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Los Angeles conservative radio hosts
California right-wing radio shock jocks John and Ken. Diversity!
Immediately after the November election, I wrote about the overwhelming victory Democrats enjoyed in California, where Governor Brown's tax measure was passed, the union-busting Proposition 32 was soundly defeated, and Democrats claimed a supermajority in both chambers that will allow them, if they so choose, to pass budgets and submit initiatives for voter approval without a single Republican vote.

Since the time of that writing, things have gotten even worse for Republicans in the legislature, as Democrats picked up two additional seats in vote canvassing in races which their candidates were trailing on election day: Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani came back to beat her colleague Tom Berryhill for a hotly contested State Senate race to pad Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's margin. And lastly, in perhaps the shocker of elections in California, Democratic candidate Steve Fox completed a comeback on the very last day of canvassing when the Los Angeles County Registrar counted the last 1,601 votes in Assembly District 36. Fox gained 463 votes from that final update, giving him a 145-vote win in a traditionally Republican area and padding Speaker John Perez' majority to a 55-25 count in the 80-seat chamber.

Republicans have held minority status in Sacramento ever since the turn of the millennium, but it's only now that panic is really starting to set in. Because of Proposition 13 in 1978, which began California's so-called "tax revolt," it takes a two-thirds vote of the legislature to pass tax increases or put referendums on the ballot; while still a minority, Republicans had always held at least one-third of one of the two chambers, which allowed them to effectively control the terms of the debate for budgetary issues and continue to extract major cuts and concessions every single election cycle. But as the extremist Republican agenda of decimating the public sector and social services continued to cripple the state, cracks started to show. During the red wave of 2010, California Democrats not only held all their seats; they actually expanded their legislative majorities. Meanwhile, team blue also swept every single statewide office that year, despite the millions of dollars that failed CEO's Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina spent trying to buy a governorship and Senate seat, respectively.

In 2012, the dam burst. A variety of factors combined to create a Democratic wave in California: nonpartisan redistricting created a series of competitive districts; the creation of online voter registration led to a surge of turnout by young and minority voters; and voters who had had enough of budget cuts began to believe in a different vision for the state. It all adds up to one reality: when the rounds of special elections are over and all the vacancies are filled, Democrats will be able to do what they want in Sacramento without a single Republican vote, provided that they can keep their caucus unified.

The shocking results are leading California Republicans to engage in the same refrain being used by their Washington counterparts. It's not the policies, they claim, but rather the message:

California Republicans in the Assembly looking to revive their party have a new team on their side.

Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway on Thursday announced a new "Diversity Outreach Team" made up of government staff members. A news release says the group will focus on "helping strengthen Republican ties with women, ethnic communities and young people."

"We know that most Californians share our common-sense ideas, but we need to do a better job communicating that message," Conway said in a statement. "To become the majority party again, we must not only talk to diverse communities but also listen and that's what our Diversity Outreach Team is all about."

It takes a special brand of chutzpah to claim that most of a state's voters agree with you when you hold no statewide offices and less than a third of the seats in both houses of that state's legislature. But it also takes a special brand of either arrogance or blindness to believe that having your party be rendered entirely irrelevant in the most populous state in the nation is simply a messaging problem that can be fixed by token figures to head up a "diversity outreach" program aimed at all the various groups of voters who simply cannot stand what you represent.

It was the unified opposition of the Republican Party, after all, that thwarted Speaker Perez' best efforts to eliminate a corporate tax break for multi-state businesses and use the money to cut the cost of higher education. Republican legislators and governors have consistently opposed efforts to make life easier for immigrants and their children. Republicans are the ones who have consistently worked to hold California's budget hostage to painful budget cuts to social services and health care programs for the poor. And no amount of "outreach" to women will help undo the damage done at the national level by Rush Limbaugh and the constant efforts to strip away reproductive rights.

It's not that California Republicans haven't done a good enough job explaining their values. Quite the opposite: They've done too good a job. As a matter of fact, they even have their own equivalent of Rush Limbaugh in the form of John and Ken, archconservative radio shock jocks who enforce discipline against any Republican even contemplating lenience on tax issues or undocumented immigrants and who make a habit of crude insults against the very groups Republicans are now appointing a diversity team to reach.

If Republicans want to know what future they have to look forward to, all they have to do is see what has happened to them in California. The only thing saving Republicans nationwide is simply that the country as a whole doesn't quite resemble the demographics of California. Yet.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Connie Conway? Come on! That's a stage name (26+ / 0-)

    Right? For a conservative con artist? Constant Conjob?

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:09:09 PM PST

  •  What does it take to repeal a Proposition (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, karmsy, AllanTBG, mariva, flitedocnm

    such as prop 13?

    •  Another constitutional amendment (8+ / 0-)

      that I don't think the voters are quite yet ready for, despite Jerry Brown's tax proposition passing.

      •  Not even a Split Roll? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tofumagoo, mariva

        why should corporations like Disneyland or at some banking locations Chase (through acquisitions)pay 1978 level (with controlled increases)?  That's outrageous.  I know such a proposition will be outspent tooth and nail but if Prop. 30 can pass, I think a split roll can pass.

        •  Not without an amendment. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tofumagoo, mariva, linkage, flitedocnm

          The system was designed to keep the politicians from tampering, after the fact, with stuff that the voters approved.

          Which makes sense, if you look at history. Hell, just in the recent past, Californians approved a referendum item that altered primaries in a way that neither party liked. So they tried to get the voters to repeal it (and failed), and they also buried the law outside of the electoral code, in order to facilitate not applying it. It was scandalous. The Legislature (large parts of it, both parties) conspired.

          So the point is that the People's will is not within the purview of legislative "correction." The Legislature COULD have already addressed the issue, and generally didn't.

          But like EVERY system, it has consequences, some of which aren't desirable.

          Prop 13 was sold on legitimate grounds--older folks on fixed retirement incomes were being squeezed out of their homes by rapidly increasing home prices... which drove up their property taxes to the point that they couldn't afford to live in homes they'd paid off.

          But... the folks who fashioned Prop 13 didn't split the roll. I suspect, based on who they are/were, that it was entirely intentional. They sold the angry voters a bill of goods--something they wanted with a Grover Norquistian poison pill or two.  And because so many people were so pissed off -- and the Legislature had just let it fester until this exploded -- Prop 13 was (and may still be) untouchable. And because the Legislature let it become an issue that went to a popular vote, amending the state constitution....

          The authors of 13 protected it with a requirement that any and all tax increase measures require a supermajority approval, whether voters (local measures to fund school districts, for example), or the Legislature. So we've been waiting for the day--now almost here--when a supermajority can actually pass a budget or other such matters without the Republicans lying down across the tracks and insisting that the poor get screwed over, again, in some new and evil way, before a budget can pass. Or that schools get stripped of more funding before the budget can pass.

          "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

          by ogre on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:28:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Polls don't show support for repealing Prop 13 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mariva

            altering it - yes. But there is no support for the repeal of the entire measure. I don't support repeal either.

            There's a common misperception that Prop 13 passed because of misinformation or the issue of old people losing their homes. In fact property taxes were out of control in the 70s and legislators actively refused to consider other measures. Prop 13 was the hammer which took the issue out of the legislature's hands - they really only have themselves to blame for it. Property tax increases at one point in the 70s were exceeding 40% per year. That is scandalous and totally unsustainable. Something had to give. Thus we have Prop 13.

            "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

            by Shane Hensinger on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:39:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I lived here then, too. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Anne Elk, norm

              I'm intimately aware. My parents owned a home then, and so did my uncle and grandparents. So I heard it all going down, and have watched ever since.

              The misinformation was clever--it was accurate, where it focused. It just ignored what would happen to corporations.

              The answer is largely mandating that corporately owned property MUST be re-valued as if sold to a new, unrelated buyer, no less often than every 5 (let them negotiate to 7) years. Revalued the same way whenever the owning corporation is sold or transferred, as well. Obliterate the whole scam of buying corporations to retain their property tax status on the property they own.

              "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

              by ogre on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:39:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  probably never going to happen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shane Hensinger, mariva

      The 2/3rds thing probably doesn't matter for the foreseeable future now in California and you'll find little support for raising property taxes. Since homes go for so much and change hands fairly often I am not so sure property taxes are always that low. They keep going up with every sale. When the property tax value of a home in San Francisco goes from $75k to $1 million in a single sale the new owners get to pay some hefty taxes. Even being the progressive town it is they probably wouldn't even vote to repeal it.

      •  The problem is this (11+ / 0-)

        Taxes do not go up for every sale when it comes to commercial real estate and corporation get away with charging a lot less for their property.  

        We need split roll taxes where Corporations don't get away with pay so little, it is now the case where most property taxes come from homeowners and because our property taxes are so low the State makes it up in other ways and other taxes and fees.

        "It feels like President Obama still hasn't won. It never ends" - my very astute 9-year old watching MSNBC.

        by Ellinorianne on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:42:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're totally right on the issue of corporate (5+ / 0-)

          taxes and Prop 13 - that's something that should be changed.

          Willie Brown wrote about that today in the Chron. I don't agree with a lot ol' Willie has to say but on getting legislative agreement - he's a master. If split roll is going to be introduced it has to be done in the right way because optics is everything.

          "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

          by Shane Hensinger on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:02:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Prop 13 will be taken down piece by piece (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fresburger, KJG52, mariva

        Commercial real estate will probably go first, as Ellinorianne argues. Big corporations have found ways to get around having properties reassessed on sale, as Prop 13 requires. Besides, there is the simple economic fairness argument: Why should long time business owners retain a competitive advantage over all new business owners who have to purchase property and thus pay pay grossly higher property taxes than their legacy property owning competitors do?

        Next to go will be the provision for inheritance of low tax rates by the surviving offspring of original property owners.
        Prop 13 was passed by holding up the image of countless old folks being tossed out of their homes because property taxes had gone up with real estate inflation. Tossing granny out evokes sympathy, but seeing her (sometimes wealthy) adult children get to inherit her low tax rates is a harder sell.

        Last to go will be blanket reduced taxes for everyone. As it is now, if Bill Gates buys a mansion and holds onto it, his taxes will be capped just like granny living on Social Security. Means testing for reduced property taxes will be the solution.

        How long will this entire process take? Perhaps a generation or more, but we need to start now with business properties while we have big majorities to work with. Once that battle is won, the rest will follow.

        Eradicate magical thinking

        by Zinman on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:25:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  40% per year property tax increases (0+ / 0-)

          in the 70s are why Prop 13 passed. The combination of increasing property values + increased taxes were a complete nightmare.

          No property owner, including me, is going to vote to return to those days.

          "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

          by Shane Hensinger on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:55:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The inflationary spiral of the late seventies that (4+ / 0-)

            caused property taxes to inflate with values could have been addressed by inflation indexing and is a red herring anyway since property tax rates in California never approached confiscatory levels. Going back to the California of the 1970's, where good paying jobs were available, the public education system was good, and the environmental, anti-war, and peace and justice movements were strong, is not an option, but looking forward to a time when social justice, education and public infrastructure are improved in California with the easing of the restrictions of the Prop 13 regime is a goal to work for.

            It is the property tax policies that support the ridiculous valuations of housing in California and it would only hurt developers, real estate speculators,and landlords if the property tax were allowed to rise to rates that would sustain a public infrastructure to support the needs of the people of the state of California. It might also lead to more affordable housing and affordable property in general.    

            "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

            by KJG52 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:36:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, good points all (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KJG52

              Nicely stated. Unfortunately the legislature chose not to deal with the issue, contenting itself with raking in property taxes, which allowed the hammer of Prop 13 to be passed vs. dealing with the issue in a broad-based and fair manner. The CA legislature often will chose not to deal with an issue thus forcing citizens to deal with it with all the attendant repercussions - like redistricting and primary reform - both of which the Dem-controlled legislature opposed.

              And there is a connection between Prop 13 and inflated property values. Unfortunately it's hard to see how you can decouple those without causing massive chaos in the housing market for those who already own property.

              "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

              by Shane Hensinger on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:43:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Prop-13 also resulted from the "anti-government" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KJG52, Eric Nelson

              sentiment of whites resentful over desegregation. During the sixties, a generation of white Californians "fled to the suburbs" after California enacted job and housing deseg. But school deseg took longer. The court battles were still raging in the mid-seventies.

              Politicians like Ronald Reagan were deft enough to play the the politics of resentment without coming off like a George Wallace Klansman. He didn't attack people of color directly, he made a bogeyman of the government and the court system that "imposed" integration upon everyone else.

              Even though we had a Democratic Governor and legislature by 1977, the Republicans' long effort to sublimate American racism into resentment toward "big government" was ready to harvest in California, thanks to our citizen initiative process.

              Californians were already anxious about inflation and Jimmy Carter's proposed cuts to aerospace spending. Then we had a huge school-busing fight in L.A. County. Some voters bought slop about "taxing granny out of her home", but most just wanted to strike back at a government that was spending THEIR money on THOSE people.

              That sealed the deal for Prop-13.

              Have you noticed?
              Politicians who promise LESS government
              only deliver BAD government.

              by jjohnjj on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:08:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Corporate immortality & immorality (0+ / 0-)

        Large corporations rarely die, and so the property they own (like Disneyland and Chevron) doesn't change hands. Hence, their property taxes increase much more slowly than those for homeowners.
        I left California just before Prop 13 passed, and do remember how difficult it was for so many folks, especially those who had lived in their homes for 30 years or more. But there just wasn't the public awareness then of how Prop 13 would end up helping corporations more than families, and simultaneously devastate the state budget.

        •  Oh, it's worse than that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          laurak

          Those small corporations that owned a piece of property--they didn't just go under and die, and have their property bought by another corp. The new corporation bought the original, and continues to hold it. The property, under the legal fiction, is STILL owned by the original owner. So the taxes didn't get reset.

          That's gone on in many, many cases. Repeatedly. The faction of property taxes paid by corporations has fallen steadily--and this is why. Even as they make more and more and more money, they pay property taxes on the rate that was bases on what a corporation that effectively ceased to exist decades ago paid. Because they bought the corporation, not the property.

          Prop 13 created, effectively, a split roll; one for people, and one that gets preferential treatment, for corporations.  It just hid that.

          "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

          by ogre on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:30:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Willie Brown suggested a tiny change (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Wendell, Eric Nelson

      to the definition of the word "transfer" with respect to commercial property. He pointed out that lots of commercial property doesn't legally change hands but the company that owns the property does. That's why homeowners are paying a much greater percentage of the property tax than they were back in 1978.

      For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

      by Anne Elk on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 10:09:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope that yet is coming to the rest of the USA (8+ / 0-)

    That is great news for California!

    •  Only after we can amass (4+ / 0-)

      that kind of majority at the state level, in many states, so we can overturn the nationwide gerrymander the GOP was able to pull off after the 2010 elections. And unless we decide to do midcycle redistricting, like the Republicans did in TX, we won't get out from under until 2020. Ugh.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:32:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nationwide Gerrymandering (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sidnora, Rube Goldberg

        The trick is to win the 2020 state elections, which means getting out the vote like the Democrats didn't do in 2010.  Every ten years is a census, and districts are reapportioned based on those numbers.  So you have to hold state legislatures in order to make a difference.  

        •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

          Unfortunately for me and the LH, we're old enough that 2020 may never come for us. In the meantime, we get a majority of Democrats elected to our State Senate, only to see a select few of them ally themselves with the GOP. And yes, we have a significant Democratic advantage in registration. They, and our governor, don't let that bother them.

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

          by sidnora on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:22:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is the biggest challenge Dems face. (0+ / 0-)

          Total control of a state legislature can be accomplished quite inexpensively.  Jane Meyer wrote about Art Pope's successful foray in buying GOP control of the NC legislature.  I don't know if the Dems have a strategic plan in place to prevent the next state GOPer takeover.

          Hope I'm wrong, and I invite your thoughts.

        •  The good news for us there (0+ / 0-)

          is that 2020 is a Presidential election year, and (of course) we've been doing much better during those years than in the off years. Because of that, the 2020s would seem to offer those of us on the left the best chance in righting our ship of state that we've had in decades. Unfortunately, we have another 8 years before then that we have to muddle through first, all the while keeping the stupidity and evil of the Republicans front and center on the stage of popular opinion.

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:48:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Republican Future? (17+ / 0-)

    Here in Oregon we once had moderate Republicans like governor Tom McCall who initiated sensible pragmatic legislation and policies. They were actually conservative--for real, not just for limited domestic government but against war and imperialism, too--and socially progressive. Today the party has been effectively seized by zealots who want war, corporate control of the political system, state-sanctioned religion and absolute power over women, workers and minorities. I still wonder, what happened to those Republican moderates? Are they hiding out? Is now the time for them to reassert themselves?

    •  They are becoming democrats - You did see (13+ / 0-)

      what Charlie Crist did?

    •  I remember it like it was yesterday (8+ / 0-)

      I was sitting in a meeting listening to the Chair of the local Republican Central Committee.  They had just lost the White House and California had just elected Jerry Brown Governor.

      He said, "We are the worst salesmen in the world.  We have the best product on the market and yet no one will buy it.  The Democrats have the worst product and it sells like hotcakes."

      That was in 1976.  36 years ago.  Nothing changes.

      •  Time to... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rube Goldberg

        do a new market analysis, not just change the packaging. The Republican product is stale, over-priced, loaded with artificial ingredients, and falsely advertised. I'm not buying!

      •  Best product in the world my ASS! The more they (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bryduck

        talk, the less likely I am to support them.

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 10:59:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Even if the "raging moderates" in the GOP... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mindara, a2nite, JeffW, mrsgoo

      ...tried to assert themselves and force moderation, I'm not certain they can in the short term.

      The nomination process in most states is firmly in the hands of Reactionary Activists. They aren't exactly on cordial terms with the "funders", and yet they expect the funders to fully embrace and unconditionally support whoever they anoint. The funders cannot buy off the activists, at least not quickly enough to change the now established dynamic that will lead to another crop of deeply flawed nominees in 2014. I'd  wager the dynamic will be effectively unchanged in 2016.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:06:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you are right. They really just think that (0+ / 0-)

        changing the message will help. NAAA A Trans-Vaginal probe is a Trans-Vaginal probe. Screwing over the 99% for the 1% has not changed a lick. Good Luck with that strategy.

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 11:02:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Mark Hatfield, et al... Oregon has had some (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tofumagoo, bryduck

      terrific moderate Repubs...

      "Get off this estate." "What for?" "Because it’s mine." "Where did you get it?" "From my father." "Where did he get it?" "From his father." "And where did he get it?" "He fought for it." "Well, I’ll fight you for it." - Carl Sandburg

      by ceebee7 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:29:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fiscal conservatives, too (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevenaxelrod, a2nite, ssgbryan, mrsgoo

      A lot of folks who are fiscal conservatives have also become Democrats.
      The Rs today seem to have decided that "fiscal conservative" means lower taxes no matter what.  It used to mean something different:  balancing the budget, and finding a reasonable way to pay for the services you wanted.  (Eisenhower and the 1950s Rs raised gas taxes to pay for the Interstate highway system, for example.)
      So if you're an old-fashioned fiscal-responsibility-type conservative, you may well be a Democrat in today's world.

      •  Dump the phrase. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KJG52, tofumagoo, Minnesota Deb

        Let them have "fiscal conservative"--and point out what the folks who wrap themselves in that phrase have actually DONE and the consequences.

        Insist, instead, on "fiscal responsibility." Who needs conservatism? That means people getting hurt; wealth transfers to the wealthy, the public trough raided for the benefit of huge corporations and banksters.

        What we want is NOT fiscal conservatism. It's fiscal responsibility.

        "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

        by ogre on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:32:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The RWNJ's have hijacked the word conservative. (0+ / 0-)

        I look at it nowdays and think Limbaugh.

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 11:04:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  My father-in-law is a fundy living in the… (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jjohnjj

        …Antelope Valley who has spent his entire life in the Defense industry, and he stopped voting Republican after he voted for Bush in 2004 because he saw how GOP policies were directly fucking with his own personal finances.

        It takes a special brand of crazy to turn away a married, white, evangelical, national security voter.

        Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

        by DemSign on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 01:39:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's what they're all saying (15+ / 0-)

    "Everyone agrees with us, we just didn't say it right."

    There must have been a memo.

    I'd take a bullet for Neil Gaiman.

    by imonlylurking on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:16:48 PM PST

  •  I look forward to seeing California (13+ / 0-)

    move forward with thoughtful & progressive legislation and policies. Success in CA will lead the way elsewhere in the USA.

    I just hope to see more states disavow gerrymandering in favor of having independent commissions drawing political boundaries. When there are more 50/50 districts and candidates have to run on their ideas, Democrats win because Republican "ideas" suck.

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:20:35 PM PST

    •  Yes, the Dems did much better (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ssgbryan, reid fan, tofumagoo, bear83, mrsgoo

      with a non-partisan redistricting than they ever did when they were running things but had to bargain with, and be outbargained by, the Repubs.

      That innocuous proposition establishing non-partisan redistricting, which I voted for with qualms--because the Democratic Party opposed it, and I thought they might know what they were talking about--has precipitated a political revolution.

      Four or five of the eight Congressional seats that Democrats won in the last election nationwide were in California. Those victories wouldn't have happened without the non-partisan redistricting. Try it, you'll like it.

      •  That's just it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrsgoo

        We don't need a bunch of 55 D-45 R districts to win - there's only so may of those you can draw, and you can end up with some pretty sub-par representatives if all they have to worry about is winning a primary.

        We need great candidates with great ideas in 50/50 districts.

        Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

        by bear83 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:03:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  How KFI has fallen (6+ / 0-)

    I'd much rather listen to Lohman & Barkley than John & Ken, and they're both dead.

    •  I've seen articles on these guys that say that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, a2nite, stevenaxelrod

      their ideology is hard to pin down because once in a while they'll toss in something surprising or something that sounds liberal or liberaltarian.

      SHIT. They've gotten worse and worse over the years and unfortunately in the L.A. area still have enough craphead racist angry white guys (maybe in the Valley, etc.) to support them.

      "There's a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that that's all some people have? It isn't much, but it's better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan." --Joel McCrea as "Sully," in "Sullivan's Travels."

      by Wildthumb on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:29:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't believe they're (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wildthumb

        still around. I listened to them occasionally when I lived in OC in the early '90s. They did seem to have a libertarian bent, at least back then.

        Grew a mustache and a mullet / Got a job at Chick-Fil-A

        by cardinal on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:49:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not at all (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevenaxelrod, KJG52, Wildthumb

        They are VERY easy to pin down, as easy as pinning a swastika to your shirt.  They are poorly disguised Nazis looking to incite another Kristallnacht.  Some of their shows are 3 hours of non-stop racial hatefest that would put Goebbels to shame.

        And just because these Nazis might like to smoke some pot or get their mistresses an abortion or do something that coincides with a liberal position, you can be sure that they would never allow you that as a right, much less one of the "mud races" that they rail about.  

      •  John and Ken: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KJG52, Wildthumb

        very highly paid corporate employees specializing in sneer and scorn hate radio.  They have a great future biting the heads off chickens at carnivals in the deep south.  

    •  The good old days. (0+ / 0-)

      Humor instead of fear.

    •  John and Ken are not right wingers (0+ / 0-)

      They are conservative on many issues, but are also  liberal on issues like gay rights and Iraq. Ken voted for Obama in 08.

  •  Liberals Should Cheer These Dolts........ (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, ellefarr, JeffW, ssgbryan

    There is no greater recruiting tool for progressives than right-wing talk radio. Given the choice between ratings and winning elections, these clowns will choose ratings  every time, and that just fine with me.

    As soon as I get to the bottom of this, I'll get the next plane.

    by Holly Martins on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:24:43 PM PST

  •  I don't understand why California gets such a (10+ / 0-)

    bad rap in the media.

     I feel like that now since the republicans have all been soundly dismissed and California can now rule as an almost absolute progressive state...we will see the true growth that can be made with progressive economic policy.

     I think California will be an economic example of what happens when taxes are as they should be, society is put first and programs for the people by the people are put in place and operational.  

    The meme that "people and businesses are fleeing the bankrupted California" will change very soon to the state we all want to live in and the state that has such an economic boom, companies will have no choice but to WANT to set up shop there.

      Sunny California will be flourishing and growing so much that it should be a perfect model for the entire country.

    •  Simple - we have had financial issues that the (0+ / 0-)

      RWNJ's have latched onto. And in some cases, they have a point. But I do think that CA will once again thrive.

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 11:14:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think I am quietly optimistic. (20+ / 0-)

    After my state elected Schwarzenegger I sorta gave up hope for awhile.
    Now if only we could get rid of fucking Issa.

  •  The passage of Prop 30 made me smile (9+ / 0-)

    all over.

    It's not that Prop 30 is ambitious in its aim; it's only purpose is to stem further, drastic cuts to public infrastructures, including especially public education. Rather, I'm smiling so big because Prop 30 enacts and actual, old-style progressive tax. The political establishment had spent so much time and energy these past few decades defeating those.

    Now, no matter what the Kochs feel about new taxes for the super-wealthy, they're ba-a-a-a-ck.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:28:13 PM PST

  •  It really won't matter what CA repugs do to (6+ / 0-)

    try and burnish their image and message. As long as the national GOP continues their insanity with its systemic hatred of everybody not white, xtian, married, and male, they will continue act like a boat anchor to the state party.

    As a Californian Democrat, I honestly would prefer a robust and sane opposition party to act as a counterweight to some of the crazies on our side but, in their current state, having the super majority is a good thing.

    I don't get mad. I get stabby!

    by sizzzzlerz on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:29:03 PM PST

  •  Before they can "strengthen" ties (9+ / 0-)

    With women and minorities, don't they have to make the ties first?

  •  Wrote a diary once called the "Pete Wilsoning" (12+ / 0-)

    of the National GOP in 2007. It was about how even though Pete Wilson won most of the battles he fought each battle alienated another section of the California to the point where they were no longer willing to vote for Republicans. I saw the national GOP headed that direction.

    The Pete Wilson-ing of the National GOP

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:30:24 PM PST

  •  As a Cali native (10+ / 0-)

    this story makes me very happy.  Unfortunately, I now live in NY where our allegedly democratic governor seems to think that the best way to position himself for a 2016 prez run is to sound and act like a republican.

    I STILL want to see Mitt's taxes.

    by Van Buren on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:32:27 PM PST

  •  to borrow a phrase from Hunter (5+ / 0-)

    Republican tears sustain me.

    The power of the Occupy movement is that it ....realizes a fundamental truth about American politics… there is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs.

    by orson on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:34:18 PM PST

  •  Let's hope they continue to stumble (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, JeffW

    The Republican agenda has always been unsellable, and the more clever of them have always tried to hide it during elections with dummy issues and smokescreens.  If they actually think that their philosophy is sound enough to express clearly but needs a sugar coating, good luck to them.  They can put all the frosting they want on a brick, but they will still not be able to get us to eat it.

    Bene Scriptum, Bene Intellectum.

    by T C Gibian on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:44:15 PM PST

  •  Diversity Outreach Tema (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mindara

    And all this time I thought Republicans opposed Affirmative Action.

    Silly me.

    “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

    by RoIn on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:51:55 PM PST

  •  GOP "outreach" works very much like this... (0+ / 0-)

    Otto practicing an apology in "A Fish Called Wanda"

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by richardak on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:57:55 PM PST

  •  Their diversity problem stems from their policies; (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glitterscale, JeffW

    Can't fix one without the other. The thing is to get their voters to NOT vote. They may come up with a better messsge nee lie& a better liar than Rmoney. But i think the Rs are a loathsome bunch, myself. We need to GOTV.

    (R's) take those tired memes and shove 'em, Denise Velez Oliver, 11/7/2012.

    by a2nite on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:58:03 PM PST

  •  Haters Have To Hate (7+ / 0-)

    It's all they have. It's all they are after having cut away the last bit of humanity from themselves. Now that the Republicans and other right wingers see that their ugliness is on display for all to see, they want to do "outreach" to shift the view away from the monsters they've made themselves into. How stupid do they think people are?

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:01:15 PM PST

  •  Jews. They can't even get the Yids to... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mindara, Dogs are fuzzy, JeffW, madhaus

    ..vote for them, even though most of us have made it to the middle class or better.

    That's because we have memories. We understand what diversity and the American Dream mean, are supoosed to mean.

    Bigots and reactionaries will have a hard time getting the rest of us to go along with them. At least I hope so!

    "This is NOT what I thought I'd be when i grew up."

    by itzik shpitzik on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:04:27 PM PST

    •  We are a hard case. Just sayin' (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itzik shpitzik, stevenaxelrod, JeffW

      Getting Jews to agree on anything is tough game anyway :-)

      But in general, the Party of Au-thor-ee-tay is going to have trouble with a community that in general is not big on any form of human authority, starting with its own leadership.  Heck, go back to the Torah, and look how Moshe tries to deal with B'nei Yisrael:

      All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Zin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord and camped at Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink
      Therefore the people found fault with Moses and said, give us water to drink. And Moses said to them, Why do you find fault with me? Why do you put the Lord to the proof?
      But the people thirsted there for water and the people murmured against Moses and said why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill me and my cattle with thirst?
      So Moses cried to the Lord saying: What shall I do with this people? A little more and they will stone me. (Ex 17:1-4)
      Face it, we were made to be Democrats.

      [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

      by mbayrob on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:38:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Modern conservatism was founded by "shock jocks." (10+ / 0-)

    I don't think many have made the connection yet, but much of the modern conservative movement has been founded by ex-shock jocks like Beck, Michael Savage, Hannity and, of course, Rush.

    Heck, Fox News is basically Shock Jock TV.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:05:40 PM PST

    •  And it's shock jocks who run the GOP (0+ / 0-)

      Is it just me, or does anyone think that with Dems, it's the actual elected officials who are considered the leaders, while with the GOP, it's Fox News and shock jocks who essentially lead the way in setting policy and ideology?

  •  All victory is fleeting. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, starduster

    I worry that the CalDems will loose momentum now that they have the super majority.  

    Too many self interests and lobbies on the left that want funding and think that they now have an open floodgate.  Go to far or push the limits and this could backfire on dems.  The repubs are weak, not stupid.

    Build the economy first, make it strong.  Once it is going strong and has a sturdy foundation, then is a good time to tackle the social issues.   For now, I would hope that the legislature would hold the line on social issues rather than make sweeping changes.  

    To put it another way, The ship of State is in the process of being righted, right it too far and we will have to dodge cannon rolling across the decks of the ship unless we take time to secure them first.  

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:26:52 PM PST

    •  That is exactly the opposite of what needs to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KJG52, bryduck

      happen.  California needs to work to form extensive social programs.  A socially sound populace will stimulate the economy from the bottom up and that is what California and, the rest of the nation for that matter, needs desperately.

      Fund as many programs as possible, get people to work, make it easier to raise healthy and educated children, remove businesses that refuse to adhere to safe and worker friendly practices, make green energy and climate conscious policies a top priority.  

      Most of all....get tax levels to the level that they should be, so there are the funds needed to grow a prosperous state.

      California will then become a model for the nation.  

  •  "if they so choose". But will they? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    starduster, stevenaxelrod, reid fan, KJG52

    The 2/3 majorities are a tremendous opportunity.  But I've never had much trust for the state party, the electeds in particular.

    Do we have any idea what Steinberg and Perez will actually do with their majorities.  What they ought to do:  fix structural problems directly where they can, and set up referendum votes where we need to change the constitution (and where the old 1/3 idiots prevented this).

    If the Democratic leadership won't actually create changes that the public can see (and hopefully approve of), they will surely lose their supermajorities in 2014.  We saw what excessive caution on the part of the US Senate leadership bought for us in 2007-2010:  often when the Senate technically had the ability to act, Reid let folks like Nelson and Leiberman tie the institution in knots, and the public was not forgiving of his lack of effectiveness.

    I have no sense so far as to whether Steinberg and Perez will do with their majorities.  But I hope they error on the side of too much action, rather than too little.

    [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

    by mbayrob on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:29:07 PM PST

    •  I think that the frustration (0+ / 0-)

      has been building among elected Dems for so long that they will relish the chance to actually pass any legislation for a change, and there's no reason to believe that they can't get some real good done for the first time in decades. California governance is so messed up, and the Dems know this firsthand, that they know they have to address it head on. Any progress will be noted with increasing pleasure, I would think, among most Dem constituents. I'm hardly what anyone on DKos would call an optimist, but I really think this is the beginning of a snowball effect in California, simply because the state has been so f-ed up for so long--entirely due to Republicans.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:59:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What a sincere diversity outreach can do, however (0+ / 0-)

    is permit like-minded voters to vote GOP who would otherwise find them repulsive.

    I would hope that nobody agrees with either (any) party all the way up and down the line, but I also can't imagine that anybody wants to vote for a party that says "We hate you and your kind."

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:34:54 PM PST

  •  Gerrymandering saved them nationally (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevenaxelrod

    Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would have much different Congressional delegations if not for the fact that 2010 gave the GOP control of the legislatures in these states just in time for re-redistricting.   Otherwise the House would now most likely be in the hands of the Dems.  

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:39:16 PM PST

  •  What's Saving the Republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan

    While the demographics of California are different from that of most other states, I think the real thing saving Republicans nationwide are ALEC, gerrymandered districts, and Republican lies and fearmongering.

    More people voted for Democrats for the House than for Republicans, yet the GOP still maintains over a thirty-seat majority in the lower chamber.  Contrast that with the Democrats picking up Senate seats (Go Elizabeth Warren!) and holding the White House.  

    Misinformation--Soviet-style pravda, if you will--has been part of the GOP's arsenal for decades, but it can only last as long as they have people who keep believing all the pravda.  Those people are dying off and they are not replacing them even at a 1 to 1 rate.  This is why they are pushing disenfranchisement of their political opponents much harder.  However, that can't last either.  They have run out of tricks except for having several states that are reliably Republican no matter what.  That won't hold too well since those states are pushing for secession.

  •  Dear California, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bailey2001, JeffW, begone, madhaus

    Show. Us. How. It's. Done.

    The whole country is watching. Seriously.

    •  Yes, exactly! If California prospers and grows (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, stevenaxelrod, madhaus

      under Progressive policy, then it will become a model for the nation.  If it fails, then it will be an example for the fear mongers to point at.

      Please, California, do the right thing and move fast, hard and without stopping.  No looking back now....it's all in your hands.  Make California everything we dream it should be!

  •  Republicans Last Held the State House in CA (0+ / 0-)

    briefly in 1994-1996--and only a very brief time as for a while Wille Brown managed to be speaker for a while (until I believe he became San Francisco mayor) in 1995, with very clever politics from him.  I believe some odious legislation was pushed through and attempted in 1995 and of course, 1996 had the infamous Proposition 209.

    •  Didn't matter--they've held (0+ / 0-)

      more than 1/3 of the State gov't since forever. When your whole purpose is to destroy the government, you only need to prevent it from functioning to succeed, and in California, 1/3 + 1 is enough.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:01:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is the two GOP wings.... (5+ / 0-)

    The political wing of the GOP thinks they can hire a mariachi band and put a few tokens out there for everyone to see and everything will be fine.

    But the entertainment wing of the GOP gets on the radio and insults Latinos, Blacks, gays, pro-choice women, and those zealots who believe in the scientific method. The entertainment wing provides red meat for the true believers, and they get rich doing so. It's their business, and they ain't stoppin'.

    The entertainment wing provided the insults that helped persuade millions of insulted people to register to vote, to stand in long lines, and to cast their ballots.

    Boehner and McConnell can trot out Rubio and that clown Scott from South Carolina and Nikki Haley, but I don't think they'll find many people buying their version of "diversity." Not so long as the entertainment wing of the party continues with non-stop insults and hate radio.

  •  Diversity Outreach Team -- DOT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, mrsgoo, Eric Nelson

    Their problem is that a supermajority of Californians have connected the DOTs, and know just who these jerks really are, and what they're about.

    Not buying their bullshit.

    "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

    by ogre on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:15:03 PM PST

  •  I am so tired of these loons. And Gagliani beat (0+ / 0-)

    Berryhill!! Wow! Missed that.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:25:05 PM PST

  •  I should point out that.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..in many areas of the south like Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee the Republicans are gaining supermajorities in state houses. That said in comparatively more progressive states like Georgia the overall national vote will soon be more competitive.

  •  The Dems should just write a NEW constitution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    linkage

    I was reading a blog post recently that had a very intriguing proposal - the best thing California Democrats could do with their new supermajority would be not to just amend the constitution but to just scrap the damn thing and write a brand new one.  The reason for this is simple, our constitution has been amended and revised literally HUNDREDS of times and has become pretty obtuse.  It's the third longest constitution in the world!  Check it out yourself here - good luck.  http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/...

    They could put in a simpler tax code, streamline legislative process and environmental regulations, and even throw in marriage equality while they're at it.  Heck, maybe even make a unicameral body.  Then bring it to the people for a vote.  A modern constitution by a modern party for a modern state.  All chosen by the will of the goddamn people.

    Who's with me?

    My dad is a birther. I am not.

    by mrfo on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 11:29:43 PM PST

  •  So what about nonpartisan redistricting? (0+ / 0-)

    I remember many posters here being skeptical about it, and feeling that Democrats were better off playing the game the way it had always been played—maximizing the number of districts they could win, and packing Republicans into as few districts as possible.

    Now we've gotten to the end of a cycle in which two of our most populous states, California and Florida, have instituted some form of nonpartisan redistricting. What's the verdict? Is it something we can get behind?

    I ask because, buried as progressives are in North Carolina, allied to a party that has been redistricted out of majorities for perhaps a generation (i.e., two census cycles), would it not make sense for us to push the Democratic Party toward nonpartisan redistricting as an official policy position? It seems to me that "put the Democrats back in power" doesn't have the ring of "let a majority of voters decide who holds the majority in the legislature."

    But I'm curious what people here think.

    •  If it is fair, (0+ / 0-)

      most progressives support it, win or lose. I think what most people here want is a set up that reflects reality, regardless of the consequences. That is what representative democracy/republic is all about. We are not revolutionaries seeking to overthrow the government, but rather citizens desiring a government that does its job fairly and competently.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:05:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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