Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hunh? It's the Voters' Fault?

Michael Finnegan, at the front page of the Los Angeles Times, blames the voters for the "political dysfunction" that's killing this state:

Californians are well known for periodic voter revolts, but on Tuesday they did more than just lash out at Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature over the state's fiscal debacle.

By rejecting five budget measures, Californians also brought into stark relief the fact that they, too, share blame for the political dysfunction that has brought California to the brink of insolvency

Look, California is a mess. We've had decades of "ballot-box budgeting." Voters have authorized the growth of big government by approving initiatives that have locked up an increasing proportion of the state's revenues.

Yet this time the message is "enough is enough"! Fortunately, the Fresno Bee's editors get it:

The governor and legislative leaders created this crisis by not dealing with the state's fiscal problems when they were manageable. The politicians shouldn't be surprised at how voters reacted Tuesday.

Our state leaders are responsible for the intense cynicism that Californians feel toward their government. Part of Sacramento's mission must be restoring citizens' faith in their government. That means listening to the people, and not taking marching orders from the special interests who fund political campaigns.

This election was about more than the state's budget crisis. It was a referendum on California's political leadership. We hope the message gets through to the governor and legislative Democrats and Republicans that they've been found lacking.

It's time for a new California that's led by politicians who are committed to making this a Golden State again.


UPDATE: Welcome RealClearPolitics readers! Don't miss The Rhetorican, "Media Displeased at California Results."


UPDATE II: Ace of Spades HQ links: "Media Unhappy At California Results; Blame Voters."

Also, see Allahpundit, "California Tax Revolt: Voters Crush Schwarzenegger’s Budget Proposals at the Polls."


Dana said...

It is the voters' fault, their fault for electing the lame-brains who infest your legislature, their fault for voting for initiatives which required more spending and lower taxes, their fault for not straightening up the messes years ago. That's part of living in a , you know, democracy.The Golden State has more "direct democracy" than most of the other states in this great land, but, regardless of what form democracy takes, in the end, all of the responsibility lays with the voters.

Dennis said...

I would have to agree that it is the voters fault, but not for the reasons stated by some poor excuse of a journalist from the LA Times. They have continually keep voting people into office that have spent ZERO time trying to solve the problems of California and a 100 percent of the time pleasing specical interests groups and buying votes from those who generally do not pay taxes.
Being a voter means using your inherent intelligence to analyze the issues and not allow your emotions to rule your decisions. Emotions are meant to be utilized in interpersonal actions not for decisions where our intellectual capacity is required.
How is it compassion to make larger numbers of individuals slaves to the state? How is it compassion to tax large job creators to the point that they leave the state? The use of the word "compassion" in modern day parlance is used to keep from asking what real compassion is and to cover for those on the Left who talk, but fail to take personal action to be compassionate. Real compassion attempts to allow each person to succeed on their own merit and to assist using one's own time and effort. Not to avoid taking action by having government be responsible. Government is incapable of knowing the real needs of any individual. Government is RULES and not much else and will never have the capacity to be much of anything more. It is a question of form, fit and function.
The same is true at the national level. The voters are ultimately responsible for the "dunderheads" they keep electing despite the foolishness they perpetrate and damage that is extant in almost all that they do. There is hardly an issue that the voter does not allow emotion to drive them instead of sound reasoning.

Alexander Wolfe said...

I would say that California is vindication of the framer's suspicion of direct democracy.

Occam's Beard said...

I would say that California is a vindication of grownups' suspicion of the unviability of liberal tax and spend policies.

Brian Leone said...

Any post about the "voters" in California ought to include the sorely gerrymandered electoral maps for the California Assembly.

To take a well used political phrase:

"Its the Gerrymandering, stupid."

Democracy does not work where the lines are drawn to guarantee one party gets the seat even if they run a ham sandwich for the slot.

Anonymous said...

Un. Freaking. believable. Michael Finnegan can go ^%$# himself. I've lived in CA all my life, and the "Clogged freeways...decline of public schools...outdated water system and...battered economy" have all developed as scores of ballot measures that were *supposed* to provide funding for those problems and more were passed by the same voters he's now disparaging.

It's called a *budget* - look it up.

rbosque said...

People are starting to realize that money just doesn't appear out of thin air. We the taxpayers fund this state and now the special interest groups are crying that there is no money for them. They are part of the reason we're broke. No more sucking on the teets of this state.

Tomas said...


By "special interest groups" you mean the multi-billion dollar corporations who brought the world into this mess in the first place and are now begging for "Tax payer" funding, right???

ohh and AIPAC anyone???

These so called "special interest" lobbies ensure that both your political parties are successfully manipulated to uphold the free will of the white-collared elitist douchebags that you'll either love or hate.

By "special interest groups", if you are referring to other non-profit entities, then I suspect you might be barking up the wrong tree.