Allow Big Daddy to state the obvious, for all you Freshman Reeps who were too busy partying up your predictable general election “victories” to notice: Schwarzenegger won, McClintock lost.
Not only that, the governor won big with Republican voters.
If the Republican caucuses under former Gov. Pete Wilson were “#*$&% irrelevant,” the current Republican caucuses (at least on the Assembly side) are worse than irrelevant. They are pitiable.
Having failed to pick up any legislative seats two election cycles in a row, despite being given a political gift in the form of Assemblywoman Nicole Parra who just barely eked out a victory this past November and could easily have been toppled if anyone in the Republican caucus had bothered with the GOP candidate, the good old boys of the Grand Old Party have the temerity to suggest they are going to keep the Democratically controlled Legislature–and their own Republican governor–in check.
All this chest pounding, despite the overwhelming vote of confidence voters gave not just to Gov. Schwarzenegger but to the bipartisan infrastructure bonds, which the Republican caucuses opposed.
They may not have lost seats in the Legislature this cycle, but there is no question that the Republican caucuses took a thumpin’ in November–save the “Jessica’s Law” initiative, which is unlikely to be implemented.
Therefore, it’s time for this tiresome band of self-righteous political insurgents to feel the boot of discipline. Not simply for the sake of punishment, but for their own good.
Big Daddy offers three “Illustrative Options,” in a tip of the hat to Rummy’s Memo.
1. Conduct a significant drawdown of district offices for Republicans whose only purpose is to block legislative progress and solutions in California. They aren’t part of the solution, so withhold the resources that allow them to disrupt the business of the people. Either that or turn the hallway broom closets into Republican offices with a phone, a desk and a chair.
2. Provide money to key political and religious leaders in Republican districts who will publicly pressure these GOPers to work in a bipartisan manner with the popular governor.
3. Stop rewarding bad behavior. For starters (and just for starters), slash funding for the hundreds of thousands of pieces of constituent mail sent to voters each year at the expense of taxpayers. When these rogue Republicans start working with the governor and the majority leadership, they can have back their budgets to
communicate with their constituents. In other words, “If you want more of something, reward it; if you want less of something, penalize it.” No more constituent-communication assistance in areas where there is inactivity and lack of cooperation.
What can Republicans do if they feel the boot? Complain that they aren’t being given enough money to spend?
(Big Daddy wonders: If a Republican legislator whines and no one other than the FlashReport is listening, does that legislator still exist?)
Give a seat at the table (and press conferences) to cooperative Republicans. Don’t expect them to be a rubber stamp, but look for signs of intellect that would suggest they want to work toward solutions and not merely take the form of blockades to progress.