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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. . .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    Canem Praeteri, Cave Modo Hominem. (Never mind the dog, just watch out for the human)

    by T C Gibian on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 02:47:01 PM PDT

  •  Bill Maher: (6+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:04:14 PM PDT

  •  The only bad new is Gov Brown (7+ / 0-)

    vetoed all the gun control laws passed by the Assembly and the Senate; is pushing the Delta tunnels; is pushing a very expensive, very short high speed rail system and doing some other things that are far more right than Californians really want (except those loonies in the far south and the far north).

    Oh well, we can't be perfect, but we could certainly be closer!

    I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

    by woolibaar on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:07:57 PM PDT

    •  I concur, partially (6+ / 0-)

      The delta tunnels are a giant mistake, to be sure, and I don't like a few other things Ol' Governor Moonbeam has done. However, compared to Deukmejian, Wilson, and Schwartzeneger, he is a breath of fresh air.

      I never expect to get 100% from any politician.

      Canem Praeteri, Cave Modo Hominem. (Never mind the dog, just watch out for the human)

      by T C Gibian on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:17:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  how is san francisco to orange county short? (8+ / 0-)

      unless you're claiming that building the first leg, as part of a statewide sequence, is the whole thing?

      i'm with you on the delta tunnels, but HSR is a good project, and jerry's on the side of the angels there.

      •  Right now it only goes (0+ / 0-)

        from Visalia to Fresno (or some ridiculously very short distance). After spending mucho dollars, it hasn't really gone anywhere and it doesn't have a lot of support (or lukewarm at best).

        Plus, unless it has a way to carry cars, it probably won't get much use, because once you get either place, or (especially) somewhere in between, you have to have a car and renting isn't necessarily an option.

        We already have a train that goes from SF to LA and it's one of the most scenic, but once you get to where you are going, you can't get around without a car. I would love to take the train to LA, but just try getting around LA without a vehicle.

        I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

        by woolibaar on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:28:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  absurd (4+ / 0-)

          every big project is built in stages, and california law demands that every single stage has a ton of environmental and "impact" review, without even getting into the years of fraudulent lawsuits thrown up in hopes of delaying HSR until it misses the federal funding deadlines. the central valley leg is just the first segment is all, and given its seismic engineering simplicity, a reasonable place to start.

          as for the cars thing, by that argument we should get rid of all airports too. LA is building out its rail system like crazy, and putting HSR stops in each city on the route will tell local governments where they should focus their transit systems. additionally, there are these things called taxis and rental cars, that they have at airports, that might be of some use.

          enough with the right wing oil company-funded thinktank talking points.

          •  Yep. If California were China, no problem... (0+ / 0-)

            ...Because citizen objections and lawsuits and environmental reviews haven't stopped its high-speed rail system from being built. Move a few 10s of thousands of people there? No problem. Run afoul of one or two objectors (with or without legitimate objections) and you can be hung up for years here.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 10:53:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  there is a middle ground (0+ / 0-)

              between rich peninsula suburbanites filing tons of cynical lawsuits trying to block or delay needed infrastructure, and china, MB. that is a ridiculously broad false choice.

              very few people are in any danger of losing homes because of eminenbt domain, either. some rich folks on the peninsula might lose 10-15 feet off the back of their lots, a few farmers in the san joaquin valley will lose some land, and one school building in bakersfield might have to be demolished, but compared with your average highway widening, the eminent domain we're talking about here really is pretty tiny.

              there is no comparison with china, to be honest.

              •  I obviously wasn't clear enough. I... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wu ming

                ...am not arguing in favor of blocking high-speed rail. On the contrary, I'm in favor of it and the Steel Interstate that Bruce McF has often written about being part of a grand infrastructure program funded/invested in by federal and state money.

                My point was and is, pretty much your point, that a handful of people can block even the best projects here because that's the system we've devised.

                But I frequently see Americans arguing that we should follow the Chinese example in building infrastructure. These folks apparently are unaware of how that infrastructure gets around Chinese opposition, which typically has a good deal more rationality behind it than those suburbanites you take note of. They ride roughshod over it. The way many corporations would prefer things here be handled.

                Yes, I agree, there ought to be balance.

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 02:11:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  The high speed rail is a great project (6+ / 0-)

      I can't wait to use it.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 04:28:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong about the gun control vetoes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      Brown signed eleven gun-related bills into law. He did veto the other seven on his desk.

      You can read his comments for each of the vetoes and for a couple of the signatures on the governor's legislative update posts on his website.

  •  They can't blame the republicans if the (0+ / 0-)

    State gets more screwed up than it is already.  Funny how political parties will beat one drum when they can't do anything about it and then another when they have the power.  

    When you are dead, you don't know that you are dead. It is difficult only for the others. It is the same when you are stupid.

    by thestructureguy on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:51:37 PM PDT

  •  He's made a sweeping change to school finance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, Nulwee

    And he's also exempted schools from double-testing during the phase in of the Common Core exams.

    There are details of the school finance that are locally worrisome, but it is a sweeping change that is philosophically a good one and I'm impressed he pulled it off.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 04:30:06 PM PDT

  •  As if all Dems think alike ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee
    the predicted surge of left wing radicalism has not materialized.
     And who "predicted" such "radicalism", Tom McClintock?

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 04:35:04 PM PDT

  •  Benevolent dictactorship? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, stevenaxelrod

    Jerry Brown has total control of the state essentially.  It's a scenario for success since the old " Governor Moonbeam" Brown had run its course, with the current version focused more on good governance and globally beneficial decisions for the people of California.  He suppressed most of his ego long ago and spent a couple of decades in the wilderness of difficult local government learning what will work and what doesn't.

    As a real estate agent, I had some out-of-state clients wondering how/if the state would pull out of the depths from 2008-2011.  When Jerry Brown was voted in, I said to watch because this would be a rare case of a functional government, and if an experienced Jerry Brown showed good judgment and intentions, it might very well turn around our state.  So far so good for this "California Experiment", maybe the U.S. voters will try it in 2016.

    "Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized" - Einstein

    by post partisan in Cali on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:17:00 PM PDT

  •  This is the model for the nation for the Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    in other states and on the national level.  Leaders are needed on ever level that have the power to promote discourse on issues of importance for the future. Then we have to get rid of the GOP who have rendered themselves unfit to govern.  The Democaratic party has a tent large enough to deal with power in the light of the huge issues facing us.  But we can't do it with the sullen, absurdist, obstructionist GOP.  Like in California the demographics are against the GOP through out the country.  We can shut them out any real role in governing so we can move forward like California.  Cooperation is dead with the GOP and now we must sweep them away ASAP permanantly.

  •  HR for Union Thugs (0+ / 0-)

    Piling on, I know, but that concept really lights my fuse.

    Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies have nothing to lose but their chains -Marx (-8.75,-8.36)

    by alain2112 on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 12:05:36 PM PDT

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