Death of California Republican Party …

by on March 22, 2012

To the Editor:

I’m not sure if you are arguing that it is, no its own merits, good to have a one-party state, or if it is just the best of bad options. It seems to me that one-party states are prone to capture and poor decision-making, at least from time to time.

George Skelton’s core argument is that some views on fiscal issues, views possibly held by a lot of Californians, lose in Sacramento because Republicans make themselves unpopular with other subjects, notably immigration and social issues. It would be nice if Republicans would let us test his theory. In the Northeast, Republicans run more moderate candidates, including many state legislators who voted for same-sex marriage.

So my question is, what would you rather have: a two-party system where Republicans are more conservative than you, but have moved to a place reasonably close to the center in California politics, or a one-party system where political leaders are chosen often without serious competition, like Jerry Brown’s unopposed nomination for Governor? I’d prefer to see some Bloomberg-type Republicans in the legislature, able to keep Democrats honest.

That said, Skelton still misses the point. California Republicans can afford to be extreme because of the 2/3 rule. So long as they maintain 1/3 of either chamber, they can be relevant, or so they thought. The initiative compromise threatens that logic, and hopefully can push Republicans to reshape their identity and policy poisitions in California.

Mike Dorsi
San Francisco

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