Let’s get serious about the English language. Seems we in Sacramento are pretty cavalier about the term “leadership.”
Is it true leadership if the leader is taking you off a cliff a la the final scene in Thelma and Lousie? That’s the question any thinking moderate Californian should be asking in light of comments from the State Senate’s freshly-minted Republican “leader” Dennis Hollingsworth.
The Senator came into the spotlight yesterday, telling the Sacramento Press Club that his words were twisted out of context when, during the budget impasse, he reportedly urged fellow Republican Sen. Abel Maldonado to let California “go into bankruptcy, let it go off a cliff, we need to prove a point, that it’s the majority’s fault.”
Hollingsworth’s “context” defense carries about as much weight as a Twinkie for anyone who has ever worked inside the Capitol, where pettiness knows few bounds.
[Note: Democrats are just as guilty of factoring into the mix how certain proposals and votes will “jam” the other party. But at least they haven’t of late been as blatant or tone deaf in public as Hollingsworth. They and the Governor actually appear to be trying to solve a serious problem by making difficult choices. What a concept.]
Since the new minority leader is the one who opened his mouth, he’s the one under the microscope. Which brings us back to the question of leadership and Hollingsworth’s utterances on Proposition 1A.
The May 19 ballot measure is the brainchild of the Legislature and the Governor. Sure it has unsavory elements, but they are spread around. Extended tax increases for spending caps.
Perfect? Far from it. But it’s not like this is some leftwing conspiracy. Special interests on the hard right and left hate both hate the ballot package. That should tell us something. The California Chamber and Farm Bureau Federation are supporting the initiative. Hardly radical groups. That says even more about this measure making enough sense to vote for it. Even if its a Hail Mary pass play, who the hell cares at this point?
Hollingsworth’s assurances he won’t be campaigning against Prop. 1A and the other ballot measures were mighty big of him. Just tell the entire capitol press corps and millions of Californians through the news media that the package sucks and is doomed to defeat. But no campaigning! The needle on the Blue Dog’s BS meter almost spun off the dial over that one.
Rather than standing with the entire Army, taking some bullets and showing a united front against a common enemy, Hollingsworth is taking his platoon AWOL and running for the cliffs, scorching the earth with flamethrowers as they bolt away. How sadly predictable.
The Blue Dog Dictionary doesn’t count this as leadership.