I might be expected to agree with this, but I don't. It is true that the Federal Government and the California Government are looking similar in terms of being both Democrat-dominated and gridlocked by supermajorities, but there's a big difference here.
National Republicans are doing what they're doing as an electoral strategy to win more votes. It's been partially successful--the Democrats' favorability has gone down a bit--though at the cost of making the GOP more hated than it's ever been. It's entirely possible they'll be able to scare voters into voting for them to prevent President Obama from enslaving them from the Soviet Gulag that is insuring people without health insurance, but that vote won't be because they started liking Republicans.
California Republicans (I should say their representatives) are a small, corrupt group of mostly assholes who don't care about the state's problems and who have no desire to wield actual power. California has one of the most far-right Republican Parties in the country--even more conservative than Oklahoma's!--and most of them are completely embittered that the state that gave rise to Nixon and Reagan is now one of the more liberal states in the country. They have no desire to engage the center, and while the state is still winnable for Rockefeller Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Republicans in the state seem more willing to lose with a winger than win with a moderate. Arnie never had any leverage or clout with the state's GOP legislators, and despite the Governator's decidedly rightist ideas for clearing out the state's deficit he could secure no Republican support. They are like the Enron guys who cheered the Southern California fires back in 2000. They're petty, angry, and all they can do is to gum up the works and screw over everyone who receives services from the government. I don't have a very high opinion of national Republicans, but they aren't nearly that bad, though there is certainly room for growth...
So, basically, I tend to think that California Republican representatives are suffering some sort of bitter derangement, while national Republican representatives are merely running a strategy. In the end, if the Democrats pass healthcare and the economy starts to rebound, perceptions of the Democrats will rise and you'll be dealing with a fairly popular Democratic Party and a toxically unpopular Republican Party, and it will be interesting to see how Republicans from Obama-won states react to this--they could be Hoffmanned if they move too far to the center, or be tossed out by voters for being too Republican. This is why I think that the GOP is at its peak right now in the election cycle. Obama has hit his floor of support, and the economy is beginning to turn around. Toss in the end of our Iraq adventure and some real legislative accomplishments, and I think there's still reason for Republicans to worry.
The Man, The Myth, The Bio
- East Bay, California, United States
- Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.