Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Power without responsibility: California's Republican Party at work

This is really too extraordinary for words!

The LA Times has reported that California Republicans have admitted that they "won't be presenting a cuts-only budget proposal to counter Gov. Jerry Brown's tax plan because it would be politically damaging and pointless".

Bob Huff, who sits on the budget panel in the state senate justified Republicans' approach by saying that "It's a majority-vote's not like we're going to lead with all the things where we become the bad guys. The majority has the ability, they have the authority. God bless them, we're here to help". But of course Brown's plan to put a vote on the taxes that would be necessary to pass his own cuts-driven budget before California voters depends on getting the votes of four Republicans in the state legislature.

But Republicans will be responsible for preventing the budget from passing, depending as it does on the maintenance of tax rates (requiring a two-thirds vote), meaning that it is incumbent on them to present an alternative. Exercising power without responsibility has long been the strategy of the California Republican Party, but the admission that they won't deign to show voters what a California run by Republicans would look like because they are afraid that people would see them as the "bad guys" beggars belief.

Moreover, their cynical move demonstrates that California Republicans have no confidence in the ability of their ideas to do any good for California...they are playing a purely political game--and an anti-democratic one at that--in an effort to hamstring the efforts of state government to uplift the material lives of constituents.

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