get sucked into another war, but that’s about all Republicans can hope for. Not much of a vision for the future.