Whether the Tea Party Downgrade of the Full Faith and Credit of the USA will or will not have much impact on California’s state finances, it surely has already had an effect in terms of perceptions about whether a government divided by partisan ideologues can get anything done. What’s unclear yet, as Charlie Cook of the National Journal explained, is if voters will apply their widespread disgust with Washington selectively or aim it at anyone who was at the scene of the crime.
One note from Cook’s analysis is worth highlighting: “The lowly 14 percent approval (82 percent disapproval) for Congress in the August 2-3 CBS News/New York Times poll of 960 adults (with a 3-point error margin) was underscored by only 15 percent thinking most members of Congress deserve reelection and 75 percent don’t think that most deserve reelection.”
You gotta believe voters between, say 35 and 50, who are trying to patch together some sort of long-term security for themselves by building up their 401Ks or relying on pension plans, were gasping Monday and Tuesday as the stock market plunged and resurfaced at a sickening pace. BTW, where did people decide to stash big chunks of cash for safe-keeping? Or didn’t you notice that yields on treasuries went down?
Meanwhile, cartoonist Tom Meyer, whipped out his green eye shade and sided with those who say the bear market (or maybe the bear federal budget) will take a bite out of California’s financial standing.
Gandalf cons another Beltway Wizard: Our Department of Diversified Portfolio Investments and Survival Cache Bug Out Bags has been quite busy in recent days, simultaneously funneling cash to help Ron Paul dump the Federal Reserve while converting the rest of our assets into gold doubloons.
So we’re only now working our way through the transcript of Candy Crowley’s much-ballyhooed, “exclusive” interview with Governor Gandalf, finally figuring out why Krusty incomprehensibly gave a sit-down to CNN instead of Calbuzz.
Four key words: Cuz Crowley was clueless.
A bit of background: Back on April 10, 2009, long before he was a declared candidate, Brown sat still with us for his first detailed interview about the governor’s race, in which he discussed what he’d learned from his first tour of state chief executive duty and how would it shape a third term:
We wanted to interview Brown to ask his views on seven key questions we posed to all the candidates in one of our first posts. In his own fashion, he addressed most of them. However, Brown staunchly refused to specify what combination of cuts and tax hikes he would support to deal with chronic deficits, beyond stressing his view that California is a “very high tax” state and dismissing as politically impractical the proposal to amend Proposition 13 by taxing commercial and industrial property at higher rates than residential property.
“Anyone who answers that (tax and cuts question) will never have a chance to be governor,” he said. “It’s very hard to discuss with particularity anything that can be turned into (campaign) fodder.”
Comes now CNN’s Crowley and a squadron of highly paid flacks to trumpet to the world the news that Brown offered President Obama some unsolicited advice for the 2012 campaign: get out there and cite chapter and verse specifics on the federal spending issue:
BROWN: I’m telling you, we are at a crossroads, that if the Republicans cannot give up some of their ideological baggage, and if the Democrats can’t find a way to create common ground, the country is going to face some decline.
And I think the only way out of that is going to be a very vigorous election, where people lay out the stark alternatives, not muffle it like politicians like to do, kind of, you know, smooth out the rough edges. I think we need a very clear, decisive election.
I would say that the Republicans are gearing up to destroy the president, that the president will have to respond in a very powerful way, and the result for the country could be calamitous.
CROWLEY: What does his response have to be? What is that powerful response?
BROWN: He has to be authentic. He has to be powerful. He has to lay out a clear alternative and run a risk that it may not work out for him, because the — society’s in the mood where it wants a lot of things, but it’s not willing to pay for them.
CROWLEY: So you think the president needs to run saying, folks, we need to raise taxes?
BROWN: Well, I wouldn’t quite put it in those terms, because that, we know from Mr. Mondale, is a big fat loser.
CROWLEY: Well, exactly, but you’re talking about stark contrasts.
BROWN: Well, the contrast is what the choice is. If you don’t want to pay the taxes, you’ve got to cut Social Security, the military, research, highways, hospitals, schools, universities. You have to retrench from being a great superpower. And I think there is a bill at the end of that that people might be willing to pay. If they don’t pay then America will never be the same.
So there is the tax reform. There is the deductions, the loopholes. There are a lot of ways that the president can present it. But it may be that because of the propaganda or the state of indulgence where we are, maybe the truth cannot be spoken in a way that makes it a successful campaign. If that’s true, then we are really in for it.
In other words, proclaims California’s Apostle of Common Sense, Obama must do exactly what he himself absolutely refused to do in his campaign.
Ms. (Pass The) Candy not only failed to call Brown out on this gaping inconsistency between words and actions, but also let him endlessly run his pie hole on the issue, apparently oblivious of what actually happened in California, you know, a whole year ago.
The ever-insightful John Meyers did an excellent job of preventing his own head from exploding while gently chiding Brown for the absurdity of his latest unsuccessful bout with logorrhea, as he posed a trio of intriguing political questions:
Which raises a question similar to the one posed at the outset: if the state’s budget plan starts to unravel, will Governor Brown go back and lay out — as he calls it — the “stark choices” faced? And had he laid them out in 2010, would he have paved the way for a different budget outcome this year… or… would he now be home sitting on the sidelines?
Calbuzz sez: No, Yes, No.
Must-read of the week. Theory Number 653 about why Obama screwed the pooch in dealing with Republican jihadists: he’s just not that smart.