Friday, July 03, 2009
The Wisdom of Professor Kimber
Our governor has made an effort, and I believe it was a sincere effort, to find a compromise between the Democratic and Republican beliefs about that services the State should provide. He was unable to persuade the Republicans to budge from their “no new taxes” position and now is trying to persuade or pressure the Democrats into accepting the Republican position. It isn’t working. He has become irrelevant.
As a Democrat I have only the most heartfelt God-damns for the Republicans and their stubborn position on any tax increase. At the same time, I can understand the frustration of a non-partisan voter at the stubbornness of both parties. This non-partisan voter believes that one party has to give in so that the State can have a budget and pay its bills. If the Republicans won’t budge, then the Democrats should do the honorable thing and concede to the Republican demands for the sake of the State. In a logical world, if the Democrats made the sacrifice they would be viewed as heroes.
But the world isn’t logical. Or, at least, human behavior isn’t logical. After the Democrats give up their beliefs and accept the Republican budget, the public would soon experience the results. Schools would be starved of resources. Public hospitals would have to turn away patients. Public assistance programs such as Medi-Cal would be severely curtailed. Some prisoners would have to be released. The public would be up in arms. Who would they blame? Many of them would blame the majority party in the legislature, the Democrats. They would not blame the Republicans for sticking to their principles. They would blame the Democrats for abandoning theirs.
Professor Kimber was a wise man.