Advice to California's GOP: Leave — or better yet, change

California needs Republicans' fiscal prudence, but the election shows there's no political future for them without a major makeover.

Memo to the California GOP:

Rough couple of weeks, huh?

First you found out that the number of registered Republicans in California has dipped below 30%, which means we are fast approaching the day when the entire state membership can fit into two golf carts.

To make matters worse, of the 1 million people who used a new online voter registration system this election cycle, only 20% registered as Republicans. And 60% of those who registered were under 35, which means your future's not looking great.

Then the dominoes really started to fall.

Gov. Brown's Proposition 30, the first general, statewide tax hike in two decades, passed so easily that the ghost of Howard Jarvis threw himself in front of a truck.

Proposition 32, an all-out attempt to defang public employee unions, got pummeled despite an infusion of last-minute anti-labor cash from Arizona.

What could be worse? I'll tell you what. In the state Legislature, Democrats won supermajorities in both houses. Do you know what that means? It's like handing your teenager a credit card, a checkbook and the car keys so he can drive to an all-night orgy.

Meanwhile, on the national front, two states said yes to recreational marijuana and three states said yes to same-sex marriage. And Mitt Romney proved that when your only loyal supporters are aging white men who still drive Buicks and watch "Matlock" reruns — in a country with an ever more diverse population — you're cooked.

It was a wipeout, a blitz, a disaster.

So now what?

Glad you asked, because as it happens, I've got some advice for the leaders and members of the California's shrinking Grand Old Party.

Your first option is to cut and run. Frankly, I regularly hear from Republicans who so despise California and everything it stands for, I'm surprised they keep subjecting themselves to so much misery. Wouldn't it be better to sell everything, pack up the station wagon and move to Georgia or Kentucky? They think, act and vote red in those states, and they probably hate California at least as much as you do.

But here's another option. You could sit tight here in the Golden State, wait for the Democrats to screw things up in Sacramento even more than they already have, and then raise your hand when the situation cries out for the voice of fiscal prudence.

The first thing you're going to have to do, though, is remake the GOP. And by that I mean that you have to get rid of the Neanderthals who dominate the party. Then you need to start grooming and promoting some common-sense fiscal moderates, provided you can locate any.

What do I mean by that?

If someone believes Barack Obama is a socialist, Communist, Marxist, Muslim, radical, black liberation theologian, non-citizen, illegitimate president or Manchurian Candidate, forget about him. He may have a shot at a career in talk radio, but he's not going to make it in California politics.

And you're not going to breathe new life into the GOP with someone who believes the answer to the state's problems is to deport a couple million Latinos, unless they're working in the garden at extremely low rates.

You should also nix anyone who believes that gay people have chosen a "lifestyle" in the way they might choose toothpaste or a pair of shoes, and can be "converted" with enough hard work and Bible study.

I know, I know. We're really thinning the field here. And I'm not even done.

 

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