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Ray Haynes

Don’t Blame Republicans, Blame Me

Last week, George Skelton, the decades long LA Times columnist, and long time Democrat apologist and attack dog, wrote a column titled “Don’t Like the Budget, Blame Republicans.” Intriguing headline.

Consider, Democrats have controlled the both houses of the Legislature since 1996, and the Governor’s office since 1998 (except for a brief stint in 2003-4, when Arnold Schwarzenegger actually acted like a Republican). In 1996, the total state general fund expenditure was approximately $53 billion, the 2019-20 budget estimates next year to spend $147 billion. School spending has increased from approximately $26 billion in 1996 to $55 billion in 2019. Despite a nearly 300% increase in spending in 20 years, our schools are still failing, and our state government is falling apart. Despite a 300% increase in available funds, the Democrats still feel a need to increase taxes on basics like gasoline, water, and telephones. And Mr. Skelton said “Blame Republicans.”

Of course, reading the article shows that what Mr. Skelton means is that Republicans are just not liberal enough, so it is their fault they are losing elections. And that allows the Ds to run rampant in California. Ignore the fact that the last time California Republicans flirted with modern Democrat-style liberalism, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor, that flirtation did more to destroy the Republican brand in California than anything the Democrats could have done. Of course, when Republicans were coming close to winning, during the Wilson administration, when they were fighting illegal immigration, cutting the car tax, restoring balance and sanity to the California budget, and working to fix our schools and our roads, Mr. Skelton was Republicans’ biggest critic. When Republicans listened to Skelton (and Schwarzenegger’s siren song of left wing capitulation), Republicans lost. When they fought for the values of freedom, family and free enterprise, they won. Go figure.

But I started thinking about what Skelton said, and it occurred to me that Republicans’ current problems are my fault. You see, I actually presided over the State Senate for 20 minutes in 2000, for the swearing in of new legislators that day, which means that the last time a Republican actually presided over either house of the Legislature in the last 20 years was me!!!! I must have done something wrong in that 20 minutes to cause the complete collapse of California. It is therefore not the Republicans’ fault, it is my fault, blame me. I no longer have a vote in the Legislature, and can’t stop, or speak out, against an irresponsible budget, but its passage is my fault.

Then I thought, of course it is me. I left the Legislature in 2006, I then became so focused on earning a living and feeding my family, that I no longer focused on politics. In 2002, I came up with the “adopt a district” plan, a neighborhood by neighborhood strategy to revive the Republican Party throughout the state of California city by city, district by district. Why am I at fault? I haven’t done enough to push the plan. I still have to earn a living, but I do have a responsibility to this state.

I also started the Community Renewal Project, an effort to promote Republican values in communities of need, showing why the welfare state traps the poor, why churches, and not government programs, are the way out of poverty, and a way towards safer and stronger communities. My problem? Again, when I left the Legislature, and had to feed my family, I handed the program off to other legislators, and it fell apart.

I have spent the last 6 years trying to implement a way to bring election resources back to Republicans here in California, and have spent more time fighting Republicans (while the party continued to die) than anyone else, mainly due to Republican based small “i” ignorance about the Constitution and how to get elected than anything else. It is my fault that I have not been persuasive enough on this front.

So George, blame me. I haven’t worked hard enough to defeat Democrats in California, or spread the word well enough that conservative values are the key to a strong, clean, safe, well-educated, and functioning society and government. Don’t blame the elected Republicans. Right now, they feel so defeated, they don’t know what to do. There are some of us who do, and have not yet given up hope. It is our job to fight.

Governor Newsom is right on one level. Republicans will be doomed to the “waste bin of history” if they don’t stand up for the values that led to the victories that led to the Republican retaking of the House of Representatives in 1994, and the first legislative majority in both houses of Congress since 1954. More than that, however, we all have to work, work harder, work smarter, and demonstrate to the people of the State of California why the values of freedom, family, and free enterprise are better for their lives than the socialist agenda of the current majority party in California.

Don’t blame Republicans, blame me. I haven’t done enough, it is time for me to do more. It is my responsibility.