My little brother, who lives happily on an organic farm back East, barely reachable by telephone, tried to call me last night.
"Hi, Chris, it's your little brother...I was wondering if you could help us understand your state's politics a bit, we've been talking about it and can't quite figure it out. We were hoping you might have some insight for us..."Punk-ass little bitch. Totally going to kick his ass if he attacks me at Christmas.
I don't know if I have an answer for him. What happened is that California was sort of annoyed, then a rich legislator came along and got everyone to be thoroughly pissed, and that lasted and increased all the way through to Election Day. The idea, I think, was that things are so bad that putting someone in office who may be Republican and thoroughly incompetent but, as far as we can tell, supports the environment, gay rights, and a woman's right to choose, can only make things so much worse. Of course this is part of a larger pattern across America where voters dismiss arithmetic as a myth created by the liberal left: I suppose because it is a difficult thing to deal with, people are uninterested in the fact that money spent actually has to come from somewhere. Schwarzenegger campaigned on repealing an increase in our vehicle licensing fees, but those fees provide a lot of money to local governments, who aren't doing all that well as it is. Without the car tax money, either local services will go away, or municipalities will raise property and other taxes to cover it; either way, local communities will get hit badly. So Arnold will be breaking any number of campaign promises shortly.
One really needs to have a sense of humor about these things.
Busy weekend, with a birthday party last night and the Austin Lounge Lizards in Berkeley tonight. And I finally bought a book I've wanted for years, and passed on last weekend out of a sense of budgeting, which was silly given how long I've wanted the book (what, six years now?) and how little it cost (US$17--I mean, jeez, so I fail to go out to dinner a few times). So I have it, and am well pleased.
Not that I'm without reservations or concerns, but life is good.