It should be noted that the recent election of Mickey Conroy to represent the 67th Assembly District was decided by about 12% of the registered voters. That the 67th is a conservative district there is no doubt, but what we must ask ourselves is what this means.
Does it mean that we constantly castigate and humiliate our Republican governor? The Republican who will ensure that the redistricting of our Assembly, state Senate and congressional districts will not be gerrymandered to the Democrats' advantage as happened 10 years ago. The Republican who just appointed a conservative to the state Supreme Court and will continue to appoint conservative judges.
Well, you may ask, what about taxes? The cavemen love to dance around their campfires beating their chests and chanting no new taxes, no to this, no to that, and tell their constituents that they're keeping the faith. Keeping the faith they may be, but governing they are not.
It must be remembered that politics is not religion. Pete Wilson inherited a $14-billion deficit and did what he had to do to balance the budget. Does this mean that he got pleasure out of raising taxes by $7 billion. No! He was simply practicing the art of politics, which was compromising with the Democrat-controlled Assembly and Senate.
Would Dianne Feinstein have cut welfare spending and stopped cost-of-living increases? I think not. As to what the cavemen would have done to balance the budget, I have no idea. I have never seen a comprehensive, detailed account of what their plan was--if they ever had one.
With only two of the major offices in California now held by Republicans (and their victories were by razor-thin margins), it is time for the conservative Republicans in Orange County to reassess their positions and stop sending ultraconservatives to Sacramento who have nothing to espouse but their negativism.
Conservatives should seek to prevent the erosion of important values and institutions, but they should not, like the reactionaries, attempt to return to some golden past that probably never was. We live in a real world and must learn and adjust to it.
In Bay Buchanan's recent commentary, she suggested that Republicans should rally under the banner of "no new taxes." Of course they should. But does this really mean Gov. Wilson and President Bush really wanted to raise taxes like the "spend-and-tax" Democrats or did they raise taxes because this is what they had to do, namely compromise with the Democrats in order to govern efficiently?
It is time to stop the demagoguery and falsehoods of the reactionary right and start sending conservative Republicans to Sacramento who are educated, intelligent and pragmatic. Sacramento already has an abundance of cavemen.
JOHN PAUL CLELLAND JR.