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Could Moonbeam’s Eccentricity Save California?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:57 am - November 9, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,California politics

One reason I was dumbfounded a majority of my fellow Californians could vote to elect Jerry Brown governor, twenty-eight years after overwhelmingly rejecting his Senate bid (at the close of his last tenure as the state’s chief executive).  He was quite eccentric when first he led the (then-)Golden State.  He didn’t earn the nickname Moonbeam for nothing.

But, he didn’t earn the sobriquet for being a team-player either.  As he told the New York Times, “Moonbeam also stands for not being the insider. . . . But standing apart and marching to my own drummer. And I’ve done that.”  Boy has he.

As our reader Bryan, drawing on his own memories, reminds us even though Brown faced a Democratic legislature in the 1970s, the Democrat did not rubber stamp their bills:  he “vetoed the state employees’ request for increased wages and benefits in his second term, and, when the Legislature approved and sent it back to him, he vetoed the bill again.”  Maybe he’ll show a similar resistance to the eagerness of the legislature to hike state employees’ wages this time around.

The last thing we need now is a governor who marches in a lock-step with an unpopular legislature beholden to public employee unions.

Jerry Brown has shown a certain independence in the past, a willingness to part company with the ideology of his party when it served the interest of the state he governed in the 1970s and the city he helmed (Oakland) in the 2000s.  That said, he didn’t really show much independence from his party’s ideology on the campaign trail this fall.

Perhaps, he’ll show his independence when he returns to office in January.

We can only hope.

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8 Comments

  1. Moonbeam’s eccentricity is just that; his fiscal policies are dangerous for a state teetering on the edge of the abyss. He will push California into the abyss with the compliance of the Democrat legislature.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — November 9, 2010 @ 9:02 am - November 9, 2010

  2. California just committed Governor – assisted suicide. Bankruptcy is on the way, and at least, if there is a silver lining, they made sure that there isn’t even a nominal republican available to blame for it. Liberals, this one is ALL your baby. Lock. Stock. And two smoking barrels.

    Comment by Ryan — November 9, 2010 @ 9:31 am - November 9, 2010

  3. “On the other hand” when you move to the other “hand” the first “hand” is “the other hand.” That is to say, Moonbeam may do something good for California and unpredictable in terms of his predispositions, but, “on the other hand” sea changes in principals and philosophy are usually touted, preached and known across the land.

    Hobo: “If we had some eggs, we could have ham and eggs, if we had some ham.”

    Jerry Brown either knows how to tackle California’s problems and he will “damn the torpedoes” and go full steam ahead or he will politically calculate and while his time away and age gracefully, if not graciously.

    Comment by Heliotrope — November 9, 2010 @ 10:25 am - November 9, 2010

  4. With far left loon Gavin “gruesome” Newsome in the number 2 seat? A state senate packed with far leftists, and with the off chance ultra far left Karmilla Harris becoming AG of the state?

    I think I have a better chance of landing my long unrequited love than Brown proving himself to be anything but an albatross on this floundering ship.

    Comment by Stone K — November 9, 2010 @ 10:47 am - November 9, 2010

  5. Dennis Prager offers a riddle:

    Q. What’s the difference between California voters and the passengers on the Titanic?

    A. The passengers on the Titanic didn’t vote to hit the iceberg.

    Comment by V the K — November 9, 2010 @ 11:35 am - November 9, 2010

  6. Yes yes, maybe the state is in so bad a shape that only someone as crazy as Brown could save it! ….. nah.

    Comment by Tom the Redhunter — November 9, 2010 @ 9:26 pm - November 9, 2010

  7. I wonder if Californians would be willing to recall Moonbeam when the state has to declare bankruptcy. With the Republican Congress controlling the pursestrings, California is not too big to fail. No bailout!

    Comment by Roberto — November 10, 2010 @ 12:00 pm - November 10, 2010

  8. As a CA voter, I did not vote the difference between Whitman and Brown, I voted the difference between Arnold and Whitman.

    I voted libertarian.

    Whitman supported the stupid green 30% renewable energy pipe dream and so-called “green jobs” while opposing new drilling off the CA coast.

    Whitman can’t claim to be anti-regulation while upholding current regulations forbidding new drilling off the coast of CA. Drilling that would have created thousands if not tens of thousands of jobs.

    Comment by Blake — November 10, 2010 @ 4:48 pm - November 10, 2010

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