Lessons from Election 2005

Here's my first blogcast commentary. Click here to listen :)

I’m still reeling over Tuesday’s election results. I’ve read both conservative and liberal analysis of the election. But, I have to admit that one of my favorite posts was Hugh Hewitt’s open letter to the Governor of California.

To quote Hugh, who quoted Nixon: you can’t win with just the conservatives but you cannot win without them.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from this election as well as this last political season esp. with regards to the from the Harriet Miers debacle, THIS is it. You can’t presume on the conservative base. It’s not merely about having that “R” tagged on to the end of your name; it is about standing and fighting for conservative core values; it’s about “living it” to quote Hugh again.

As much as it may hurt, I would much rather the pendulum swing in the other direction in order for conservatives to figure out what they stand for and then “live it.” We would never have gotten George Bush if we hadn’t lived through the Clinton Era…just like we would have never been blessed with Reagan if the nation hadn’t been fed up with Carter.

This reality, however, does not justify conservatives staying home for any election. We bear the responsibility to stand for our values as much as we expect our representatives to do likewise. While I don’t believe that Prop 73 (which proposed parental notification for a minor going in for an abortion) is a partisan issue, I am disappointed that conservatives and Christians did not show up en masse to make a statement: not about abortion but about parental rights. THAT is a shame on us.

As we head into next year’s fight, my hope and my prayer is that we take to heart what just happened this week. Conservative politicians can’t take their base for granted. But, the base had better wake up. Conservatives and liberals have let the family and minor girls down this week. I cannot help but think of Edmund Burke’s admonition: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” When good conservatives and liberals do nothing, we all suffer.

I pray that the lesson of the 2005 election is not wasted. We have one year to learn it. Let’s live it.


At 11/11/2005 12:39:00 AM, Anonymous aj4runner said...

Lores, congratulations on your first podcast commentary. Well done!

I do not think liberals in general care about whether minor girls have an abortion or not, whether they notify their parents or not, etc. Liberals have been co-conspirators to the deaths of over 40,000,000 unborn baby girls and boys in this country.

I DO NOT ever expect their support for abortion to change (not supporting parental notification shows radically EXTREME support for abortion), with one possible exception being a change in heart when they have their own children someday. I do know of a few women who were 'blindly' pro-abortion until they experienced motherhood first hand. They are now as pro-life as anyone I've ever met.

I think many conservatives and fair-minded democrats did show up in California's special election. The vote totals bear that out.

In the end, a 130 million dollar advertising effort against Props 73 - 77, an off-year special election, folks still weary from the 2004 elections, etc. doomed any chance of these propositions passing, in my humble analysis.

At 11/11/2005 12:43:00 AM, Blogger Sleep-Deprived said...

Does anyone have the voter turnout statistics? Is it actually another case of conservatives not turning out, or are just outnumbered here?

At 11/11/2005 01:07:00 AM, Anonymous aj4runner said...

Election results:


Enough church going folks didn't turn out for Prop 73, IMHO.

As in Hugh Hewitt's open letter you can't run / promote your ideas as a Republican In Name Only (RINO) and expect to energize conservatives to a point where they will show up in enough numbers at the polls for your initiatives.

At 11/11/2005 02:23:00 AM, Anonymous V. Schroeder said...

Lores, congrats on using the technology. I listened through, you're ahead of your time.

At 11/11/2005 03:27:00 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Lores, you need to move to another state. You live in a box of breakfast cereal. Nothing but flakes, fruits, and nuts in California. Out here in the rest of the country, there is common sense.

At 11/11/2005 06:18:00 AM, Blogger SkyePuppy said...


I've talked to people about Prop 73. When I mentioned my support for it for the simple reason that, if my daughter were to be taken for an abortion, I would need to know so I could be watching for medical complications. My friends hadn't thought of that and probably would have voted for Prop 73 if they had. Instead, because it didn't stop abortion completely, they voted against it.

It gets frustrating trying to inform people who don't want to pay attention.

At 11/11/2005 07:03:00 AM, Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Nothing but flakes, fruits, and nuts in California.

And what am I, Mark? Chopped liver?
(Inside joke)


I can't seem to play your podcast. Not sure why.

At 11/11/2005 06:06:00 PM, Anonymous GJ said...

The problem is that Arnold is not a true conservative. He is only a fiscal conservative; he is socially liberal. I do not generally consider myself a conservative, but I never trusted this guy for a second. I never expected Arnold to stand for core conservative values beyond fiscal issues. He, like some of my friends who are fiscal conservatives, really only care about what is best for themselves, and to them that is paying lower taxes and getting California out of debt. In my opinion, fiscal conservatives are scarier than true conservatives because at least true conservatives have a moral compass that guides them. I can respect that. Just looking out for yourself, I cannot respect.

At 11/11/2005 11:42:00 PM, Blogger Sleep-Deprived said...

gj- How is "getting California out of debt" a selfish motive?

At 11/12/2005 01:11:00 AM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

aj, v schroeder: thanks! hopefully, these will get better :)

mark: we don't want to give up altogether on this state.

skyepuppy: you are so right!

wordsmith: it's a windows media file. i'm working on changing it to an mp3 so everyone can access it. sorry about that.

gj: i agree that it's much more about values than about pragmatism in politics. it's tough, though, because sometimes the choice is limited. the lesser of the evils. or, in arnold's case, one who could move the ball down the field, stem the tide of economic disaster.

At 11/12/2005 08:20:00 AM, Anonymous GJ said...

I did not mean that having one of your goals being to get California out of debt is selfish. We would all like to be out of debt. However, I do believe a certain amount of debt is a good thing. For example, a lot of Californians own houses for which they are in debt, but this would be considered good debt because it is an investment. California can be in debt but those debts can be considered good debts because they are for investment purposes (i.e. education). I do concede that right now California does have a lot of bad debt. But to have getting out of debt as your only bottom line is selfish. In my experience, in the talks that I have had with my fiscally conservative friends, all they care about is getting California out of debt; they do not care what will happen to the most economically challenged populations or the educational institutions of this state (even though some of them graduated from these institutions and benefited from the low cost tuition that no longer exists). Their bottom line is get California out of debt while not paying higher taxes, no matter who suffers. In my opinion, getting out of debt by sacrificing the neediest and most vulnerable just so that you will not have to pay higher taxes is selfish.

At 11/13/2005 12:48:00 AM, Blogger Layman said...


Sometimes I can understand why the federal government might have to run a deficit. War comes to mine. So too, perhaps, to spend our way out of a depression though this depends on how one views Keynsian economics.

There are far fewer justifications for states to go into subtantial debt. You bring up education? Perhaps if there was a great need to build schools because of widespread deterioration of the infastructure. But that is hardly a problem here. Every school bond measure that is posted is passed. The problem gets to be when every year you stay in debt just to keep the schools and other social spending programs funded. That is not an investment that is fiscal suicide.

To take your house example, it would be like taking out a new loan on your house ever year, until you have 10 or so liens on your house. Is that an investment? When you try and sell that house you will owe much more on it than you will get back. You can call that an investment if you want but if so it is a very bad one.

California is one of the highest taxed states in the nation. Opposing even higher taxes is not being selfish if you happen to think that over taxation hurts the entire economy, which I do. And for those of us who have prospered and would prefer to give to charities that we see as more effectively helping the disadvantaged, it is not selfish to desire less taxation so we can be more generous. Even if I would prefer lower taxes so I could afford to send my kids to private school, that is hardly selfish. It imposes less of a burden on the state and is being done for the benefit of my kids not for myself.

California has a multi-billion dollar debt and a yearly defecit. It also has quite a large budget, one that in no way could be called stingy even if it is trimmed down to stop the bleading out of red ink.

At 11/14/2005 06:56:00 PM, Anonymous gj said...

We disagree on a lot of things. I think that part of our disagreement centers on just having different priorities. However, I still stand by my original statement that only caring about the budget and lowering taxes at the expense of others is selfish. Yes, we thought that California’s economic boom would last forever and we seriously overspent, but there are other problems that happened to the State of California which cannot be blamed on spending on education and social programs, for example, the energy crisis.

Honestly, maybe I am just speaking from my generation. A fair amount of my friends who are fiscal conservatives are young, up and coming professionals. They, as fiscal conservatives, believe in lower taxes and are pro-choice because it benefits them the most. They believe this because if they had lower taxes they would be able to drive a porsche instead of an Audi. They do not care about social spending and think that people should take care of themselves regardless of their circumstances. If social spending benefitted them the most, they would believe in that. That is fine and they are entitled to their opinion, but I am also entitled to mine, and in my opinion that is selfish.

My view on the California budget crisis is that we all got into it together, whether it was voters approving bond issues, approving increased spending, increased spending on social programs, or increased spending on education. Now, we have to all get out of it. I don’t believe that one section of the population should be blamed for the debt and should have to pay for the debt. In my opinion, raising taxes for this particular instance will actually be the most efficient because it will help California get out of debt faster, leading to lower debt payments in the future and not hurt the entire economy. What is hurting the entire economy right now is our overwhelming debt. We have to also ask the question whether the spending cuts in education and social programs will hurt the economy more than raising taxes. In my opinion, the most efficient and sensible way to get out of the deficit is to raise taxes (obviously not to the point that it paralyzes the California economy), cut spending and defer some of the debt.

To respond to some of your earlier assertions. The widespread educational deterioration may not be in your neighborhood, but I personally have worked in schools within Los Angeles who do not have working toilets, no books and are unsafe. I know that there are a lot more deteriorated schools state wide. I think that every child deserves to be able to go to a school with books and working toilets so that they can have a chance to make something of themselves. They are already facing long enough odds as it is.

I also did not say that lowering taxes so that people could give more to charitable organizations was selfish. Honestly, I just do not believe that people will do it. Maybe I am a cynic, but in my opinion lowering taxes so that people could give to the organizations that they want to give to would not work. First of all, I think that lowering taxes for this reason would not encourage people to give more. The research that I have read suggests that people would give the same percentages of their income, which would be more in real dollars, but not enough to make up for the loss of governmental funding for the organizations. The other problem that you have is that more high profile organizations would get most of the attention, and other organizations who’s work was just as important would not. I think the economically disadvantaged population would suffer greatly because of this.


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