Jerry talks anti-tax doctrinaires with CalBuzz.
by Brian Leubitz
The Republicans and the Democrats, at least in the venue I know best, California, have a very different relationship with their respective bases. The Democrats raise money from their activist base, gets volunteers, and then generally ignores them. The Republicans, well, it is a very different story. Sure they get money and volunteers, but the tail wags the dog. The right wing activists of the Republican party controls them.
As a long-time blogger, I suppose I have a bigger megaphone than most. However, I have nowhere near the power (nor earning power) of Jon Fleischman, my right-wing counterpart at the FlashReport. He says something, and all of a sudden, legislators are looking around to make sure that they didn’t cross him. Me, well, sometimes I get an “attaboy” when I am of some use, but let’s just say that Calitics isn’t lucrative, and that nobody is calling me a horseman of anything but the cartoon variety http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dj0Q…
So, it is interesting, that, in an interview with CalBuzz, Governor Brown called out the Republican base as the proverbial tale wagging the Republican party.
Invoking the infamous symbols of Conquest, War, Famine and Death from the Book of Revelation, the former seminarian identified the anti-tax fearsome foursome to whom the Republicans submit as 1) DC anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist; 2) Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association; 3) LA radio spewers John Kobylt and Ken Champiou and 4) FlashReport, GOP operative Jon Fleischman’s right-wing blog.
“It’s emotionally quite wrenching for any of the Republicans to embrace anything opposed by the Four Horsemen of the Tax Apocalypse,” Gov. Gandalf told Calbuzz. “If that group, or even maybe any one or two of them, invoke the dreaded ‘t’ word, they do cower.”
Of course, this is really nothing new. If you’ve taken a bit of time to really consider the California right-wing over the past two decades, it doesn’t take a PhD in political science to see their slide from pragmatic dealmakers to ideological extremists. Jerry likely knew this before he retook the Horseshoe, but perhaps the breadth and depth of this takeover took him by surprise.
To be honest, in many ways, the right-wing has more power over the Democratic Party than the left-wing base. Under the 2/3 rule, revenue legislation must be tailored to hold all of the conservative Democrats. Nobody can take a walk, even if we did have the 2/3 Democratic chambers that we have been lusting after for so long.
Fleischman has a post today excoriating former Senate minority leader Dave Cogdill for agreeing to temporary sales tax increases. He states, and perhaps daydreams, of what California would have looked like if we had a 2011 budget in 2009. And the thing is for Fleischman, perhaps the world may have looked slightly better.
But that is only if you are doing well. After all, California (and the US in general) is a great place for those who are doing well financially. But ask those Californians who are alive today because they got a helping hand from state services, and you would see a very different picture of that 2009 vs 2011 budget debate.
Of course, the fact that the Rich need the state is hardly reported. But California without the economic engines that are the UCs, CSUs and the community colleges is a markedly different (and worse off) state. A California without the public infrastructure is a worse off state. We all need the public goods that only the state can provide efficiently. Denying that might be convenient for the Right, but it is devastating for California.