Another California Republican Party convention has come and gone, and many are asking, “Why bother?” given that “The outcome of the convention changed the nature of how the party operates and further consolidated power among a very few while continuing support of the terrible Top 2 voting system,” as Tom Del Beccaro, former CA GOP Party Chairman says.
I went to the convention Friday immediately following the second California State Senate committee hearing in two weeks on ‘hate speech,’ with Democrats seeking approval for legislation on thought crimes (article coming on that). So my tolerance level for BS, and Republican moderates’ pablum wasn’t very high. (pablum: trite, naive, or simplistic ideas or writings; intellectual pap).
One of the first things I was hit with, even as my co-author James Lacy and I were setting up our booth to sell our new book, “California’s War Against Donald Trump: Who Wins? Who Loses?” was whining by some about President Donald Trump’s Tweets.
My usual answer is to this whining is, “Are you kidding me? Trump’s Tweets are catnip for the right, and kryptonite to the left.” But the reply is always (in a whine) “why can’t he be more eloquent?” “It’s not Presidential.” “He’s too bombastic.”
To which I say “and your definition of ‘Presidential’ is…”
The White House occupant of the last eight years wasn’t exactly “Presidential” by many definitions. And yet, these same people complaining about Donald Trump’s Tweets were silent during those eight years. Trump’s Tweets are good for America, and provide access and insight to the presidency. If you don’t like them, then don’t read them. But I suspect that many of the people complaining aren’t even on Twitter.
Which also brings me to George Bush. I covered the Steve Bannon dinner Friday night with the press. It was electric. The security was ‘Presidential’ level. And the predictable ugly group of misfit paid protestors were outside the hotel making noise and saying foul and incoherent things. Kudos to the Anaheim, CA police for keeping order while allowing the protests to take place. UC Berkeley should call you.
Regarding George Bush and his recent speech: “President Bush, to me, embarrassed himself,” Bannon said. “The speechwriter wrote a highfalutin speech; it’s clear [Bush] didn’t understand anything he was talking about.”
“He has no earthly idea whether he’s coming or going, just like it was when he was president of the United States,” Bannon added.
His remarks received enthusiastic applause from the crowd, as did this: “There has not been a more destructive presidency than George Bush’s,” Bannon said, referencing Bush’s and the Clinton presidency’s failure to sincerely deal with the serious threat of “the rise of China.”
Stinging, but this accurate analysis brought approval and applause from the dinner attendees.
Interestingly, on Friday the San Jose Mercury News asked why the California GOP invited Steve Bannon to speak… clearly the piece was click bait. “Why would the state’s GOP, which has been circling the drain in recent years with an anemic voter registration of under 26 percent, want to bring in such a polarizing figure to rally their worn-out troops?” The SJMN asked.
Predictably when the announcement about Bannon’s appearance went out last week, the disgraced, turncoat and philandering former Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes, Tweeted his shock and dismay: “I was shocked by today’s announcement by the CRP,” Mayes, R-Rancho Mirage, tweeted. “It’s a huge step backward and demonstrates that the Party remains tone deaf and intellectually dishonest with the vast majority of Californians. As in life, you can’t have it both ways and today’s announcement made clear the direction the party wants to go.”
Mayes only made it further evident why his ‘leadership’ was anything but, and he had to go. Mayes continues to sell-out his constituents and his Party to this day, making deals with the Democrats, just so he can keep his phony-baloney job. (Mel Brooks references are always apt).
Speaking of phony-baloney jobs, “Republican political consultant Kevin Eckery of Sacramento told the LA Times that Bannon was a ‘fear-monger’ who undercuts a party searching for political relevance in a state dominated by Democrats,” the SJMN reported. “I think it contributes to the destruction of the California GOP. Bannon is not just divisive, but is literally intent on destroying the party in hopes that he can rebuild something in his image. And his image is not something we need to convey in California.”
Really? The sold out VIP reception and dinner Friday evening of more than 500 California Republicans would disagree. And they were just the ones who could get in. Many others couldn’t get tickets, but wanted to hear Bannon.
During his speech, Bannon said his vision for a united conservative movement is going to be executed by a “grassroots army,” and “we need bold actionable ideas… like building a wall.”
“It’s about one thing – are you a citizen of the United States of America?” Bannon asked the audience. “Economic nationalism is not what’s going to drive us apart, it’s what’s going to bring us together. GDP isn’t everything. We are not an economy. We are a country. We have a social fabric. I’m a free market capitalist. That’s the underpinnings of our society. Economic nationalism means ensuring that jobs that we have allowed to go to Asia come back to the United States.”
These must be such dangerous words to Kevin Eckery, who remember, said Bannon was “divisive,” and “literally intent on destroying the party in hopes that he can rebuild something in his image.” Really? I see and hear actual leadership in Bannon, and self-aggrandizement and narcissism in Eckery. This former Pete Wilson staffer called Donald Trump Jr. ‘dumb as a bunch of rocks in a Tweet: “Re Trump, Jr, soliciting information from a hostile foreign power IS collusion. Talk about dumb as a bunch of rocks.”
I can appreciate weighing in on the usual media scandal and conspiracy of the day, but calling intelligent people “dumb as a bunch of rocks” is bush league, and nothing more than click bait. I hope it helped gain more like-minded Twitter followers.
When I met with Bannon Saturday morning and gave him my book, we talked briefly about why California’s Democrat leaders have declared war on Donald Trump. Then he referenced Andrew Sullivan’s column in NY Mag Friday: “The Issue That Could Lose the Next Election for Democrats.” Sullivan warns: “The entire concept of a nation whose citizens solely determine its future — the core foundation for any viable democracy at all — is now deemed by many left-liberals to be a function of bigotry. This is the kind of madness that could keep them from power indefinitely.”
And, ironically, Sullivan says, “few things seem as ominous as the fate of free speech in the West.” Which is where I started this piece…. California Democrats are trying really hard to find some (barely) legal way to stifle speech and usher in the California Thought Police, as has happened in democratic countries without a First Amendment. Sullivan says, “writers and speakers are now routinely hauled into court for hurting someone’s feelings or violating some new PC edict. In Canada, it is now a crime to use pronouns that have served the English language well enough for centuries, if you are not careful.”
Bannon said this grassroots army was triggered by the next 20-25 years: “Is this going to be the country bequeathed to us… it depends 100 percent on you. If you don’t hold yourselves accountable, it won’t happen.”
This is why I am tired of the whining about Donald Trump’s Tweets, usually from ineffective, or cowardly, or even irresolute people. I’m a doer, not a whiner. Steve Bannon was speaking to me, and to the thousands of other doers in California who are disgusted with the donor class, the whiner class, the turncoat Republicans in California, and Washington DC, and the consultant class, who have consistently propped up loser candidates. We are also done with the left destabilizing and destroying California.
Bannon said it is time to win in Washington, D.C., but we need unity on the right. As one convention attendee told me, too many Republicans “are a bunch of spineless wussies unwilling to stand up to the corrupt liberals running our state and nation into the ground.” He wasn’t whining about Trump’s Tweets. Touché.