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.
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.