Monday, March 26, 2007

You've got to be kidding me #237

It never ceases to amaze me that California, with 35 million people, the world's fifth largest economy, a magnet for some of the most innovative people in the world, produces such a meager crop of politicians. In the last 50 years, the state has produced a total of two pols of national stature, Nixon and Reagan. You'd think that the Governor of California, whoever he or she is, would be a viable candidate for President in every election with a headstart of 55 electoral votes. But instead, we've had your George Deukmejian, (wow!) your not-the-TV-news-guy Pete Wilson, (ooh...aaah) your Gray Davis (sensational!) and now Schwarzenegger (who at least has some ideas and some personality, if he could just figure out what he stands for. )

All of this comes to the forefront with the Matier and Ross item from the Chronicle reporting that polls have Jerry Brown as the front runner for the Dems in the next Governor's race. (All together now - you've got to be kidding me!) The best we can do in the greate state of California, land of fruits and nuts, is the second coming of Jerry Brown? This is the guy who was so short-sighted as to believe, 30 years ago, that California was essentially "full" and that population growth had levelled off. That belief led him to shut down infrastructure improvements during his governorship, as recounted by Dan Walter in the Sacramento Bee, 1/17/06:
Jerry Brown became governor and decided to end the massive highway construction that previous governors, including his father, Pat Brown, had fostered.

California politicians have made many boneheaded decisions, but Brown's decree - driven by Earth Day ideology, rebellion against his father and an erroneous belief that population growth was abating - has to be one of the worst. Thirty years of heavy highway construction have been followed by 30 years of little expansion of the state's once-vaunted roadway network.

Brown created a backlog of road improvements, and we are still trying to catch up. Think about that the next time you're sitting in a jam, and join me in wondering where is the real political leadership in this state? Where is the candidate with a vision?

1 comment:

cat head said...

president moonbeam...i seem to recall that he was in the running for president in 1980. even then, virtually nobody of voting age took him seriously, and we all were cracking wise about it in junior high. you know it's bad when teenagers and adults unite in their dislike for you.