The Beast with Two Backs

dog_withboneThe Blue Dog applauds the Sacramento Bee’s Dan Weintraub for his clarity in exposing  the odd bedfellows snuggling together beneath the sheets of Proposition 1A. The May 19 special election measure, an outgrowth of this year’s big budget compromise, asks Californians to approve short-term tax hikes in exchange for spending caps.

In the real world, these are called tradeoffs. Hard choices. Balancing competing interests. Gray areas. But, predictably, these are alien concepts for the black-and-white crowd.  

 “It contains elements that are very distasteful to both the hard right and the hard left of the political spectrum,” writes Weintraub, who wonders if voters in the middle (that’s us) will “split the difference between the extremes and chart a centrist path for their troubled state.” 

Let’s hope so. The Blue Dog thinks this is a no-brainer for moderates of both parties. On one hand, we have the lunatics on the right who see taxes everywhere — just like M. Night Shyamalan sees dead people. On the other, we have the liberal maniacs who think of government as a giant ATM that is morally obligated to generate taxpayer dollars as responsibly as the OctoMom spits out babies. 

This odd pair of special interests claim nothing is going on between the two. No hanky panky. They’re just staying on their respective sides of the bed, spineless backs toward one another, heads gently resting on their ideological pillows. The Blue Dog suspects something a bit more unseemly – a little political dry humping perhaps, making the beast with two backs at worst. This bedroom needs some air freshener and even more sunlight from the capitol press corps. 

Do the polar opposites really believe the rest of us wouldn’t notice how bizarre this relationship is and what it suggests to moderate Californians who want solutions and reform, even if imperfect and difficult as they may be?

Meg Whitman’s op-ed yesterday against Prop. 1A was disappointing in this regard; instead of staking out the middle ground, she used the issue to pander to the anti-tax zealots in advance of her 2010 gubernatorial run. (Whitman, it should be noted, is a distant third in a CalBlueDog poll behind Dianne Feinstein and Tom Campbell as the best moderate candidate for California). Hey, Meg, did you realize the California Chamber of Commerce supports Prop. 1A?

While the Blue Dog is still checking out the fine print, if the extremists on both sides of the political divide loathe Prop 1A, there’s a 99 percent likelihood the measure is a sure-fire measure voters should pass. If you’re sick in bed  (no matter who you are sleeping with), do you really expect the doctor’s medicine to taste like honey?

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1 Comment

Filed under California Legislature, Media, Politics

One response to “The Beast with Two Backs

  1. O&R

    More than dissappointing, Whitman’s editorial was disingenious. Her led graph was:

    “When facing tough decisions in business, the first thing I ask is, ‘What is the right thing to do?’ Sometimes, doing the right thing is very straightforward. At other times, it can be painful. But a willingness to do what is right, regardless of the circumstances, demonstrates leadership. And it is how successful organizations are run.”

    So I’m reading along looking for exactly how would she do the right thing and demostrate leaderhsip when it comes to the budget. Finally, in the eighth graph I come upon her solution:

    “Before asking taxpayers for more money, government should cut bureaucracy, cut spending further, improve efficiency and provide better services for less. Businesses do this all the time; why can’t government?”

    Great. Her solution to a $42 billion hole in the budget is to fix it with cuts only. Republicans already tried that. I didn’t work. That’s why the propositions are there in the first place.

    I’m not saying the Democratic solution of more taxes is the way to go either. I’m just saying Whitman isn’t leading. She’s pandering to the Republican base. Yeah, that’s how you win a primary. But please, don’t try to pass it off as “leadership.”

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