| Editorial shows complete lack of understanding of past few years in Sacramento
by Brian Leubitz
The editors at the once illustrious Wall Street Journal, now having moved into new diggs next to Megyn Kelly and Bill O'Reilly, has decided that whining worked well for Karl Rove. Apparently so well that they thought they would give it a try:
For Republicans unhappy with Tuesday's election, we have good news-at least most of you don't live in California. Not only did Democrats there win voter approval to raise the top tax rate to 13.3%, but they also received a huge surprise-a legislative supermajority. Look out below.
The main check on Sacramento excess has been a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds majority of both houses to raise taxes. Although Republicans have been in the minority for four decades, they could impose a modicum of spending restraint by blocking tax increases. If Democratic leads stick in two races where ballots are still being counted, liberals will pick up enough seats to secure a supermajority. Governor Jerry Brown then will be the only chaperone for the Liberals Gone Wild video that is Sacramento. (WSJ)
First, I would like to thank the SF Chronicle's Marisa Lagos for an excellent tweet on this piece:
Now, I could spend hours debunking this on tax grounds. I could point out that the legislature, having just seen Prop 30 pass, will go nowhere near income tax rates. Or I could just merely direct them to the litany of issues where progressives are marginalized. Are you a progressive legislator? Well, hope you didn't plan on getting anywhere near the banking committee.
California was Citizens United before Citizens United was cool. It is a state controlled by independent expenditures and campaign cash. The power of these IEs now is such that neither Democrats nor Republicans really dare to break the status quo for risk of offending them.
For example, you would think in such "liberals gone wild" situation, you would have seen some sort of fracking legislation. Something, even a bit of disclosure, but no. Despite only requiring a bare majority for much of it, progressive legislation has a way of finding its way into the suspense file.
But the WSJ isn't concerned with such details. In a world where their heroes have been vanquished, they search about for talking points. And in California they think they have one. However, they miss the facts. They miss the incredibly important point that most of the debt was run up under Republican governors. The GOP here clung to their tax cut portion of the "Two Santas" and an unrational fealty to Grover Norquist. They miss the fact that the Republicans weren't a victim of some sinister plot, they were simply a political suicide.
From the author of the California Target Book, Tony Quinn:
The good news for Republicans is that they are no longer a dying party. The bad news is that they are dead, and the final dagger into the corpse was the huge turnout of young voters on Tuesday - the exit polls show that 18 to 29 years olds made up 28 percent of the 2012 electorate. ...
it is time to let Howard Jarvis rest in peace and stop pretending we are still in the world of Proposition 13. On Tuesday 85 of 106 school bond measures passed, according to the League of California Cities. Californians clearly want more public resources; the question now is whether that money is spent wisely. That is where the Republican and business focus should be.(Fox & Hounds, Tony Quinn)
The California GOP, like the greater national party, has lost young voters. If it hopes to return to a semblance of a statewide party, it will need to moderate itself back into a party that accurately represents some portion of California's electorate. Otherwise, I guess they can enjoy their lunches at Chops, but that is about as close to actual governance as they'll get.