The Right Opinion

Plotting the Future of California's GOP

By Burt Prelutsky · Feb. 28, 2013

Last month, I was invited to be on a panel at the bi-annual convention of the California Congress of Republicans. This isn't just a gathering of like-minded conservatives. These are political activists whose lives are built around actually trying to wage successful campaigns in a state so blue, it could be renamed East Hawaii.

In case you're unaware, this is the place where the Democrats hold super majorities in both the state senate and the state assembly. This is the place that Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Henry Waxman, Brad Sherman and Maxine Waters, call home. We're the cuckoo nest that decided that the only thing better than having a young Jerry Brown as our governor was having an old Jerry Brown.

The folks who show up at these conventions are nice people, but they are so divorced from reality that they actually believe they can win elections if they simply make 10 more phone calls or knock on 10 more doors at election time. And the truth is, they can. But only if they're outside the large urban areas on the coast, which just happens to be where most of us live.

The way I look at it, they're not hurting anyone and everybody needs a hobby. It's sort of like the arts and crafts classes they have at the asylum. The activities aren't going to cure the inmates, but it keeps them occupied. So it is that while the crackpots stay busy making lanyards and pot holders, California Republicans hold conventions.

The panel consisted of five politicians and me. I figured I had them out-numbered.

In my opening statement, I said, “When I heard I'd be up here surrounded by politicians, I figured I might have to use a crow bar in order to get a word in edgewise. So I better get it all said up front.

"There may have been a few California Republicans who couldn't make it today because of the lousy weather, but it seems to me that most of us are in this room. Hard to believe that when I was young, California was a conservative state. What's more, the L.A. Times was a conservative newspaper.

"When I heard Dick Morris tell Bill O'Reilly a few years ago that Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina were locks to win their elections against Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer, I began trying to track him down. I didn't want to set him straight, you understand; I just wanted to get a bet down.

"The fact is, I was convinced that Mitt Romney was going to defeat Barack Obama up until the time I heard Morris agreeing with me.

"The trouble in California is the trouble with America. Most voters are dumb and lazy and are either getting goodies from the liberals or hope to get them. And it certainly doesn't help that the Left controls the message because they control the mass media. There is at least a partial solution. Instead of sinking millions of dollars into her own ill-fated campaign, Meg Whitman should have been buying up newspapers and local TV stations. Frankly, with the state senate and state assembly in the hands of left-wing super majorities, I couldn't even imagine why she wanted to be the governor of California.

"People such as the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson should be doing the same thing on a national basis. I'm not suggesting they'd be able to pick up ABC, NBC and CBS, but there are plenty of other media outlets they could buy up and control, including those targeting Hispanic and Asian voters. Adelson, who wasted millions of dollars bankrolling Newt Gingrich's ill-fated bid for the GOP nomination, owns the Sands and is worth approximately $22 billion. He does own a newspaper, by the way. Unfortunately, it's the HaYom, in Israel.

"On a national level, the GOP is so dumb that they don't even take advantage of the fact that the Democrats allow a couple of stiffs like Harry Reid, a man born to oversee funeral arrangements, and Nancy Pelosi, who's had so much plastic surgery, even her dog no longer recognizes her, be the face of their party.

"But what does our side do? Instead of counterpunching by making use of such smart and personable people as Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Thune, by having them front for our side, we wind up with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. Now, behind closed doors, they may be two very savvy guys. I wouldn't know. But in a world where image counts for a great deal, they are about as appealing as chicken pox.

"With the GOP, our motto seems to be: God forbid we ever take advantage of an advantage.

"Even when we had control of the White House and the two houses of Congress, from 2001-2007, we did almost nothing to promote a conservative agenda. Instead, we behaved like a bunch of giggly high school girls hoping that the starting quarterback, aka Ted Kennedy, would invite us to the prom.

"When it comes to strategy, it's as if the Democrats are playing in the major leagues and the Republicans are like kids goofing around in a sandlot. That's why the best we do when we somehow manage to win national elections, is to half-heartedly apply the brakes. Alas, that means that when the Democrats inevitably stage a comeback, they get to pick up exactly where they left off.

"I mean, we controlled the works for six long years and we never even tried to head off ObamaCare by applying a little commonsense to the problem of health care in America. Did we allow people to buy insurance across state borders? We did not. Did we initiate tort reform in order to safeguard doctors against nuisance suits brought by ambulance chasers? Of course not. I mean, why would we want to offend trial lawyers, who are probably the fourth most generous benefactors to the Democratic Party, trailing only unions, Hollywood nitwits and George Soros!

"I hate to come off as the Grim Reaper, but I'm afraid the GOP has a bleak future in California. Unfortunately, there are sizable blocs of California voters – Hispanics, blacks, Asians, Jews, feminists, gays and college students – who have, for a variety of mainly venal reasons, found their home in the other party. And the fact is, habits, let alone addictions, are tough to break.

"In case it escaped everyone's notice, in the 2012 presidential election, the positive news in California was that Obama received 420,000 fewer votes than he garnered in 2008. The really depressing news is that even after the state barely survived four years of this menace in the White House, Mitt Romney received 200,000 fewer votes than John McCain!

"But, in the spirit of the occasion, I will try to end this address on a high note. The truth is that things, even here in California, are not entirely hopeless.

"For instance, if that huge earthquake we've been hearing about our entire lives finally hits, and manages to dump a 30 mile swath of western California in the Pacific, not only would this hotel have an ocean view, but we Republicans would never lose another election.”

NOTE: I have been approached to host an internet talk radio show. The only hang-up is that it requires a certain level of sponsorship in order to get started. If you own a company, sell a product or provide a service, or if you know someone – preferably someone dedicated to conservatism – who owns a company, sells a product or provides a service, who would be willing to consider sponsoring my show, please contact me at, and I will be happy to answer any and all questions. In the meantime, you will all be alerted once I get airborne. Best of all, if the show does well, I will be able to quit dunning you folks for donations to the Fund to Keep Burt Prelutsky From Pursuing a Life of Crime!


Tom in New York said:

Burt, I couldn't agree with you more. The Republican party has a set of young guns who could change the face of our party for the better and yet, we see John Boehner. Until we wake up and start attacking the Democrats with strong Conservative values and show we have something to offer, we'll continue to move toward the harsh reality of Socialism. The Republican party spends most of its time on its heals due to the lack of leadership. I spent ten years in the military. I served under the greatest Conservative in our history. I don't have to tell you who that was. Boehner needs to step aside and let Rubio lead this party. And when you talk about dumb voters, you hit the nail on the head. I'm sorry to say it, but I think Cuomo has an agenda farther left than that of California. I want to believe that there are dumber voters in California, but the fact that I live in the biggest welfare state in the union kind of says it all. You can't tell me there are dumber voters than in New York. How dumb are they you ask? Can you say Chuck Schumer? Enough said!

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 6:27 AM

ArmyofOne in MN replied:

Minnesota is lost! Can it get worse than Al Franken in the Senate? Or Mark Ritchie as Sec of State? Fraud in Minnesota is rampant, and with a 'new' voter bill about to be passed by the Democrat controlled goverment, it's going to get worse...if that's even possible! Democrats' always seem to find a way!

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 7:59 AM

ArmyofOne in MN replied:


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Army: Perhaps if Minnesotans marched on the capital, they could scare the Democrats into rethinking their evil ways. Isn't it time that Republicans showed that they can hold a demonstration the way the other side always seems able to do?


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Tom: You could also mention Michael Bloomberg, but I would see your Schumer and Bloomberg, and raise you Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom, Henry Waxman and Maxine Waters.


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Patrick in Houston replied:

If Henry Waxman married Maxine Waters and they had a daughter named "Waxine Matters", she still couldn't be as stupid as Sheila Jackson-Lee. Only that idiot from Georgia who thinks the Pacific Ocean is going to capsize into Guam is dumber than she is.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Patrick: Maxine Waters isn't quite ready to give up her crown. She just said that thanks to the Sequester, we could lose 170 million jobs! You have to wonder just how many people she thinks reside in the U.S., let alone have jobs.


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Tom in New York replied:

Burt, what about looking at it "per capita" then how do I compare?

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Tom: I'm afraid you'd still run behind us. But it would be a contest.


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Cooneye in North Carolina replied:

To guarantee the winning hand Burt you need Nancy Pelosi as the Ace. A Royal Straight Flush will beat them all and with her you win!


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Lee in Phoenix said:

What if we lock up all the young Republicans, Tea Party members and selected Libertarians in a room together and tell them they can't come out until they hammer out a consensus for a new party platform to replace the GOP. Then offer memberships to certain old-guard Republicans (no RINOs) and start over? Would anybody then report on the new voice of conservatism?

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 7:47 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Lee: The report would conclude that the Democrats will never lose another national election.


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Orf in Pittsburgh replied:

The Libertarian-GOP group should put free pot for everyone as the first plank in the platform to win all the young libtard voters. Free Willy, Free Pot! Vote the neo-GOP! We don't really have to legalize pot, just like the Dumbocruds don't have to do anything they promise. That's the American way in politics.

Friday, March 1, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Doktor Riktor Von Zhades in Western KY said:


I was going to suggest something along the same lines as your ending statement. However, since we do not know WHEN the next one is going to hit, how about all ya'll in CA, start a movement in the conservative counties, to secede from that state? As you have mentioned most seem to be east of the fault and as such could use it as a boundary line. You can call the state E. CA, or give it another name, if you so choose, maybe the State of Bliss, or State of Common Sense, or perhaps the State of Neaner Neaner,

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Mindblown in Flyover USA replied:

I'll join you in hoping for the California earthquake as I am for the meteor to hit DC while its in session.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Ready4AChange in Illinois replied:

or... try to get all the libturds to move to the coast, and maybe it will "slip" into the ocean! Never hurts to hope!

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Ready: Or send them all to Guam and see if it tips over.


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Orf in Pittsburgh replied:

My thought exactly!

Friday, March 1, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Doktor: I am all in favor of dividing the state and the union. We are surely more divided today than we were 150 years ago. But what is the State of Neaner Neaner?


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Doktor Riktor Von Zhades in Western KY replied:

I suppose I should clarify on Neaner, Neaner. It's like sticking your tongue and saying, I told you so.....

Friday, March 1, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Howard Last in Wyoming said:

Two comments which sum it all up. God Owful Party. Republicans never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity.

Boehner, McConnell, Karl Rove, McCain, Lindsay Graham, etc have got to go.

I guess we can always vote Whig Party. What they ebcame irrelevant and no longer exist. BTW, it is not only Kalifornia, but it is happening here with the republican leadership. You should see some of the crap they pushed through the legislative session this year. Yesterday was the last day as they can only meet for 40 days every other year and 20 days the other years. It keeps down the damage they can do. They are all upset because some of the pro gun people did not speak nice to them, they only told the truth about the crap they have been doing.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Howard: Your legislative body may be awful, but by averaging only 30 days a year in session, they set an example that should be followed by every such body in the nation, including the House and the Senate.


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Kevin from Arkansas in USA replied:

At one time in the not too distant past the Arkansas legislature met 40 days every 2 years. It was said we'd be better off if they met 2 days every 40 years.

Alas the law was changed and now they meet every year. This particular year - not so bad with several pro-gun laws passed and a couple still in committee.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Tex Horn in Texas said:

Burt, I'm happy seeing you give Republicans their due, especially Boehner and McConnell, the least appealing of them all. I vote for Ted Cruz to be the face of the new Republic.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Tex: Cruz keeps looking better and better. I was beginning to like Rand Paul, but then he voted for Chuck Hagel.


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Cooneye in North Carolina replied:

While Hagel is bad enough just look at the RINO Senators who voted to confirm John (who served heroically in Vietnam and after) Kerry as Secretary Of State.

That really sent me over the edge of any hope for the Republican Party and any chance at all of ever re-gaining majorities in both houses to try feebly, as they always do, to right the ship.

I have jumped the Ship Of Hope with my weapons and ammo and am hunkered down just watching and waiting for what is surely to come.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Orf in Pittsburgh replied:

Was Paul having a fugue state, a mental absence seizure? How could he vote for the worst possible candidate for defense?

Friday, March 1, 2013 at 2:10 PM

JAC in Texas replied:

Now they're giving Cruz crap because he "won't play nice with the other kids." We need a lot more of this playground conflict by the Republicans if we're going to get anywhere. I agree with the above comments--people need to start calling Odickhead the liar he is, and let the chips fall where they may.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:17 PM

MaggieD in Jacksonville, NC said:

Burt – You say “I'm not suggesting they'd be able to pick up ABC, NBC and CBS, but there are plenty of other media outlets they could buy up and control, including those targeting Hispanic and Asian voters.” Heck, I think that’s a great idea, but unfortunately Al Gore (and his ilk) would rather sell to Al Qaeda than a conservative.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Maggy: Fortunately, Gore doesn't own any papers or TV stations. I'm sure that there are plenty of media outlets that would be happy to sell out to conservatives. But our rich guys are too stupid to know how to best spend their money. They would rather sink $20-25 million trying to get Gingrich the nomination.


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Old Desert Rat in Las Vegas, NV said:

Republicans yell at Christie but at least you know where he stands. Rubio is my fave with Paul Rand a close second. We need young blood, blunt talk and more minorities. People like Carcon and West give me hope for more and stronger Black Conservaties. Finesse and diplomacy have not worked with the likes of Reid, Pelosi and Obama. Liars let mild rebuke roll of their backs and nothing touchs their consciences because they don't have them.When Hagel refuses to help Israel and Kerry finishes sweet talking "Burma" may be few idiots will wake up.....but by then it may KYAG time.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

ODR: Paul Rand? Could you not decide between Rand Paul and Paul Ryan?
I prefer the latter.


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Old Desert Rat in Las Vegas, NV replied:

Yes, Ryan....also I meant Carson....when I get wound up my brain overloads my fingers.....

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Paul Couch in N.C. said:

Burt, I think Warren "tax me more" Buffet reads your column. You have been advocating buying news outlets for awhile. Buffet now owns at least five newspapers in N.C. The latest is the Greensboro News and Record.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Paul: I wouldn't be the least bit surprised that Buffet is paying attention to me. I noticed that after I wrote that Obama should be addressing the absence of fathers in the black community, he mentioned it in his State of the Union address and in his speech the day after in Chicago. If only I could get the Republicans to pay heed, we'd all be much better off.


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:14 PM

MajorStu in Peru, IN said:

I'm sure you can find some Kalifornia Kool-Aid drinkers who take on the wager (maybe Dick Morris if you can hunt him down) on the odds that when the big earthquake hits, everything EAST of the San Andreas Fault will fall in the ocean.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 3:10 PM

HP in Kalispell, MT said:

Playing nice doesn't work! If the GOP ever wants to win again, start being loud and crude. The people, even low-info Dems, love straight talk. I know Newt isn't loved by most but I wish he would have run against Zero. At least we wouldn't have suffered the boredom. And, we'd have seen some real tap dancing from 0. I agree that a liar needs to be called a liar, not disingenuous. When accused of being obstructionist, the GOP should say "You're damned right!", what do you think we were sent here to do? We're here to save the country from YOU Marxists. That kind of talk and strong conservative values will win elections. McCain had nothing to say and sounded like Elmer Fudd. Romney had less to say except he knew 0 was a nice guy. This week Boehner tells Senate to get off their ass and EVERYBODY talked about it. Get the picture, John?

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Howard Last in Wyoming replied:

HP, you have it correct. When was the last time you heard a Republican Big Shot (you can't call them leaders) say, where is the birth certificate, Barry is a Muslim Rag Head in nicer clothes. Barry is a communist, Reid and Pelosi are liars, Geitner is a tax cheat, etc. What they never said it. According to the RINO's if they said these things (which happen to be true) they would lose. McCain and Romney did not say any of this and they lost. The Republican candidates campaign is Einstein's definition of insanity, "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Torp44 in Ione, Wa. said:

"......."and Nancy Pelosi, who's had so much plastic surgery, even her dog no longer recognizes her..............."
Burt, you always have at least one comment within your columns that are a great howler......& this one had me laughing so hard that it took me a while to stop. Thanks for the comic relief.....I need a lot of it these days!
...........De Oppresso Liber!!...........

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Jim: Thank you for noticing. Sometimes when I read the comments, even the complimentary ones, it seems as if nobody is paying any attention to the writing style or is even aware that some of it is supposed to be amusing.


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 5:23 PM

WTD in AZ replied:

Burt, it is your style and humor that keeps us coming back for more. We know the "news" is going to be grim, but your approach is "the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down" (with a tip o' the hat to "Mary Poppins" ). Like Telly Savalas' "Kojak" used to say,"who loves ya', baby". We do, Burt, we do.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

WTD: Thank you. I understand that when people read my stuff and bother leaving comments or even writing to me directly, which I prefer, they must either like what I'm writing or be masochists. But, as I was saying, the comments only rarely seem to take into account that I am not striving to be as dry and humorless as some of my colleagues and all of the politicians on the right side of the aisle. So when I hear from someone who seems to have noticed a funny line or an amusing observation, it makes the extra effort seem worthwhile.


Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 11:13 PM