After years of willful-bordering on criminal-neglect, the Democratic Socialist Politburo in Sacramento better known as the California Legislature and their leader Jerry Brown have come up with a plan to repair California’s decrepit highways.
This is not something they really want to address since fighting President Trump on every issue and doling out free goodies from the state coffers seems to occupy most of their time.
And in fact they would probably not have to do this had we not just experienced one of the wettest winters on record which washed away roads and bridges exposing for all to see the sorry state of all of our public works.
Now they have no choice.
So they are rushing a package of bills through the Democrat-controlled Legislature to try and shift blame as they cover up their theft of the money that was meant for transportation lo these many years.
The program was announced on this past Wednesday and Governor Brown wants it passed by next Wednesday before they go on Spring Break and junkets to exotic locales paid for by lobbyists.
To listen to Jerry and the Democrat leaders of the Legislature you would think they just stumbled on this problem and are shocked at the sad state of our highways and byways.
Republicans in the Legislature say they won’t vote for the package.
But since the legislation includes massive tax increases that require a two-thirds vote, this is their only shot at relevance if even for a brief moment.
How will they handle this moment which comes as often as Halley’s Comet?
So far their response has been outrage but they have yet to put a price on their support.
And this is a perfect opportunity to strike a blow against the arrogant urban Democrats who rule California with an iron fist and treat the rest of us as knuckle dragging denizens of rural California.
What can they do you might ask?
Remember that earlier I said that the Legislature has stolen money from accounts designated for transportation and for transportation only.
They say they only “borrowed” the money which in politispeak is a euphemism for “theft”. It is similar to the shoplifter who says “I was going to pay for this” when they are caught red-handed trying to walk out of the store with stolen merchandise.
The first thing Republicans should do Monday morning is hold a press conference with every member of their caucus of both the Assembly and Senate and say they are united in their opposition.
Next they should state that they will not even consider any tax increases unless and until the people get a full forensic accounting of where all the stolen money went and demand that there be some accountability as to who stole it.
After that they should state that the Governor and the Democrats keep using the term deferred maintenance as one of the reasons that not just the roads but all of our public works are in danger of collapse.
Again they should demand that Jerry tell them and the people who deferred the money specifically set aside for maintenance, what was it deferred to pay for, why was it deferred, when was it deferred and where the Hell is it?
Finally on behalf of the people they should demand to know if any of this stolen or, excuse me, borrowed money was ever paid back.
In other words since they embezzled the money like a crook did they make restitution?
And they should pound on this message every minute, every hour and every day.
I am under no illusion that California Republicans will suddenly grow a spine this weekend and actually do something like this but if they did it might be the small step needed to return to some relevance in the legislature.
Because bad public works hurts everyone.
And the thing about potholes is that they don’t discriminate nor do they play political favorites.
If I hit a pothole in my big Dodge pick-up and the fella behind me is driving fuel efficient Prius he is not rewarded for the virtue of his vehicle choice and he will hit the same dang pothole.
The pothole doesn’t care what our different political views or ethnicity might be.
It will knock both of our vehicles out of alignment, pop a tire or dent a wheel rim without regards to race, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation.
And maybe it’s that common ground of crummy roads and other public works Republicans should use as a starting point to let Californians know they are on their side.
As President Trump says, what have they got to lose?
So here is your Cowboy Wisdom for the Week and it comes from one of the most decorated and colorful Marines ever to have earned the Globe and Anchor, Lt. General Lewis ‘Chesty’ Puller.
“You don’t hurt ‘em if you don’t hit ‘em”.
California Republicans should follow Chesty’s advice and hit the Democrats really hard and make it hurt.
Democrats need to pay a political price for their years of theft and mismanagement of the state’s transportation funds and on this issue Republicans will probably have the support of a vast majority of Californians who are sick and tired of paying high taxes for so little in return.
Who knows it may give them the courage to fight other battles.