California is embarking on a massive experiment in governance. Since demographic changes reduced Republicans to bystanders, the Democrats run the whole show. How have they done?
A superb article in the New York Times gives the details, but here is a run down.
For years a shrinking percentage of Republicans could only shriek their agenda but not implement it. They did, however, have the power to obstruct the goals of the Democrats -- up until a few years ago. After 2010, the California GOP has lacked the votes in the legislature to affect anything, and the governorship, for many years entrusted to Republicans, is now in Democratic hands.
As a lifelong Democrat, I was overjoyed but worried also. The total control of one party can easily lead to excess and overreach, and I feared for my tribesmen. What actually seems to be happening has surprised me.
Jerry Brown, our governor, and the legislature have shown great moderation. I generally like what they have been doing, and the predicted surge of left wing radicalism has not materialized. It is as if once the right wing pressure was removed, Democrats felt comfortable moving into the center. The effort to reconcile the differences throughout the political spectrum and govern by concensus is clear.
Like I said, this is an experiment. Californians don't always get it right. We can fail, and we may here, but I have this thought pecking away at my consciousness -- what if this works.
We shall see. . .