Sunday, January 23, 2011

Spinning Makes Me Nauseous

No link to the story, because I am not going to direct traffic to Politico, but you can find the original there. It is about California Governor Brown's efforts to deal with the budget crisis. What piqued my interest was this:

“The best part about California today is that the Democrats own it,” said Linda Ackerman, a Republican National Committeewoman from California.
“We do not control the Assembly and we do not control the Senate, so all the fallout is going to come down on the Democrats,” she said. “The Democrats own it, let them own. Let’s see what they’re able to do with it.”

This is "spin," or as normal people pronounce it, "bullshit." Technically, she's right. And, technically, she's a liar. You see, in California, because there was an epidemic of short-sighted idiocy in 1978, the good people of my home state passed Prop 13. One of the results is a 2/3rds super-majority in each House is required to pass a tax increase. Consequently, a minority of hard-line Republicans have hamstrung the state in the name of "no new taxes ever for any reason." Yeah, that worked out real well in Colorado Springs.

Ms. Ackerman's statement is misleading. It is the equivalent of the misleading line that the Democrats "controlled" both Houses of Congress from 2007-2010. Because of the filibuster, the reality is, Republicans "controlled" the Senate. And they control it as a minority, due to an antiquated procedural quirk, not the design of the Constitution. So much for the Founders' intent. Similarly, because they have (and given the way districts are drawn, will always have) at least 1/3rd of the California Legislature, the G.O.P. "controls" California, from the perspective of their ability to veto any tax increases or any attempts to close loopholes, including this one.

The bummer is, she's probably right. The deliberate attempt to keep people ignorant about things like how their government actually functions will once again inure to the benefit of the liars.

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