Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Have California’s Republicans finally learned a lesson that some of their leaders have been trying to drive home for years – that they cannot prosper, or even survive, as a party of aging white men in the Western Hemisphere’s most culturally complex society?

Perhaps so, since the state GOP is poised to make Jim Brulte, who has been issuing those warnings for years, its state chairman with a mandate to improve its fortunes.

Even the most anti-immigrant, anti-gay marriage, anti-tax, anti-abortion Republican activist must now recognize that with the party’s wipeout in last month’s elections, continuing down its recent path is a plunge into complete irrelevance.

Less than 30 percent of the state’s registered voters call themselves Republicans. That was just about the party’s share of the November electorate, and that’s about its share of the California Legislature and of the state’s congressional delegation.

But if Brulte, a veteran politician who engineered GOP gains in the Legislature in the 1990s, can shape up the party’s infrastructure and finances, there may be an opportunity for it to make gains because of the growth of independent voters.

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