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OPINION: Republicans Searching for Blame for the ‘Red Wave’ that Wasn’t

‘Hope’ elicits political contributions; registering Republican voters takes money and time

By Katy Grimes, November 10, 2022 8:58 am

There are many Republicans looking for someone to blame for the Red Wave that wasn’t in Tuesday’s midterm election. They probably should look inward, rather than giving in to the impulse to blame.

Blame might be the most self-defeating coping mechanism.

A political observer and friend calls Democrats “the Corrupt Party,” and Republicans “the Stupid Party.” He has a point.

The first knee-jerk instinct of many Republicans Wednesday morning was to blame former President Donald Trump – and flawed candidates – two very shortsighted reactions.

Imagine blaming the person who took the leap and ran for public office. After being told by Republican leaders to “get involved,” “take a stand,” “run for office,” these same leaders turned on candidates and blamed the red whimper on “Candidate quality,” and Trump endorsements.

If there is an issue with “candidate quality,” who is vetting Republican candidates? Who helps them, who guides them, who leads them in their quest for elected office? The Republican Party? Political consultants? I’ve been told by far too many candidates for state and congressional offices that the Party was nowhere to be found when they needed them most. They are told they have to get elected first in order to receive Party support for future elections.

That is the equivalence of a business owner going to the bank for a loan, and the banker telling the owner they need to be in business longer to receive bank loan assistance.

In many years of analyzing and observing politics, politicians and voters, activist Republicans have morphed from the party of Ronald Reagan to a rudderless indifferent, entitled Party. Ron would be disappointed. Many of the powerbrokers in the state and national Party enjoy their roles so much, they won’t push the envelope or stray from the accepted party methods. But who defines this?

Too many Republicans appear to long for days gone by, and thrive on hope and not reality. And Party leaders feed them buckets of hope every election cycle, rather than focusing on what works – registering voters and voting in greater numbers. “Hope” elicits political contributions; registering new Republican voters takes money and time.

Then those registered voters actually need to vote, which appears to be a problem with many California Republicans. For too many, if their “perfect” candidate is not on the ballot, they stay home, and then complain that “they” aren’t doing enough.

Wednesday morning, before vote counting was even completed, the Republican National Committee (RNC), National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and RJC sent out fundraising requests for Hershel Walker’s December runoff against Rafael Warnock in Georgia. I hope they were helping him this much throughout the campaign.

In 2004, long-time radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt published a crucial book: “If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat.” His message – getting so many Republican voters to cast votes in an election that even if cheating takes place, it can’t impact election outcomes.

This leads to an observation of California politicians and voters – it’s a peculiar relationship. There are few distinguished politicians in the California Legislature any more, and in fact, most are unremarkable, others are shady, lack actual work experience and are intellectually deficient. Yet voters keep rewarding their incompetence and corruption.

California politics is now an actual industry of which there are few qualifications to get in.

California voters just disregarded the worst inflation in 40 years, the highest crime in decades, a President who can’t remember where he is, an energy crisis, high gas prices and a diesel shortage, the open border, hundreds of thousands of homeless living on the streets, and voted in the Democrats whose policies created all of this.

Californians Vote For Inflation, More Crime, Water Shortages, High Gas Prices, And Abortion,” the Globe reported Wednesday.

A statewide survey on economic well-being conducted from October 7 to October 21 by the Public Policy Institute of California found “most Californians are predicting bad times for the state economy in the next 12 months (69%).”

The PPIC also reported:

  • 23% of Californians say the lack of well-paying jobs in their region is a big problem.
  • 23% of Californians say the lack of well-paying jobs is making them seriously consider moving out of the state.
  • About 50% of Californians are upset about rising prices and a similar proportion say the cost of gasoline or other transportation is causing hardships.
  • Many lower-income residents say it would be difficult to cover a $1,000 emergency expense.
  • 50% or more Californians across income groups report having driven less due to the cost of gasoline in the past 12 months.
  • 33% report having reduced meals or cut back on food to save money, including half of lower-income residents.
  • 21% report having work hours reduced or pay cut this past year, including about one-third of lower-income residents.
  • 43% of Californians—including half of lower-income residents—worry every day or almost every day about the cost of gasoline and other transportation.

Did the participants of the PPIC survey vote? Probably. Yet “most think state government should do more to reduce the gap between rich and poor.”

That was their conclusion – that is the California voter. They want the very government and elected lawmakers whose policies cause voters these very serious real world concerns and harms to do more? Ronald Reagan’s prophetic quote applies here: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.'”

Reagan also said, “Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.”

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40 thoughts on “OPINION: Republicans Searching for Blame for the ‘Red Wave’ that Wasn’t

  1. I for one, am NOT disappointed and, as uncalled races become called, I may be even less disappointed. It appears my contribution money was used well by Kevin Kiley and Ron DeSantis. Of course, all I was looking for was SOME progress. If the uncalled Senate and Governor races are called in favor of Republicans, it will give Republicans control of BOTH houses of Congress. That may not be what some would consider a ‘Red Wave’, but it’s a move in the RIGHT direction, no? As for blame – the Democrats and RINOs target will always be TRUMP, the OUTSIDER.

  2. I think it might be time to run a head of lettuce with a (D) after it’s name against a well qualified
    Republican or Independent and you will see the lettuce win.
    I listened to Katy on John Phillips show yesterday and the living example is the Controllers race Lanhee Chen is well qualified ran on the issue VS Malia Cohen who cannot pay her own bills has only served, wait for it, on the SF county supervisors and ran on one issue, abortion.

    So there you have it.
    I live in a county where the Republican voter has shrunk to 10% of the vote. It is clear many Democrats crossed over but only 30% of eligible voters got out and voted.
    We are living in a state where people do not mind being led off a cliff.
    There is a tiny glimmer of good news, the congressional races show that politics is local and some of the districts did flip!
    Can we give a shout out and congratulations to Kevin Kiley who will fight for conservative values in Washington.

    Lettuce for Governor 2024!

    1. “We are living in a state where people do not mind being led off a cliff.”

      Yes, INDEED. Sad but TRUE. These people won’t realize it until it’s too late; and they will be falling off a fiscal cliff as nearly happened in the UK recently with their pension funds. It’s the UNIONS and their politicians who will be leading their sheep off the edge into oblivion. I suggested to my neighbor who works as a teacher that he should get out while the getting is good because his pension fund has a trillion in unfunded liabilities. As for me, moving around the country/world was just part of the military life growing up; so leaving California would be no big deal. I just need to find a place with nice cool weather and a SOLID red majority. The district I am in now, is down to 25% solid red and getting smaller – The Dye is Cast.

      1. Raymond, I always appreciate your well thought out comments.
        It is sad but true, in todays culture many people want to be led and taken care of, they have been conditioned.
        I have waited years for the turn around. I have to say, this election has revealed much to me. I actually am at peace with the turn out. It is what it is.
        Not sure if we will stay in this city or county or even state. My husband and I would also like that nice weather/conservative leaning place to live the rest of our lives in. Keep us posted where you may land.
        No hurricane territory for us.

        Lettuce(D) for Governor 2024

        1. Random thoughts while I try to take a break from election madness to think things through. Once upon a time CAGOP used to offer bounties to register Republican voters, which R clubs found useful and motivating, but no more. It was an effective method of keeping the registration process going. Unknown why it was stupidly dropped. Signed up some time ago with FixCalifornia.com (Ric Grenell’s effort) and want to learn and participate more there. Remember Grenell said it would be five years before we saw any progress with the goals of cleaning voter rolls and registering the state’s conservatives his organization had identified. I knew a fellow Repub who carried a bunch of voter registration forms with her at all times and picked her spots to ask strangers in casual conversations if they were registered Republican.
          Maybe consider moving to a redder or purple county within CA, which would make a nice change from the madness but would keep you here with us. Remember that the bad guys are not unhappy but LOVE it when conservatives leave California.

          1. Yes, good advice as well ShowandTell, we are considering moving to a different part of the state. I would still be able to grow all my citrus😁
            There is so much to love about this state with the exception of our politics.

  3. Should have been an easy win in Pennsylvania and Arizona. But no, we have to deal with Dr. Oz and the fake election fraud claims of Kari Lake.

    1. Do you really think the Murderer loving, brain dead Uncle Fester could really muster more than 2 or 3 percent of the vote?

    2. Kari Lake is right to question the integrity of Arizona’s elections considering that Democrat Katie Hobbs as Arizona Secretary of State refused to recuse herself from overseeing the election that she was running in as governor, only voters in predominately Republican areas were unable to vote on election day while voters in Democrat areas had no such problems, mail-in ballots are prone to fraud, and Arizona has a long history of having election issues.

  4. I read somewhere else that in some states Dem voters received texts, emails and phone calls to remind them to vote for D candidates by name. Reps got no such contact in those same states. Our state GOP is absolutely useless and does as little as possible to boost candidates and get out the vote. Republicans need to do better no matter who the candidates are. Rallies, canvassing, registering Rep voters, boosting the message of the Rep party and candidates – all of those things and more are important, but actual face to face conversations is the thing most likely to change minds and motivate voters.

  5. “Rallies, canvassing, registering Rep voters, boosting the message of the Rep party and candidates – all of those things and more are important, but actual face to face conversations is the thing most likely to change minds and motivate voters.”

    This is true, Erin. The things you mention, as I understand it, were exactly the things that the Kiley campaign did. They followed the lead of coach Bill Walsh (SF 49ers) who taught us that the best defense is a GREAT offense. They went after their opponent and attacked him. They had motivated volunteers who canvassed and made calls through election night – but that does require MONEY and LEADERSHIP at campaign headquarters. All through the campaign I received emails from Kevin himself providing updates and status reports. Not hype. The CAGOP needs to clone the Kiley process throughout California.

  6. The “Republicans” looking to blame Trump are the usual suspects that blame him for everything and Hated all his successes when he was in office. RINO’s are really in the camp of the NWO Globalist Democrats. They are using the Steal as an excuse to try and jettison their hated and rightful President. They will FAIL!

  7. I registered as “Independent” years ago. California’s Republican party has gotten lazy, unfriendly and more cliquish than a bunch high school girls. Trying to find out anything about Republican “events” supporting candidates was met with “why do you want to know?” suspicious eyebrows and all.
    Brian Dahle seems nice. He was an unprepared disaster in that debate but I voted for him anyway. And apparently 4.6% more people voted for him than voted to recall Newsom. What’s up with that? Wrong candidate? He had LESS THAN $1M to campaign on. Imagine if he’d had the full support of the Republicans…
    Oh. Wait. Republicans have written off CA as a lost cause.

  8. The Republican Party needs to dump the Pro Life platform. The public supports limited abortion. Period. The Republican Party has lost too many votes and elections with the hardline Pro Life platform trying to appease Evangelicals. In the 1970s, the Republican Party had no stance on abortion. So now with the Republican Pro Life platform, look what this has gotten us. California now has a Constitutional Amendment that allows abortion up to the time of childbirth.

    1. IMO, the way to fight the abortion issue is lawsuits in every state with legal abortion on the question of when life begins. As it will lose in state courts, can be appealed to Supremes. Back it up with the consensus of science. Just google it. The overwhelming consensus of science is: life begins at conception.
      If Supremes go with science, killing life violates the US Constitution to protect “LIFE” and “due process” for death.
      IMO, seems to me, Supremes have to declare abortion illegal nationwide.

    2. Maybe rabid Democrats care abortion rights but most Californians are more concerned about sky high inflation on almost everything, high housing and rental costs, high gas prices, the economy that is imploding, and rampant crime.

  9. What contributed to the de minimis electoral turnout and results. Considering how bad the Democrats have treated our country, this election should be like shooting apples in a barrel. But where was the PLAN to tell Americans on how the GOP would address the problem?

    We all know the border is dangerously wide open and the trillion dollar borrow and spend contributed to our inflation, but where is the plan and solutions? It feels to me that the primary reason the GOP did not realize the gains that we should have is because our leaders (e.g.: McCarthy) did not have a plan to address solving the problems afflicting America. McCarthy has worked very hard to take back the house. But it feels he is more interested in power for power’s sake then passing laws that help America. At the same time, we must ask ourselves if President Trump offered the leadership in this arena?

    America doesn’t want to just hear about the problems, we want a plan to solve the problem. This election should have been treated more like a Presidential campaign with an exchange of actual ideas and solutions. While some may be afraid to say so, less government is still a significant part of a viable solution. It appears McCarthy thought he could slide into the Speakership on just touting the problems, without having to come up with solutions. That was a misstate which has nothing to do with President Trump. Many say us Republicans are better at charging the city walls then running the city. But have to be better than that.

    1. Where was the equivalent of “The Contract With America” that Newt Gingrich used VERY effectively in 1994? They had a plan, and worked on it. Today? (*crickets*)

      1. Well they did have one. And the measures I saw would have helped us. However, I completely agree where was it? Crickets. I think I only heard the details once and was lucky to hear that They really have crappy marketing. Given the direction of the country it feels like they should have been able to do nothing and steamrolled the country. Wait until the fools feel the cost of heating oil this winter. They’ll find a way to blame the Republicans anyway…..

  10. Thank you Katy for your insights to the current state of the Republican party in California.
    I have first hand experience with the good ole boys of the Republican party and what you say is true, they are a bunch of bloviated big shots, impressed with their own importance. Not willing to get their hands dirty with walking the streets and knocking on doors.
    Leadership with a vision is absent in the CaGOP. This is why this volunteer is absent as well.

  11. As long as we have voting machines in California, the Democrats and Uniparty will remain in power. We need paper ballots and hand counting.

    1. @James Seif, when’s the last time you voted in California? We *do* have paper ballots. Machines are only there to speed up counting. Without machines, Kari Lake types will yell at us for being too slow posting results.

  12. Maybe RINOs who control California’s Republican Party should look in the mirror if they want to cast blame for the red wave that wasn’t? They’ve refused to address the seemingly rampant cheating that goes on with mail-in ballots and they’ve refused to investigate whether voting machines have algorithims that alter elections for Democrats. They’ve also done almost nothing to support conservative Republican candidates? It’s no wonder that so many of us have become independent voters?

  13. The Republican Party has nothing to offer that Democrats have not already stolen from taxpayers. .Nevertheless, brain-dead(D) voters will continue to reward liars(D) and fraudsters(D) who are borrowing future generations into Chinese debt slavery. No matter how bad crime gets, no matter how horrible the Bidenflation economic devastation, no matter how bad the border invasion, the racist CRT propaganda, the groomer/mutilators, the tranny mafia – none of it matters to Democrats, because they will simply out-fraud the voters and steal the election.

  14. Thank you Katy,you’re spot on about the voters in California, the California Republicans are weak and lazy.We had the perfect opportunity to put Newsome out to pasture, and the Republicans let us down this would have been a statement to the rest of the nation that we don’t tolerate a dictatorship. All we needed was for the GOP to step in with money and and extra resources, if the recall was successful I think you would have more than the red wave they were talking about. The 800 pound elephant in the room was voting for the top two vote getters,the Dems once again found another way to suppress the other side,until that changes your going to continue the stupidity.

  15. You can thank Silicon Valley billionairs who are protecting their interests by funding candidates.
    And you can thank the citizens who are stupid enough to vote for them.
    California politics even embarrasses Chicago!

  16. I was initially discouraged, because of the lack of a “red wave”. Of course, I expected cheating, and that seems to be happening through keeping republicans from voting (broken machines, run out of paper ballots, dumping of ballots), enabling of lowered standards to allow any votes (“we’re not the photo police” being taught), etc. I couldn’t understand how the Democrats’ focus on abortion was even a successful campaign, except that now I understand they targeted the huge block of single women (and men) who likely want sexual freedom and absolution from guilt. (now legal to kill)

    The republican party for some reason did not do anything but stand out of the way and let the democrats make fools of themselves, nor offer strong defense or direction when appropriate. DeSantis and Florida down-ballot wins are proof that integrity and standing up with good EFFORTS are what people are yearning for in leadership.

    Where is the backbone of leaders and unity in the party? (I’m “No Party Preference” for a reason – used to be Republican) Where is the support when someone stands up and declares the truth, and says, “No more.” against a wave of immorality, deceit, acceptance and promotion of criminals having more rights than honest citizens, and they are attacked for doing so?

    The CA republican party leadership seems happy with “the title that comes with their position”, but seem to accept the donations that keeps them quiet, or supporting weak candidates. The selection of Brian Dahle for instance was a shameful example of picking a person without moral conviction and courage to stand up, when they manipulated the candidate selection over Anthony Trimino in the 5th round of voting following 4 very strong rounds of support for Anthony.

    And the silence after the election and drawn out results? All part of a media ploy to blame Trump. He has a 91% success rate so far with placing winning candidates. Oh, wait. The Republicans didn’t tell you that did they? And now they’re complicit in the pitting of Trump against DeSantis (both good candidates) in an effort to split the republican party for 2024.

    We have a lot to be hopeful for if we focus, unify, stand up for good leadership and principles that are DEMONSTRATED. And for heaven’s sake, STAND UP FOR SOMETHING! (besides the status quo). Because YOU’RE not leading the pack. Trump is, and you’re too busy attacking him for showing how decrepit and accepting of a “uniparty” you have become with the democrats.

    DeSantis AND Trump and Lake are attracting people. Perhaps look harder at WHY, rather than cast blame and aspersions on others.

    The people are TELLING you what they want (if you haven’t figured it out).

    And most of our “leaders” are acting like Barney Fife handling a pistol and bullet in a mediocre robbery, as a way to flaunt their authority, while accepting hush money in the back pocket.

  17. Cali Girl, that just happened – except the entity with the IQ of a head of lettuce is named Gavin Newsom…
    We got Dominioned again…
    Until we get rid of those GD machines with all their security weaknesses and “undervote” algorithms and “adjudication” override features and centralized processing, CA voters will be at the whim of the “lettuce head” party of corruption and cheating…

  18. McCarthy is an empty suit, much like Mitch McConnell….
    Those two country club Republicans are only interested in their personal power, prestige and ability to personally enrich themselves, not solve populist problems that confront everyday Californians and Americans….
    They are Democrats in Republican wrappers….

  19. PF, I concur…
    The Republicans need to stop trying to legislate morality…
    I personally find abortion repugnant, especially as a form of birth control, but if Republicans are true to limited government and personal liberty, if a woman decides to murder her infant, that is on her soul and conscience, and between her, God and her murdering physician…
    But don’t expect me to PAY for your infanticide,either…
    Republicans need to get out of people’s personal reproductive issues and into their pocketbooks and work on solving broader issues first, and work on the moral issues much later after the other problems (economy, security of the electoral process, water and fuel and energy policy, border security, for starters)
    Lindsey Graham is an idiot and controlled opposition for the Democrats, making abortion the lightning rod issue of these midterms…

  20. We need the old-school, punch out the box ballots that were tabulated at the precinct level, not centralized, algorithmically modifiable platforms from D o m I n I o n.
    The hanging chad issue is much easier to combat than these fill-in-the-bubble, open to interpretation/adjudication eligible ballots, and don’t get me started on the lack of voter-roll updates, voter ID to receive a ballot and vote-counting accuracy, election SEASON and all the vote by mail/CHEAT by mail and “vote harvesting” policies that the Democrat party promulgated under the guise of “fairness”….
    Where the hell was the CAGOP when all the cheating was instituted???
    We need Harmeet Dhillon as CAGOP chair, an attorney who can LEAD THE FIGHT for election integrity in California, not Jessica Millan Patterson,who does NOTHING except send out emails, bleating for money….

  21. The fact is, that one party has mastered mail in voting, and the other has not.

    Most California Democrats refused to debate. Why? Because they’d already won through ballot harvesting from low info voters flooded with party propaganda, fancy spending programs that promise benefits but only allow Dems to launder money back to their supporters, and dire warnings of catastrophe if their candidate is not elected.

    Watch for the latest bitcoin scandal to explode back in the face of Dems, as it is revealed that much of the money Sam Fried (the second largest Dem donor after Soros) “sent to Ukraine” was actually laundered back to Democrats.

  22. Thanks Katie. 93% of the candidates Trump backed won. They are trying to divide us now between MAGA and the established Republicans. You hit it on target when you have McConnell spending money in Alaska and ignoring Arizona and other battleground states. I also didn’t see anyone on the National level push back on the abortion message that the Dems raised. We have over 30 years of pro life information to counter the left’s rhetoric, yet we let them run with the falsehoods. It is time to look inward and time to fight back using their tactics. Right now we are in that ultimate definition of insanity. The Republican leaders are trying the same thing over and over, hoping for a different outcome.

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