CRA 2019 Convention Preview

Rumor has it that the current President of the California Republican Assembly is ready to step aside and let the group pick a successor. The group has reserved a birthday room at a Chuck E Cheese in Fresno for their 2019 spring gathering. Attendees are reminded to get a convention hat from their local Burger King before arriving. Also bring ten dollars for game tokens. The convention venue features entertainment for the whole family. Pepperoni pizza is included in the registration price but cheese or sausage will be extra.

Chuck E Cheese—where CRA happens next

The highlight of the gathering will be selecting a new President. Like any other presidential race, many folks are rumored to be throwing their hats into the ring. Since the candidates have not publically announced their intentions, we have randomly assigned code names to those known to be testing out the electorate via focus groups. Thus far, the top three are Wookie, Sith Lord, and a drunken Jedi.

The Wookie is a faithful follower and companion to the fearless leader—whoever that may be. He is a certified graduate of Sidekick Academy. Always the bride’s maid and ever attending the wishes of his leadership team, he is often seen but rarely heard at public gatherings. He votes right (i.e. with leadership) and is reliable. He seems bereft of any original ideas but parrots those he serves. This brings into question why after decades in the organization as a faithful sidekick does he now fancy himself the hero that can save CRA? You can’t help but wonder who will be telling him what to do? The John Birch Society members in the group or Tea Party or elected officials or … you get the point. His principles are like water and take the shape of whatever vessel that he invests himself into.

Wookie aspires to go from sidekick to hero

The Sith Lord is immersed in the minutia of policy and tactics, always looking for an advantage. He picks a candidate of principle in every Primary but enthusiastically will denounce them if a competitor makes him a more lucrative offer; especially going into the general election. He will declare his benefactor as more electable and throw his former choice under the bus without skipping a beat. He has a track record of convincing his apprentices to strap on bomb vests on his behalf and detonating in public while he sits back and performs bomb damage assessment on the fly. Using this updated information he is able to plot his next move while others are wondering why the apprentices acted as rashly as they did. Over the years, the pool of potential apprentices has grown shallower so he deploys them less frequently than in years past. The Sith Lord has taken a vow of poverty and has no employer to tie him down so he is able to respond with lightning speed to any situation worthy of his unique talents regardless of which part of California it may occur.

Sith Lord stepping from shadows to assert control

The drunken Jedi is a grizzled military veteran with the charm and charism to disarm the unwary that he meets on his way. He is capable of making a great first impression and has beguiled many of the CRA Board and perhaps a few of their daughters. Think of spiders entrapping the unwary in their webs. His past is shady and seems purposely obscured. His political tactics are awkward and poorly thought out. He often acts without reason and causes harm by the rash things that he says or does. He has defacto control of much of the information that once made George and Aaron Park the real powerbrokers of CRA.  Foolishly, the Board has repeated history by putting him in sole control of their Facebook page, website, and membership lists. As a result, the drunken Jedi is the most formidable opponent of the three in the sense that no one else can campaign aggressively against his weaknesses without risking that he burns the place to the ground on his way out. Were he sober and on an upward career path, he would be an asset to the group but in his present state, he seemingly has no reason to grow-up.

Drunken Jedi stumbling forward to lead rag-tag band

Truthfully, in the heyday of CRA, all three of these guys would have been red shirts of Star Trek fame, good for one episode and an honorable mention in the credits to mark their passing. However, these are the waning days of the organization and these guys are at least willing to step up and try to prolong the organization. Each man has some ability but I don’t have confidence that any has the skillset necessary to stop the decline of CRA.

Next year, if you happen to be in Fresno one Saturday in March, drop by the birthday room at Chuck E Cheese and you might get to see how this tale unfolds. Unless this convention turns into Second Amendment Saturday, I doubt the results will even be in your local paper.