Shawn Steel Thinks Tribal Politics Will Solve California Republican Party Woes


Not just a few Republicans dismissively view the sight of Democrats’ enthusiastic celebration of their party’s internal groups: women, Hispanic, African-American, gay and lesbian, union members, seniors, Americans with disabilities, native Americans, Jews and Asians.

Identity politics just hasn’t been popular with Republicans, whose national conventions earned the reputation for being a gathering of crotchety, old white people anxious to return to the country club or golf course.

But upbeat, old white dude Shawn Steel, an Orange County member of the Republican National Committee, argued in a Washington Times article this week that the GOP faces a dire choice given demographic shifts underscoring the rise of minority voting power: “adapt or die.”

Steel told Times reporter Seth McLaughlin, “California is a precursor of the dynamic change, demographicswise, in America. So this is a harbinger. This is a call in the dark night saying, ‘Look, let’s change.'”

Orange County Republican Party chairman Scott Baugh stated similar worries in our January 2013 cover story: OC GOP’s Apocalypse Now.

Baugh focused primarily on improving the GOP’s image with Hispanic voters by recruiting candidates from that community; prior related attempts largely produced horrible campaigns by warped characters.

For Steel–husband to county supervisor candidate Michelle Steel, the mission is also to recruit “Republican Asians,” who’ll run for public office.

This year, at least four other GOP Asians are running for various offices in Orange County: Ling-Ling Chang (state assembly), Young Kim (state assembly), Lisa Bartlett (supervisor) and Janet Nguyen (state senate).

(In coming months, Susan Kang Schroeder could be appointed interim district attorney if Tony Rackauckas–currently 71 years old–prematurely retires during his upcoming, four-year term.)

By stealing the “old tactic” of Democratic Party identity or “tribal” politics, the Republican Party will become more “robust,” Shawn Steel told the Times.

Steel is a smart, colorful fellow, but is his judgment always sound?

The article notes a frightening factoid: He took Dana Rohrabacher–Orange County’s senior, career politician known for mental instability, angry rants and food/booze stained bad ties–with him on his first date with Michelle.


Go HERE to see the Washington Times article.

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