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State GOP needs enemies, heroes, leadership to electrify rank and file

“Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep dark depression, excessive misery
If it weren’t for bad luck
I’d have not luck at all
Gloom, despair, and agony on me”
– Hee Haw

As you listen to and read all the talk about “unity” at the upcoming state
Republican Party convention this weekend, keep in mind that nothing unites
people as quickly as a common enemy. But alas, we’ve no good enemies in
plain sight right now other than ourselves.

Oh sure, Cindy Sheehan makes a good foil every time she puts on her t-shirt
de jour and parades herself in front of TV cameras. The problem is Sheehan
is such a crackpot that it’s hard to do more than roll your eyes at her and
the lemmings in the Democratic Party like Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey and
Senator Ted Kennedy, the uncle of all crackpots, as they chase each other
breathlessly down the path of political defeat.

The two Democrats running to win their Party’s nomination for governor in
June are such nobodies that it’s difficult to muster more than a nagging
annoyance toward them. Uniting Republicans against Treasurer Phil Angelides
(a dead ringer for Count Chocula) or Controller Steve Westly (a.k.a.,
“Arnold’s little buddy”) will be difficult because it’s hard to take either
of them seriously.

Yes, I know, they want to raise our taxes. Yes, they’ll give drivers
licenses to illegal immigrants. And yes, they’ll sign into law same-sex
marriage. I know, I know. It’s a rerun of the recall.

I think I speak for a lot of Republican activists and volunteers who will
converge on San Jose in a few days when I say that politics is pretty
uninspiring right now. In fact, some days it’s just plain demoralizing.

The ethical scandals going on in Washington, D.C. are a complete sellout of
the 1994 Republican Revolution. Headlines about Congressman Duke Cunningham
and his “menu” of bribes evoke one image: whore.

President Bush and the Republican majority traded in their budget-slashing
machetes for a couple of dull butter knives at the K Street Pawn Shop,
giving away the one unifying message that binds together Republicans of
liberal, moderate and conservative persuasions: fiscal responsibility.

A year ago, hundreds of Republicans activists and volunteers were stirred to
their feet in loud and cheerful ovations for a speech Gov. Schwarzenegger
adlibbed at the state Party convention.

“The unions and the special interests will fight us,” he predicted of the
inevitable special election, “but … we’re going right there where all the
evil is. This is going to be a great battle.”

Evil is consistently a really good enemy for Republicans. The only thing we
like fighting more than ourselves is evil.

What Republicans at this weekend’s convention need, however, is more than
just another enemy because they are currently in a funk not of their own
making.

Republicans didn’t know what a crook Duke Cunningham was or how ethically
vacuous the Republican leadership in DC had become. Republicans could never
have guessed that the penalty for defeat in last November’s special election
would be a massive spending proposal by Gov. Schwarzenegger that Democrats
are spinning costs too much and creates “not only new bureaucracies but
unprecedented central government support


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