If you get a chance, take a listen to Warren Olney’s Which Way, LA? tonight. You can find it right here.
The California portion starts about halfway in, at around 28:40.
So Warren Olney describes the craptacular deal, and then has two lawmakers on to talk about it. First up is Bonnie Lowenthal, who is positively ebullient about the prospect of selling out local governments and breaking the very fabric of the social safety net. Asked if she’ll vote for the budget, she goes “I certainly am!” Olney, incredulously, lists the scope of the cuts, but she replies, “We have a deal, the stalemate is done, the IOUs will be over!” Later in the show, she enlightens us that it’s better to have something than nothing, and that we saved the “framework” – not the funding, just the framework – of most programs.
Then Chuck DeVore comes on. Now DeVore is running for US Senate, and needs to be as crazy as he wants to be. So Olney asks him if he’s voting for the budget. And he says he hasn’t read it, but it didn’t go far enough with the “reforms” and cuts to programs. (He also uses the spanking new right-wing canard that California has 12% of the population and 32% of the welfare recipients, which is only true if you count all kinds of services that other states don’t consider welfare as welfare) Then Olney says that there were no new taxes in the deal, and DeVore hails that, and eventually says “this is the best compromise we could possibly get.” And Olney says, “So then you’ll vote for it.” And DeVore says “No.”
I guess DeVore didn’t get handed his talking points that he’s supposed to throw a hissy fit about a fake report in the LA Times regarding early release, almost certainly planted by Sam Blakeslee to give cover to Yacht Partiers who want to vote against the budget.
I don’t think you could encapsulate the strategy and approach of the two parties better in a work of fiction. Lowenthal is just pleased as punch for everything to be over, DeVore knows he can get more and doesn’t want any part of his own handiwork so Democrats can be blamed for the consequences. One side looks only to put out immediate fires and the other has a long game strategy playing out over decades.
It is not pleasing to be a Democrat at this juncture.