California GOP Stew of Regret

There are people who are sorry. There are people dogged by regret.

And then there are California Republicans.

For the past 10 years, this state's GOP leaders have taken a series of big steps -- and lived to regret almost every one. It is quite a streak. To consider some leading regrets.

-2003 Recall

The party and conservatives backed it strongly. But later two of the recall's chief proponents -- petition initiator Ted Costa and former legislator Ray Haynes -- both said they regretted pursuing the recall.

Haynes said he concluded that removing Gov. Gray Davis three years before his term was up helped save the Democrats from being held accountablr for their policies.

-Support of Arnold Schwarzenegger as Governor

It has been a major, oft-stated regret among party stalwarts that they supported Schwarzenegger for governor in 2003. (Many personally preferred Tom McClintock). But Schwarzenegger's moderate, post-partisan stands rankled. And the former governor routinely put his finger in the eye of Republicans.

-Redistricting Reform

Much of the party backed efforts to take redistricting out of the hands of the Democratic legislature and give it to a citizens commission.

That Republican support was crucial to the narrow victory for redistricting reform in the 2008 elections. But now the party is furious that the lines the commission produced may cost the GOP seats.

Last week combined a number of different GOP regrets into one.

This stew of regret came after the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the redistricting commission's proposed lines for state senate districts -- which the Republicans have challenged legally and with a referendum -- will be used in the 2012 election.

That's right.

A court made up almost entirely of Republican appointees (multiple regrets) found that a Republican-backed reform, the redistricting commission (another regret), which had championed by Schwarzenegger (regret) couldn't be stopped by a costly referendum campaign (wasted money, another regret).

It's a wonderful that California's leading Republicans can still get out of bed in the morning.

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