Republican Party unification begins now

Let's not engage in a circular firing squad

The following report appeared in the CalWatchdog blog.

Steven Greenhut is CalWatchdog’s editor in chief. Greenhut was deputy editor and columnist for The Orange County Register for 11 years. He is author of the new book, “Plunder! How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation.”

GOP split weakens party
Steven Greenhut: My old friend and OC political activist and blogger Larry Gilbert offers his thoughts on the Republican Party after the election:

The GOP– At War With Itself

By Larry Gilbert

While recently looking for documents in our garage I came across a booklet written almost 10 years ago by former Assemblyman Gil Fergusen. The title reads “The GOP At War With Itself; A Battle It Cannot Win.”

His booklet opens stating that “Moderate Republicans, under the banner of the New Majority Committee” have declared war on the conservative leadership of the California State Party and especially the core of that leadership in which they believe to be the Orange County Republican Central Committee, (OCRCC). The movement has also started in other counties also. First off, it might seem an oxymoron for moderates to declare war but be that as it may, this is a war that while it has been simmering for a long time, it will never be won by either side as long as they are both in the same party. That certainly doesn’t mean they can’t get along and unify.

This split can only weaken the GOP vote in the upcoming election. The squabbling only gives more fodder for the liberal media to use in their continuing war against the GOP. It will also turn off our “fair weather” GOP voters, who absolutely hate any kind of discord or argument by Republicans and especially between Republicans.

That doesn’t mean that these new moderate leaders don’t have some very legitimate complaints and the right to be heard.

To begin with, a train can’t do much without the engine that pulls it, and the engine without the train isn’t of much use, except that it can blow its’ whistle. We can however, find new people to run the train. While moderates, uninformed members and those who are really not interested voters make up about two-thirds of our party, it must be remembered that conservatives and the so called “religious right,” make up about one-third of our party, and they are the engine.

That one-third not only votes regularly, they provide 90 percent of the volunteers and much of the financial support for our candidates.”

Jumping ahead, Gil writes: “The business leaders among the new moderate group are tired of losing and seeing their party portrayed by the media as bigoted, narrow, racists. They believe that the GOP in California is losing ground and is in free fall because its leadership has been captured by a group of conservatives and the religious right who appear to be waging a religious ‘jihad’ against our party.”

On page 7 Gil writes, “This war within our party ranks, caused by the MACHINE, has marginalized our party in Orange County and California. nationally and in other states the subject of abortion and religious groups being involved in our party has not hurt our chances at the polls. By themselves, those two issues would not have created this chasm in our California party. It is the high-handed, arrogant use of political power by the MACHINE, using abortion as a litmus test and the religious right as a political force against moderates in elections that has caused this public split in our party.”

As to Gil’s reference to the MACHINE he writes: “In 1984, with my election, in which they assisted, we took over the Republican Assembly Caucus. By 1987 we had both the power and money to call the shots statewide in the party. We politicians became known as ‘The Cave Men’ and the entire group is known as ‘The Orange County GOP Political Machine,’ or simply as the ‘MACHINE.’”

Gilbert closing comments.

Republican voters. While we may not be happy with the outcome of the primary races, we are left with a simple question. “Do we want the Democratic Party to win those seats in November?”

Having gone on Safari to South Africa last fall, and entering one of his Johannesburg cells, we just watched the true story of prisoner/activist/president Nelson Mandela.

The movie “Invictus” depicts how president Nelson Mandela used the 1995 World Cup Rugby Games, held in his country, to unite the whites and blacks of South Africa. After decades of Apartheid, President Mandela took a huge risk and succeeded in winning the hearts and minds of the entire nation of 43 million.

I highly recommend watching the movie where president Mandela walks out into the finals wearing the green Springbok (apartheid) shirt with the white captain’s number on the back.

If the GOP is to succeed in taking back control of Congress we have the same tough challenge in the next five months. The GOP must unite for the good of the party.

If so we must look at the greater good and support our standard bearer, regardless of the fact that they might not have been our personal choice in the Primary.

Over 150 years ago, in his June 17th, 1858 speech, candidate Abraham Lincoln told the audience that: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

If Republicans hope to capture the House and/or U.S. Senate in 2010 we need to consider the wisdom of our 16th president.

Note: While a draft of this article was recently written, I have purposely withheld this story until now in that I recommended underdogs for governor and U.S. Senate who best share my fiscal and traditional family value views. In each case they failed to prevail due in part to being outspent by private-sector millionaires.

Lt. Col. Gil Fergusen, USMC, was the host of the popular “Principles over Politics” group that holds monthly breakfast meetings in Newport Beach. Cutting Edge producer Ron Winship recently wrote of the passing of Gil’s bride Anita Fergusen.

It was my honor to be a member of the original Cutting Edge a talk show Internet news program sitting alongside Gil when we filmed our promo tape in a studio on Hollywood & Vine in LA.

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About Larry Gilbert