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CRAFTing a new Republican Party, candidate by candidate

Original post made on May 17, 2008

The irony never escaped Palo Altan Duf Sundheim that his four-year stint as chair of the state Republican Party was rooted in his running for office in Palo Alto, where Republicans are rarely identifiable in public, in the late 1990s. Some fear they will get their cars "keyed" if they sport a Republican bumper sticker, he said — insisting he knows of such cases, but mostly from the more intense Bush-Cheney campaign days rather than the mellower John McCain era of today.

Related material:
  • Expanded Q & A interview with Duf Sundheim

  • CRAFT background material (PDF)

    Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 16, 2008, 11:23 AM
  • Comments (15)

    Posted by Bird, a resident of Old Palo Alto
    on May 17, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Republicanism and conservatism, especially these days, is nothing more than a fatal mental disorder. I would suggest to Sundheim that he seek the best psychiatric help available.


    Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
    on May 17, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    California Republicans lost their edge when they decided to abandon their pro-business, pro-individual, pro-capitalist stance. They kept thinking, like Arnold, that they needed to capture a small slice of many consituencies.

    Ronald Reagan had the vision (anti-socialism), and he compromised from a position of strength, not weakness.

    The way back for Republicans in this state is to get behind nuclear energy, and off shore oil drilling. The Dems have no real answer for the looming energy economic crash, which is completely avoidable.


    Posted by frank, a resident of Fairmeadow
    on May 17, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    The Republican party used to stand for conservative values. Now large sections of the country are so far to the ideological right that many of us give a party on any questionnaire.

    Where does one go to join a conservative party?


    Posted by He's a Repub. hack, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
    on May 18, 2008 at 12:08 am

    Bird has a point. I remember when Sundheim ran for city council, at a candidates night he quoted from the bible. I remember thinking, what a strange character he is, he doesn't seem to know how inappropriate that is in a non-partisan election, and he is clueless about the kind of people who live here. We don't vote for bible thumpers.
    He is a stereotypical Republican, mouthing the usual platitudes, referring several times to the founding fathers, and sticking to their standard talking points.
    The intellectual poverty of Republican rhetoric is really something. Like elementary school children who have memorized a speech and don't dare say anything spontaneous.


    Posted by sarlat, a resident of Crescent Park
    on May 18, 2008 at 7:03 am

    You can examine many political paties around the world, even in semi dysfunctional democratic systems like the Italians have, and you will not find a party that's more ideologically bankrupt, hubristic and utterly corrupt than the GOP. Re Gary's comments-the GOP needs to go further to the Right about as much as person with third degree burns needs a suntan. The GOP is now a de-facto fascist movement, they need to rejoin the civilized world and move to the center.


    Posted by bigotry by any name..., a resident of Midtown
    on May 18, 2008 at 7:06 am

    Wow, "He's a Repub Hack"..I guess you are a stereotypical Dem Hack? Or are you a typical white person? ( to quote Barack)

    Bigotry by any name is still bigotry.


    Posted by depressing, a resident of Midtown
    on May 18, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Read it...looks like he is taking some credit for McCain, lots of credit for Schwarzie...

    Ok, I hope he and his buddies realize what they have done is turn Republicans into "Democrat-lites", which means we are just a wing of the Dem party. I honestly can hardly tell the difference any more.

    Bush 1 started the decline in what a Repub was, this Bush set the stage for the finishing of the job, Schwarzie firmed it up, and McCain is going to finish it.

    When the Repub candidate is more to the left than JFK, you know our country is sliding over the precipice.

    Await the phoenix.


    Posted by he is right on one thing, a resident of Midtown
    on May 18, 2008 at 7:29 am

    The only thing I completely agree with him on is that here, in Palo Alto, there is zero tolerance for any middle or high schooler, or teacher, to express a Republican or conservative viewpoint. It is dangerous to do so in many ways. From destruction of personal property to name calling and shouting down to physical threats and actual violence. And the leaders in our city and schools don't want to acknowledge it for 2 reasons.

    1) They can not believe that their "side" houses such intolerance and violence, more so than the Repub side, so they think it is a myth.

    2) They buy into the idea that conservative ideas should not be "allowed" in schools, since they are so "obviously" on the wrong side. They don't see how the liberalism of our youth has turned into an extremist ideology that borders on the fascism of silencing dissent.

    3) They don't see that "identity safety" of which we are so proud includes political safety. Wake up..when kids and adults hide their political beliefs out of fear, when parents advise their kids to keep family discussions of politics to themselves at schools...what does that remind you of?

    I have 2 teachers in family in a small southern town..last election the kids in high school had Kerry and Bush stickers, argued out loud, no violence anywhere, no fear. There is a lesson there from a small "red" town for us, a "liberal" town.


    Posted by Alex, a resident of Charleston Meadows
    on May 18, 2008 at 9:09 am

    After the last seven and a half years, the Republican party should be outlawed and its leaders marched to the Hague to face war crime charges. This should sum up the future and prospects of the GOP.


    Posted by Kenny, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
    on May 18, 2008 at 9:38 am

    The GOP has created a government run by corporations solely for corporations. The corporatist state the GOP has created has become a monster that is threatening the entire world. The corporations running our government should be dealt with at the same time the GOP is dealt with, although many would argue that they are one and the same.


    Posted by ConservativeSlayer, a resident of Barron Park
    on May 18, 2008 at 10:41 am

    I think that the words of GOP Representative Tom Davis of Virginia say it all:" If we were a dog food, they would take us off the shelf".


    Posted by Left and Right link in fascism, a resident of Midtown
    on May 18, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Good job Alex: We should definitely put everyone on trial who disagrees with you. That is the fascist solution practiced from China to Russia to all Europe when it was in the grip of fascism.

    Coming back, too, in "hate speech" laws which can condemn somebody because they "offend" someone with their speech.

    The farthest left and farthest right meet at fascism.


    Posted by Alex, a resident of Charleston Meadows
    on May 18, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    The reason the GOP should be outlawed isn't because it has become a fascist, Nazi in all but name movement and is a threat to US and world security and survival. It can have no place in our country.


    Posted by Alex, a resident of Charleston Meadows
    on May 18, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    I meant of course that it should be outlawed because it HAS become a fascist/Nazi-like movement.


    Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
    on May 20, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    California has a republican party? Not since Shirley Temple Black. Pete McCloskey killed it.


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