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Queen Meg Whitman
Queen Meg Whitman: given the CA GOP's distaste for democracy, this isn't so far off.
Since the elections this past November, Republicans across the country have been reveling in their newfound power in Congress and in state legislatures across the country by attempting to enact a series of policy excesses that in many cases have nothing to do with their campaign platform. Federally, Speaker Boehner has done absolutely nothing to promote job creation, but the 112th Congress has proffered H.R.3, which in its original form would have not only eliminated tax deductions for businesses that purchase health plans that pay for abortions, but went so far as to redefine rape as only including those that were "forcible."

Many states are also experiencing the same sort of extremism. Newly elected GOP administrations in Wisconsin and Ohio are doing everything they can do destroy public employee unions, and have supplemented that battle royale by rejecting federal transportation money for high-speed rail projects. In Florida, Governor Rick Scott pulled the same high-speed rail gambit, but seems more interested in pushing bills that will lead to his personal enrichment (The GOP legislature, meanwhile, is more concerned with what body parts you can or can't say on the floor). Indiana is apparently too busy making sure they don't have any rape or incest cheats to focus on anything else. In the case of all of them, however, they have at least a tepid excuse: They were elected in a massive Republican wave, and this is what they apparently think their constituents want.

In California, however, the situation is quite different. There may have been a red wave sweeping the country in 2010, but as GOP gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman's campaign manager Mike Murphy described it, California experienced a blue riptide. From governor all the way down to superintendent of public instruction, Democrats swept—usually in landslides, despite significant funding disadvantages at the top of the ticket, where billionaire Meg Whitman spent $150 million of her own money only to lose to Jerry Brown by 13 points. In the attorney general race, the only close statewide race, a younger, female, mixed-race district attorney of San Francisco named Kamala Harris defeated an older white male from Los Angeles County, Steve Cooley, who had easily won countywide election twice. Not only that, but Democrats held every single Congressional seat and even gained a seat in the State Assembly—earning as overwhelming a mandate as one could possibly imagine.

But that hasn't prevented Republicans from acting as if they own the state and ruling it as a small minority. While a recently approved measure reduced the threshold for passing a budget in California to a simple majority, it still requires a supermajority of two-thirds to raise any additional revenues, and Republicans have just enough seats in the Legislature to block any such proposal. Governor Brown already signed into law nearly $11 billion in deep budget cuts, but even that still left a hole of roughly $15 billion—a sum that Brown would like to see filled with revenue increases to complement the massive cuts he already signed into law.

But the GOP? They're having none of it. Instead of accepting the fact that Democrats in California have an overwhelming governing mandate, that Jerry Brown has already slashed the budget significantly, and that poll after poll has shown that voters favor a balanced budgetary approach that includes both cuts and tax increases, the Republican Party in California is holding democracy hostage in service to their anti-tax ideology. See, the revenue increases in question wouldn't just be implemented through a vote of the legislature; They would be put on the ballot for the voters of California to approve. But the GOP won't even let the people vote. Instead, the Republicans have, like hostage-takers, released a list of demands that Governor Brown must meet before they'll even allow the people their most basic of privileges under a democratic system of governance: to cast a ballot on whether to raise revenues or not. These demands are the usual Norquistian platform of gutting pensions, deregulation, and destruction of environmental protections. As Tenoch Flores, communications director of the California Democratic Party, put it to me in a recent email:

The California Republican Party is in the slow, painful process of permanent decline and they seem willing to take our state along with them. While Republicans across the country made gains last year, Republicans here lost every single contest for statewide office and even lost a seat in the State Assembly. There is no leadership to speak of and that’s why you see them turning to ideologues outside California like Grover Norquist for leadership. If Grover Norquist tells them to hold the state hostage, they go and hold the state hostage. And that’s exactly what they’ve done here.

Governor Brown is finding it hard to argue—which is why he has declared the negotiation process dead and is deciding to bypass the legislature by collecting the nearly 900,000 signatures necessary to place his tax measures on the ballot without legislative approval.

Good. But Brown has lost valuable time, as it will now be impossible to have a June election, and a postponement of a vote until November will make things far more difficult due to the timing of California's fiscal year. All of the previous standstills in the California budget process, combined with the insanity permeating the tea party and the DC Republicans who cater do it, combined with what happened to Barack Obama during the debate over health care reform, combined with the intractability of what the GOP is doing in other states, should have led to one foregone conclusion: Today's modern GOP will brook no compromise, and they will not negotiate in good faith. As the political observers at CalBuzz opine:

As Peter Schrag shrewdly opined this week, Brown let himself get perilously close to being played for as big a fool by the GOP as did Barack Obama.  Three days after his inauguration, Obama memorably told GOP congressional leaders at the White House that "Elections have consequences and, at the end of the day, I won."

Then he went out and acted like he’d lost.

Obama’s hideous political blunder was to allow himself to be strung along by bad faith for nearly a year in hopes of getting a bipartisan health care reform bill. All he got for his trouble was months and months of bookend cable chatter about how ugly the sausage-making process was; at the end of the day, he finally rammed through a Democrats-only bill, which he could have done much earlier, with much less damage inflicted by the right-wing echo chamber framing machine to the perception the country had about what was actually in the legislation.

Brown—perhaps too much a believer in his own ability to charm and reason—behaved in much the same way.

For too long now on a nationwide scale, Democrats have played Charlie Brown to the Republicans' Lucy with the football. But in the case of California, it is especially galling: GOP voter registration is at a historic low—hovering around 31%—and the voters just delivered the Democrats a resounding statewide victory. In Congress, or in other states, the excruciating quest for compromise to obtain GOP votes may be unavoidable. In California, however, GOP votes for anything not related to taxes are an afterthought, and even taxes can be brought before the people with enough money and signatures.

The GOP is unrelenting, shortsighted, and incapable of compromise—and they should be ignored at every opportunity. In California, we have the chance to do exactly that, and should take full advantage rather than banging our collective heads against a wall in the hopes of coming to centrist or center-right solutions that receive the political cover of bipartisanship.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Democrats need to start acting like 51% is a (25+ / 0-)

    supermajority mandate to completely disregard Republicans. Hell, they do it to satisfy 13% of teabagger fantasys when they control one house of congress.

    In politics you've got to learn that overnight chicken shit can turn to chicken salad - LBJ

    by huntergeo on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 08:11:54 AM PDT

    •  I think my Senator put it particularly well (12+ / 0-)

      Sen. Noreen Evans:

      ‎"I don’t know what is worse – that Republicans have so little regard for the future of our state, or that they have so little regard for the will of the people."

      I wish there were a Wizard of Oz to give the GOP a heart, Democrats courage, and the media a brain.

      by Malacandra on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 09:32:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is that California is unique... (9+ / 0-)

      ...in that it is set up specifically so the majority CAN'T rule.  In California 1/3rd plus one person in the legislature can stop anything.  The Republicans were able to set this rule up years ago when they saw they were really losing ground here.

      In the past, the GOP did still have moderate, reasonably people, and so this stupid rule which literally allows for them minority to rule in California, wasn't such a problem.

      Now, it IS the problem.  The GOP is not reasonable.  They are damned proud of it too.  And there current behavior is absolutely childish.  The more you try to reason with them, the more they add further demands.  If you try to be nice in any way, they see that as proof you are weak.

      They act like a 5 year old kid in a store who wants some candy and mom says, "no."  So they throw a fit.  Mom comes up with an idea and tells the little kid when they get home she'll make him a nice snack.  The kid doubles down and thrashes around and throws stuff.  The mom finally relents just to get out of the store.

      The kid keep it up in the future.  From a position of no power, the kid assumes ALL power.

      "Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences." --Paradise50

      by paradise50 on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 09:44:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  excellent point, but it should be not seen as (13+ / 0-)

    ignoring them through inaction since the distance from the gubernatorial recall and the Rise of the Governator has not been long

    The GOP is unrelenting, shortsighted, and incapable of compromise—and they should be ignored at every opportunity. In California, we have the chance to do exactly that, and should take full advantage rather than banging our collective heads against a wall in the hopes of coming to centrist or center-right solutions that receive the political cover of bipartisanship.
    there are clear issues on which California government can progressively lead with revenue generation and deficit elimination: single-payer healthcare and renewable energy autonomy driven by revitalizing the state's role in leading national educational innovation.

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above "Nous sommes un groupuscule" join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "makes Beck U. and the Limbaugh Institute look like Romper Room"

    by annieli on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 08:13:46 AM PDT

  •  Couldn't the Democrats give the GOP (6+ / 0-)

    what they want or a large part of it so that revenue increases would be approved and then...

    vote to repeal all the stuff they just let the GOP add in?

    I mean if it's not subjected to the 2/3rds majority they could then vote to repeal the odious stuff on a simple majority vote.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 08:16:48 AM PDT

  •  It's odd that the only successful Dems these days. (15+ / 0-)

    ....are the ones who were horrendously outnumbered in Wisconsin.

    Why can't ALL Dems fight that way?

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 08:20:12 AM PDT

  •  California (21+ / 0-)

    Oregon and Washington need to be working together to push change - make the left coast a model of Democratic action and a model for the rest of the country.  We have the numbers - if the more conservative eastern counties don't like it, they can agitate to annex themselves to Idaho - that should keep them busy and out of our hair while we innovate.

    •  Cascadian independence needs a bigger platform n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above "Nous sommes un groupuscule" join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "makes Beck U. and the Limbaugh Institute look like Romper Room"

      by annieli on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 08:41:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  People always say elections have consequences (4+ / 0-)

    But show how they don't seem to matter as the minority always holds the majority hostage.

    •  not so between 2002-2006, though. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      timethief, prndl

      It's "Republicans always have a mandate, even when they lose".
      I don't recall anyone warning Shrub that we are still a Center Left nation after he stole an election.
      no. the money talks, and the money is republican. it has bupkiss to do with majorities.

      Sexual orientation is as irrelevent on the battlefield as military rank is in the bedroom.

      by kamarvt on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 10:15:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP's greatest fear.... (20+ / 0-)

    is that if the voters were allowed to vote on whether to grant Gov. Brown the extension of the temporary tax hikes he is asking for to help close the state's budget gap.....

    They just might vote for it.

    And worse yet, they just might vote for it even with the requirement that a two-thirds vote is needed to pass.

    Could you imagine the carnage such a vote would cause to the GOP nationwide....if TWO-THIRDS of the voters in California said "Yes, we are willing to allow a tax increase as part of an overall solution to this problem."?

    It would blow a hole in their continual argument that the only thing the U.S. electorate will stand for is more and more cuts in budgets and services.

    Poll after poll shows that when asked specifically, voters are willing to consider increases in taxes to sustain education and health care.  A referendum in California would make that fact very clear.  Which is why the GOP doesn't dare let it happen.

    Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

    by dweb8231 on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 08:25:22 AM PDT

  •  Being in Maryland (13+ / 0-)

    I can relate to a state where the GOP is in it's death throes. The GOP in maryland is limited almost exclusively to the mountain west and the rural eastern shore. And like California, we actualy picked up seats in the legislature in 2010 in the most republican electorate in years. The GOP knows it is dying in places like Maryland and California, both from failed policy and simple demographics. But we can't assume they are going to go out without a fight. We have to fight them at every turn so that nothing is able to slip through that gives them the opportunity to implement their sorry excuses for policy.

  •  I'm convinced (12+ / 0-)

    that some of the rigid anti-tax "ideology" mentioned is just a veneer on some old school racism.

    Many of the hard-right members of the Assembly and Senate tend to come from upscale white-bread districts where it's not polite to mention their distaste for helping poor people of color, but cutting services to them is applauded in the name of "fiscal conservatism."

    An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics - Plutarch

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 08:37:36 AM PDT

  •  Hmmm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, CatCiaoInUSA, COBALT1928

    A state where one party won the majority and the other is using rules to keep the majority from passing their agenda.  Why is one considered heroic and the other a threat to democracy?  Isn't that just a tad inconsistent?  Just do what the WI GOP did, find whatever rule you need to get past it and do it.  And quit whining about it, the US government system is deliberately set up to allow for this sort of thing.  We're not allowed to like it only when it benefits the democrats.

  •  Former SF Mayor Willie Brown said this morning (11+ / 0-)

    that they should have cut the current fees that they want to extend by a point or two and presented this as a tax cut! That is what the GOP would have done I bet.

    This is not a tax increase, just an extension of the existing rates. But too many are letting the Repubs frame this.

    As a Californian I am very concerned about the cuts that they have already proposed, I cannot imagine the damage done to the state if we let the minority require even more cuts.

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 08:49:56 AM PDT

  •  The Democrats are so afraid of their own shadow (11+ / 0-)

    that they hide from the word liberal and let the Rethugs frame the debate even though it's based on lies. Nothing will get done until Democrats start standing up for the average worker and take the fight to the Rethugs and expose them for the corporate puppets they are.

  •  So let me get this straight. The rethugs are being (6+ / 0-)

    obstructive but they get a pass because 'that's what they do'. So, let's bash the dems instead with the usual dems-are-useless meme ?

    With friends like this, who needs enemies ?

     

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.
    A No-Drama Obama Site

    by amk for obama on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 08:58:46 AM PDT

  •  The Democratic Legislature in California (6+ / 0-)

    and the Governor could have decided to go ahead and put the tax initiatives on the June ballot by a majority vote.

    They keep wailing that they needs 2/3rds, but this is not true.  There is nothing in the California Constitution that specifies the requirements for a non-amendment ballot initiative proposed by the legislature.

    It is true that their action might have been challenged in court; the CA Supreme Court might have ruled that a 2/3rds vote was necessary, but that is not obvious, because, again, there is nothing in the California Constitution that specifies the requirements for a non-amendment ballot initiative proposed by the legislature.  No one has any idea how the courts would have ruled on this question.

    The Democrats decided to fold, leaving them in the worst position possible.  The R's got exactly what they wanted, and the D's are forced to make drastic cuts which the R's don't even have to vote for.

    Had the D's put the initiatives on the ballot, then a) they get shot down by the courts, in which case they could have said they tried and failed, or b) the win in court and lose at the ballot, in which case they can say they tried and the public rejected their plan, or c) they win in court and at the ballot box.

    •  I don't think so (0+ / 0-)

      The problem is that legislative approval of any such measure would have to take the form of an urgency statute requiring the 2/3rds if it's to go on the ballot this year.  The legislature can call elections with a simple majority and such statutes have immediate effect, but that's distinct from passing the things that would go on that ballot.  So actually the Constitution is quite clear.

      Those details aside, I think Brown was correct that it was important to be seen to attempt to be reasonable with the Repugs.  Bear in mind that getting initiatives on a June ballot would have meant starting the process before he even took office, which might have appeared to a lot of independent voters to be bad faith.

      Interestingly, if Brown works the process as fast as possible, a special election could be held as early as mid-September.  A few weeks after Labor day would be pretty ideal IMHO, with students being back to school, vacations over with, and daylight/weather more favorable for turnout than November.    

      •  There's nothing in the Constitution (0+ / 0-)

        that says anything about the legislature needing an urgency statute or anything else about placing a non-amendment ballot initiative on the ballot.

        There is nothing in the Constitution that says ANYTHING about the legislature placing non-amendment ballot initiatives on the ballot.

        If you disagree cite me Chapter and Verse.

  •  I think the tone of this is all wrong. (7+ / 0-)

    Republicans are going the way of the dodo in our largest state.  Sure, it's painful in all sorts of ways, because we're going through a painful moment (era?) in general.  But it's a happy story.

    Todo tiempo pasado fue mejor. I don't believe that, but I hear this sig is permanent.

    by Rich in PA on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 09:00:01 AM PDT

  •  They might be in the minority (7+ / 0-)

    But the Republicans' "galling"  "unrelenting" playbook has worked. The conversation has been fundamentally changed as a result. Let's face it, Democratic governors like Brown, or Cuomo in New York are basically governing from the center right, either by choice or necessity, and would have been considered mainstream Republicans 30 years ago. The Republicans are less shortsighted then you are giving them credit for.

  •  This is like asking (0+ / 0-)

    Alaric to join you in attacking Attila.  He might do it, but you know the minute you turn your back they're going to start looting too.

  •  An interesting article in today's Chronicle (0+ / 0-)

    ON SACRAMENTO'S DYSFUNCTION

    It suggest that two previously passed ballot measures the open primary and the legislative reapportionment commission are going to be political game changers that will break up the present deadlock.

    •  I hope so. (0+ / 0-)

      Otherwise, we will need a constitutional convention, which risks becoming a huge free-for-all.

      •  I don't think that would happen, given the makeup (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ms Citizen

        of the electorate and the legislature they elect. Nearly two-thirds of the elected state government is Democratic. Why do you think a smaller percentage, let alone one that would constitute a "free-for-all", would comprise the Constitutional Convention?
        This Californian is all for a new Constitution here.

  •  GOP Assault on UC's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dsb, maybeeso in michigan

    Now that 9 months a at a University of California is up
    to $30k plus you would hope that  low income students would have a fair chance at grant moneys.
    It was damn hard work for my kid to get accepted as a freshman this month.

    Both the Cal Grant and Pell Grant are in limbo.

    A shot at a Chemical Engineering degree is on the line.

    The thing is,  his older brothers were able to work their way through college and now are paying off their loans
    and a fair amount of state and federal taxes.

  •  Um, really? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, dsb, VClib

    The role of a minority party is to "accept[] the fact that [opposition has] an overwhelming governing mandate"?  The role of a minority party is to abandon their positions and vote with the majority? Does that apply to Democrats, too, when they are in the minority?  Should Democrats in other states "accept the fact that they are the minority" and vote with Republicans because Republicans won in those states?  

    In my view, it is just silly to expect the minority party to "accept the fact" that they are in the minority IF that is supposed to mean that they are supposed to change the way they votes because they are in the minority.  If you applied that principle across the board, the you would be saying that, in most state legislatures in this country, in things like the redistrcting battles happening now, Democrats in the minority should just "accept that" and stop trying to block what the Republicans are doing.  Is that the principle being advocated?  Or does the "the minority should just accept things and go along with the majority" only apply to one side?

    This is the government that the voters of California put into place.  The Democrats in California need to deal with the hand they are played.  Whining that the Republicans won't change their positions because they are the minority is just silly.  Of course they won't.  The only thing that will change their vote is if THEIR CONSTITUENTS (they people who actually voted in their district to put them in office) tell them that the majority of their district wants them to change their votes.  Not the fact that they are the minority in the state legislature.  

    •  Correction: this is the government the voters (0+ / 0-)

      of California from the early 1980s, at the latest, put into place. It's 30 years on, and a whole lot of garbage has happened since then that needs to be thrown out.
      When you need a 2/3 majority to do anything substantial, nothing substantial will get done in a group of more than a handful.
      See California Crackup to get a good historical view of what's happened in California governance.

  •  Is there an oath that Republicans have to take? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mchestnutjr

    "I will never, ever, ever do anything to benefit anyone but the rich and powerful. So help me Fundamentalist God!"

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 09:30:30 AM PDT

  •  Um... (2+ / 0-)

    This is not news.  The GOP has rejiggered the state constitution so that the minority in the legislature - and they have been in the minority for quite some time - can hamstring the entire process.  That's how California got into this ridiculous budget mess in the first place.

    When you punch enough holes through steerage, the first-class cabins sink with the rest of the ship.

    by Roddy McCorley on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 09:36:42 AM PDT

  •  So where do we sign the petition... (3+ / 0-)

    to get the tax measures on the ballot?  We could get about a couple dozen signatures at the next Bruin Democrats meeting right there and then.  Just send someone over with the forms.  :-)

  •  Obama and Dems need to learn from J. Brown (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orrg1, Pat K California

    Jerry Brown has crushed the unlimited election funding of Meg Whitman and now he is crushing the Republican legislators.

    It is easy. Its like playing chess with someone whose every move is predictable.

    He makes budget cuts that will get everybody mad and is able to blame the R for not allowing the people to vote on tax increases. Then he gets the signature petitions so people can vote and will pass the tax increases.

    The R is blamed yet he still gets the job done. Please consult with this chess genius. How can Dems not beat an opponent whose every move is predictable?

  •  Pshaw, Republicans just need another movie star (0+ / 0-)

    to return to world domination.  Nick Nolte?  Charlie Sheen?  Mel Gibson?

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 09:58:19 AM PDT

  •  This is true: (0+ / 0-)
    The GOP is unrelenting, shortsighted, and incapable of compromise—and they should be ignored at every opportunity.

    ...and they are mighty used to winning. They've had quite a nice 30-year run. They're spoiled, and it shows in their behavior.

    Democrats are all too used to defeat, and it often shows in theirs.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 10:00:11 AM PDT

  •  I used to bullseye womp rats back home... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pwwwayne, Pat K California
    Good. But Brown has lost valuable time, as it will now be impossible to have a June election, and a postponement of a vote until November will make things far more difficult due to the timing of California's fiscal year.

    Nothing's impossible.  900,000 signatures?  Has the Democratic Party heard of email, Twitter and Facebook?  I bet we could get 900,000 signatures in very little time with a viral campaign.  It's a matter of organization and keeping up with the times.

    The MSM...excuse me, the Traditional Media is propaganda.

    by mmuskratt on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 10:25:26 AM PDT

    •  if the petitions could be gathered online (0+ / 0-)

      then yes. but these sigs must be gathered in-person. the infrastructure just isn't there.

      oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

      Twitter: @DanteAtkins

      by Dante Atkins on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 10:51:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re the "lost time" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pat K California

        Bear in mind that the shortest possible time for getting an initiative onto a ballot is about 5-1/2 months.  For June, that would have meant starting the process before Brown even took office, which would have had poor optics.  But also, starting immediately would allow for a special election in the latter half of September, which looks to me to be an idea worth considering.

  •  Belief in reason or reality is a mistake (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pwwwayne

    when attempting to negotiate with Republicans.

    Remember Ron Suskind's quote of Bush aide (probably Rove) of 2004:

    The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

    It's about time Democrats and Progressives started to take the GOP at their word, instead of imagining that they are open to reason, evidence, and argument. They are not.

    Otherwise we're like the addage about the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting to have a different outcome.

    Mainstream Democrats are either exceeding naive, exceedingly hypocritical (funded as they are by corporations and financial industry), or in a state of denial bordering on the psychotic.

    It's time to wake up and start fighting back--strategically, shrewdly, persistently, with toughness and resilience.

    Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

    by coral on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 10:27:48 AM PDT

  •  Progressives need to go on offense (0+ / 0-)

    Compare the nationwide post-election attitudes from 2008 and 2010.  In 09, Democrats attempted to govern.  Since last November, Republicans have taken a berserker offensive approach across the country which leaves progressives doing little more than trying to defend hard-won rights and protections.

    Realizing that sometimes the only way to fight fire is with fire, CA progressives should take action to force Republicans to scramble to defend the only thing they have left - the handful of offices they hold.

    So taking the Prop 8 methodology that the GOP endorses where 50 percent (plus 1) of voters in an single election can remove the rights of a class of people, come up with something that would neutralize any Republican power throughout the state.

    Just making up something off the cuff:

    The RANCHO Act - Republicans Are Not Capable of Holding Office
    Having demonstrated their unwillingness to constructively govern at any level, and notwithstanding the results of any statewide, municipal or local election,  any current or past member of the Republican Party of California is hereby barred from holding any elective or appointed office in the State of California.  

    Gather signatures to put that on the November ballot, pass it, and come next January ignore any Republican who claims to hold any power in the state.

  •  For all of the States that elected GOP Governors.. (0+ / 0-)

    It looks like one giant avalanche of despair for the voters who did not know what they were voting for last November.   It is time for everyone to begin to study the issues that matter to them....basic issues even, before they head to the polls.

    •  Which is part of why Obama will win in 12 (0+ / 0-)

      Apart from the current raft of potential GOP candidates being bigger jokes than Charlie sheen, governors like Rick Scott, Scott walker, and kasich are showing people what the republican party really stands for. Do you think Wisconsin is going to vote for republicans after the full on assault on the working class that even republicans are beginning to recognize as such? November 2010 sucked, but the first 3 months of 2011 maybe be the best thing that has ever happened to us.

  •  You can't reason with the unreasonable (0+ / 0-)

    What ever happen to "They bring a knife, you bring a gun to a fight"?

    When I cannot sing my heart. I can only speak my mind.

    by Unbozo on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 11:56:39 AM PDT

  •  Talk (0+ / 0-)

    I have read some talk that Progressives should organize and put at least one proposition on the ballot in November that represents our values.  A proposition in California passes with over 50% of the vote.  Legally it changes the state Constitution and is difficult to reverse.  Anyone anywhere can sponsor a proposition.  I wish that Progressives everywhere would help us do something like this and go around Brown and the Dems to get some positive action especially to protect our public schools.  The problem is that we let both Obama and Brown set the agenda.  Talk it up especially if you are in California.  I read this on Calitics.

  •  I don't understand why (0+ / 0-)

    people are surprised that students in public schools seem to be failing more and more, despite the money we spend.

    In rich white communities they just disband the PTA and start their own parent organizations. Then they donate tens of thousands of dollars to prop up their schools while everyone else's languish.

    Not to mention that many of the parents with the resources to give their kids a stable home life yank their kids out of public school and put them in private.

    When you take all the kids with a head start and a stable family out of public schools and when you drain the system of tax revenue and continue on with property tax based funding for local schools and subsidize that with "bake sales" where donations of tens of thousands of dollars from rich white people are the norm in order to subsidize their kids' educations... of course it's just going to get worse and worse for the kids left to go to school in decaying mildew infested rat  holes.

    You can throw tons of public money at it but it'll still pale in comparison to the private funding that rich parents funnel to their schools behind the scenes. All that white "bake sale" money just never gets reported because it doesn't go through any national system like the PTA.

    Fucking blueberry scones don't cost $1,000 a pop fyi people in the New York suburbs.

  •  I hate ballot initiatives (0+ / 0-)

    It's mob Democracy and it results in the violation of people's rights.

    Our Forefathers were right not to trust Americans with a Greek style Democracy. They knew our people would use it to subjugate minority groups, whether they be religious or any other kind.

    •  A few thoughts on that (0+ / 0-)

      Did our Foremothers have an opinion?

      In any case, the Forefathers didn't trust us with any sort of Democracy, this being a Republic.

      Re subjugating minority groups, I seem to recall the elected officials have been able to go about that quite enthusiastically even where unassisted by plebiscites.

      •  Equality seems to come about (0+ / 0-)

        more quickly in this country when we allow the random enlightened leader to force it down our throats. Even if they're doing it grudgingly. Just seems to be the reality of how it has to happen in our society. When we allow the people to decide, minorities don't get equal rights and they are far less protected in terms of maintaining them.

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