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Monday, February 06, 2017

Is Willie Brown Blowing Smoke Or Is California Flexing Its Muscles?

The politics here are fast moving, so many are focused on the unpopularity, infeasibility, unconstitutionality of Trump's authoritarian edicts or trial balloons or gas attacks or whatever these are it is easy to miss the significance of moves that are made in the scrum. Willie Brown's threat that California -- as a rare "donor state" giving more money to the Federal government than the government provides back in services -- might respond to Trump-Republican suspensions of federal funds to sanctuary states/cities/spaces with suspensions of our own payments seems an extraordinary move to have been made so soon. The anchors of this news segment follow the story with additional talking points, notice, and if language and strategy and policy are already being confidently offered up in this way I am inclined to think this is not just Willie Brown blowing smoke but Willie Brown sending a signal California Democrats want to be heard. I am all for playing hardball with Trumpism, and all for the thriving diverse progressive REAL real America of California (and Cascadian states more generally) demanding a country that better reflects the our values than those of insulated ignorant dispersed rural racists. But I must say the long-term consequences of such a form of resistance to the Constitutional system of checks and balances, federalism, subsidiarity, such as they are, are hard to fathom.

Here's a link, since the video doesn't seem to want to play here for everybody.

1 comment:

Lorraine said...

Is Willie Brown the same person I know [of] as Jerry Brown? If so, I voted for him in the MI Dem. caucus way back in 1992. It was a way of voting against Clinton (and by extension, the DLC) so maybe I should be denounced as a #JerryBro or something. The killer issue that drew me to Brown like a magnet, in case for some reason you're curious, was his idea of making rent tax deductible. For me that more than offset the flat tax nonsense he was also peddling. I can forgive a candidate for taking a nominally conservative stand on an issue. In other words, for me it was never about "purity." What I "reward" as a voter is someone taking an unconventional stand, and at that time in American history in particular, Democrats in particular seemed to have a habit of saying "middle class homeowner" as if it's one word or something. Jerry's stand on tax deductible rent hit me like a lightning bolt. Information is just another word for contrast, after all, and an upward blip in the signal-to-noise ratio never fails to attract my attention.