If you look at the California GOP, especially the grassroots activists, consistent across all of the (oh, so many) demographics, you will see a shared hatred of paying their fare share. Sure, they’ll take from the government, in tax credits and bailouts, but when it comes to putting money into the kitty, well, that’s just unAmerican. Because government doesn’t really do anything. Or, as Craig T. Nelson says at about the 4:10 mark in this clip, “I’ve been on food stamps and welfare. Anybody help me out? No.”
Yes, it’s that kind of crazy that rules the “Grand Ol’ Party” these days. And so if you’ve ever had the temerity to ever support a tax, ever, in your life, for any reason, no matter how good, prepare to bear the mark for the rest of your life. Take Steve Poizner for example, Steve Harmon at MediaNews takes a look at how his past, rather lukewarm, support for some taxes makes the right-wingers very suspicious.
“I absolutely do not buy his sudden fiscal conservatism,” conservative blogger Warner Todd Huston said. “His entire history suggests otherwise.”
Poizner’s campaign went so far as to erase a passage earlier this month from his campaign Web site indicating his association with EdVoice, an education advocacy group he cofounded in 2006 that backed a losing ballot initiative, Proposition 88. The measure would have raised parcel taxes by $500 million. Poizner, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, insists that he had resigned from the EdVoice advisory board over his opposition to the parcel tax, an assertion backed by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who cofounded EdVoice.
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“It’s all kind of sketchy,” said Eric Hogue, a conservative radio talk show host who interviewed Poizner on his Sacramento-based show last week. “When did he have his meeting with the board? When did he resign?” (CoCo Times 8/27/09)
Oh noes! He kind of, sort of, maybe supported a parcel tax for education. That would be terrible. Now, the Right and their friends in the media say that the Democratic Party and the Left thinks in a similar way.
Except that would be categorically false. It doesn’t take long to think of examples, and you don’t really have to go back that far. Just look back at the budget fights over the past 8 months. In both fights, Democratic values have been tossed out the window. Core Democratic constituencies, including labor, the poor, and the elderly, have lost. Yet, how many recall attempts have we seen of Democratic legislators who supported the budget package?
None. While on the GOP side, Anthony Adams and a number of other Aye votes for the February package are fighting for their political lives.
The Republicans have gone so far in the quest for one single principle, that they have lost all perspective. They trade in quality schools, they trade in law enforcement, they even trade in prisons. All in the name of taxes.
That’s not a political party. That’s a fringe interest group. The thing that I don’t understand is why the Republicans merit so much coverage. Perhaps the media needs to give some attention to the new parties (PDF). I’m thinking a big story on the Anarchy and Poverty Party. Or perhaps that is just a faction of the GOP, being a little more honest about what they plan for California.