Monday, January 3, 2011
California needs a miracle
I can't decide what I think about California Governor Jerry Brown's inaugural speech today.
He said some brave things, to wit: the state is in a shambles and there need to be deep budget cuts.
But he drifted into moonbeam territory by blaming California's problems on partisanship and suggesting that we can right our ship of state if we all just come together.
If Californians gathered together in a room and left their lapel pins and bumper stickers outside, people would still disagree on taxes, education, immigration, and whether or not to let the fertile farmlands of the Central Valley wither from lack of water in order to protect the habitat of a bait fish called the Delta Smelt.
One person's partisanship is another person's deeply held belief.
I don't see Governor Brown possessing the kind of bully pulpit necessary to convince tax-weary Californians to support increased spending, nor do I see him budging the public sector unions and Communities of Grievance from their support for increased state spending at any cost. At best, I see his call for bipartisanship disintegrating into calls to "stop being so partisan and agree with me."
But you know, it's going to be hard for me to get angry at him if he fails, because California may very well have become ungovernable.
Governor Moonbeam has been to this carnival before, and it's either foolhardy or brave for him to have taken on this challenge again. Maybe both.
But I wish him the best of luck, because California needs a miracle. If Jerry can't pull it off, I think the only solution is to partition the state.