Protect the unions or provide essential services to the voters? Which do you think most Democrats will favor? The answer might lead to their utter undoing:
It’s a striking sign of the times: in a Democratic trifecta state where Dems control the governorship and both houses of the state legislature, the governor is facing down the same unions that conjured up millions of dollars and thousands of supporters to back him. The irony is rich; during Governor Brown’s first two term administration between 1975 and 1983 he helped create the modern California system of powerful government employee unions.
For decades, Democrats have straddled a divide: they sought to represent both the producers of government services and the low and middle income citizens who depend on those services. Democrats want the votes and the contributions of teacher unions, and they want the votes of the parents whose kids attend public schools. As long as the blue model worked, the contradictions could be managed.
Increasingly, however, the contradictions have come to the fore. Teacher unions want life employment for incompetent teachers; their representatives negotiate farcically unsound pension arrangements with complaisant politicians and want taxpayers to pony up when the huge bills come due. Other producers of government services also have their sweetheart deals.
The result is that the consumers of government services, many of whom of course are Democrats, are getting a raw deal. They are paying too much money in taxes to support a system of government that, however outstanding and dedicated some people in it may be, simply cannot deliver acceptable services at a reasonable cost. The Democratic claim to represent both sides fairly is getting harder to sustain.
Leave it to Victor Davis Hanson to illuminate even more of what makes the progressive utopia that is The People’s Republic of California so wonderful: