As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Why the Immediate Apology?

I seem to be picking on Fabian Nuñez in spite of myself, but this kind of behavior is pretty weak for an opposition leader in the Legislature. It plays into the myth of Democrats as wishy-washy cowards without the courage of their convictions, and it eliminates the aspect of contrast that is central to provide to voters so they can make an informed choice. Nuñez saying that the Governor appeared to talk down to leaders in Washington was merely an opinion; immediately going back on it suggests a palpable fear of even having one. Why are Nuñez and his aides so desirous of staying in the Governor's good graces that they feel compelled to say this?

"The speaker and the governor continue to have a great working relationship as well as a deep respect for each other. It would be extremely unfortunate if a series of quotes in response to questions about Senator Feinstein, the governor, and their styles would be used to characterize any conflict or disagreements between them."

Bob Salladay is dead-on right in saying that the Governor himself has no problem denying the same courtesy to Nuñez:

Heaven forfend that one of the girlie men in the Legislature - which is run by "evil" public employee unions and "a really weird, very sick man," and should be turned part time because it produces too many silly bills - should say something impolitic about Schwarzenegger. But why dwell on the past?!

Why is there this seeming 11th Commandment in the Legislature of "thou shalt not speak ill of the Governor" when he exhibits the exact opposite behavior? And Nuñez' initial comment was not even something worth apologizing for - he was just saying what he would do differently in regards to dealing with Washington. And he said post-partisanship is "some word (Arnold) made up." Which it clearly is. Democrats and Republicans don't come together in this state; Democrats and a governor up for re-election did, with absolutely no support from any Republicans in the Senate or Assembly.

What's wrong with saying that? Is Nuñez afraid he won't get access to the smoking tent now?

California Democrats appear not to understand that their role is to advocate for the constituents that elected them. I'm not asking for a food fight every two seconds, but if you do stick out your neck and make a statement, there's no need to immediately clean it up. It looks like you're chasing the polls. It looks like you can't defend your beliefs. It looks like... well, it certainly doesn't look like leadership.

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