Saturday, November 8, 2014

Carl DeMaio's Demise, and Lessons for the CA GOP

Why did the party leaders in San Diego County side with Carl DeMaio instead of Kirk Jorgensen or a dark horse candidate in the 52nd Congressional District race?

File:Carl DeMaio.jpg
Openly gay Republican Carl DeMaio
This question deserves more vetting.

DeMaio was an openly gay, pro gay-marriage, pro-gun control, pro-Cap and Trade pro-amnesty candidate. This man fit the definition of RINO. If anyone takes a good look at the Republican Party platform, they will find that DeMaio did not measure up to the vast majority of them.

Promoting DeMaio to challenge Scott Peters was like sticking an eye in the Republican Party base, then expecting them to agree to it.

The voters in the district did not go along at all. Websites touting Republicans and Independents for Peters. Ouch!

DeMaio he was running for a swing seat in San Diego, where Neel Kashkari performed quite well, pushing aside Jerry Brown. Nevertheless, Carl DeMaio did not reflect the values of his party or his base. Jeff Gorell supported amnesty. The massive groundswell of support for conservative principles nationwide suggest that California Republicans need to stand their ground on principles, not cave in and conform.

Carl DeMaio was not only liberal on several key issues, but he diligently presented himself on these policies, poking conservatives in the eye. He pledged to preach LGBTQ issues as a federal head in Congress, for example. On election night, he kissed his boyfriend, and critics commented that the display was not pretty.

The GOP leadership's attempt to contort the party platform with an unpalatable candidate and force conservatives to comply was also not pretty. Imagine your vetted candidate receiving so little support, that Republicans expressly chose to vote for a Democrat out of such disgust.  Imagine also the waste of time and money. Party leaders need to rethink their endorsement process for 2016.

We need to have a serious discussion about homosexuality. It is not an identity, but an aberrant lifestyle. A libertarian approach allows individuals to make poor choices, but not force others to accept them, or pay for the consequences of those choices.

File:Neel Kashkari marching in the 2014 San Diego LGBT Pride Parade.jpg
Neel Kashkari marching in a gay pride parade
Neel  Kashkari made the same faults as DeMaio. Flagrantly publishing his socially liberal views, the GOP gubernatorial candidate chose to attend a gay pride parade in San Diego. They should have followed the examples of Susan Shelley in West Valley, Los Angeles and Catherine Baker in the East Bay Area. They had liberal positions on key issues, but they did not highlight them, nor did they campaign on them.

I.e, they were socially liberal, but they weren't nuts about it.

Let's consider the winning elements of winning candidates this year.

Doug Ose stood his ground against amnesty. He defeated Ami Bera.

Johnny Tacchera paid attention to plight of Central Valley Farmers. He beat deeply-entrenched incumbent Democrat Jim Costa.

Steve Knight refused union money and Establishment accommodation. He defeated Tony Strickland, in a district which has just now tipped Democratic.

What did these men do which Jeff Gorell, Carl DeMaio, and other candidates fail to do?

Doug Ose knew his district -- identity.

Johnny Tacchera understood his constituents' concerns -- intuition

Steve Knight worked hard and pushed his core principles  -- initiative.

The party establishment, with Charlie Munger Jr. at the top of the ticket, has tried to shift the party to the left for the last two election cycles. Their efforts are not paying off. Pro-life, pro-enforcement Republicans are winning elections, not purple candidates mixing in Democratic values.

These are the lessons that California Republican Party leaders need to heed.

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