the Wake of the Kennedy
Turning Volunteers' Laments to Opportunity...
[Thomas G. Del Beccaro] 12/28/05
Arnold identified the problems facing our State and courageously
confronted those problems. Many of us worked tirelessly for
those reforms because reform
is sorely needed in this State. For the various reasons I explained in my column, “Why
the CA Reform Bid Stumbled” the election was not successful.
of success, however, did not mean that his ideas were wrong
or to be shelved. Indeed, Reform is often a function of patient
resolve not instant reception. For the volunteer, the truth
still can be seen amidst the lingering smoke of doubt that
blankets many a defeat. In the wake of the recent election,
flush with loyalty to a purpose, many volunteers were bowed
but not broken.
Thomas G. Del Beccaro
G. Del Beccaro is publisher of the website Political
Vanguard. [go to Del Beccaro index]
It was during
that sensitive period that the sincere look for Leadership
from their Leaders – a moment
in time when they wonder which side of this adage upon which
their efforts will fall: “There is no defeat except for
those who give up."
In those hours, Arnold
signaled a shift in tactics and/or policies – not
in respect to the many who volunteered but, instead, seemingly
in deference to those that opposed him – not for those
who walked precincts but instead to those who long ago walked
That shift was recently highlighted by the hiring of a partisan
Democrat to be his chief of staff. It can come as no surprise
that I cannot abide by the nomination of Ms. Kennedy, a liberal
Democrat who espouses political and social views that are an
anathema to many Republicans.
In my role as President
of all of the County Chairs of the California Republican Party,
I can tell you definitively that the Kennedy
pick has disheartened many County Chairs and not idly so. Their
disappointment is real, ranging from professed near refusals
to volunteer to outright withdrawals of support. Their disappointment,
however, does not end with them – to the contrary, in many
hours of phone calls in the last week, it is evident that it
is a disappointment shared not only by their volunteers, but
volunteers of Women’s Federated, the California Republican
Assembly, and many other and sundry groups too numerous to recount.
Some of the disheartened are social conservatives. Many, however,
indeed most, regard themselves neither moderate nor conservative
on this issue. They are rank and file Republicans to whom her
selection was not the needed reassurance - let alone reward.
Those moderates and
conservatives, volunteers all, with more than a little justification,
rhetorically wonder aloud: Why should
the former executive director of the Democrat Party have her
hands on the wheel of a Republican Administration? They wonder
whether the Recall was real or whether they slept too long to
find Davis’ cronies back in power.
Worse yet, those same
volunteers sincerely question the direction of Arnold’s
policies. Less than a month ago we were to live within our
means yet now we are to believe we are free to
spend beyond them in the form of transportation bonds. Such uncertainty,
on the heals of the disappointment with Congressional spending,
amidst voter fatigue, donor fatigue and volunteer fatigue, has
compounded their frustration to levels not seen since Watergate.
That much we know. That much confronts us.
What we also must
know is that we cannot think long of “today's
failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow.”
That success begins
when we recognize that political parties succeed by picking
issues that unite their members, attract independents
and divide the opposition. Thus, the beauty of the vote on the
withdrawal from Iraq. Prior to that vote, Democrats controlled
the debate and scored at will. With a single vote, their divisions
arose, our unity was renewed and with it the President’s
approval ratings began to rebound.
There simply is no reason that that cannot be accomplished in
California. On issues from immigration, to Voter ID, taxes and
more, we as a Party can unite, independents can be attracted,
and Democrats can be divided.
It is not a question of a way, but of will. There is no time
like the present to renew our calling. CRO
2005 Thomas G. Del Beccaro