Monday, December 21, 2009

Stuart Spencer: Republicans’ war within

THE recent unsuccessful effort in Orange County to recall a California Republican lawmaker is yet another micro example of efforts by hardcore conservative activists to obstruct the legislative process now on display by the “Party of No” in Congress.

Despite Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s announcement the recall effort against Assemblyman Anthony Adams was dead last month because of insufficient valid signatures recall leaders launched a still unsuccessful effort to land the issue on the ballot.

Adams’ political sin was that he was one of six state legislators who joined Democrats in approving a February budget update that included tax hikes although recall advocates say he betrayed his signed pledge not to support more taxes.

Similar ongoing divisions, as The Washington Post pointed out last week, have troubled longtime GOP members who are old enough to have served during the party’s glory days. Stuart Spencer, the key political strategist in electing Ronald Reagan as both California governor and president, told the Post that he’s not sure how well Reagan would have fared in a California election today.

Reagan, he said, was about putting together a “big tent for Republicans, “wanting to leave room for moderates who strayed from absolute fealty to conservative ideals. He added that now, “If the far right here doesn’t like the way somebody has voted on one or two issues, on taxes, they’re against them.”

Here’s my question: Is the Republican Party’s ideologically pure right-wing even listening any more?

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