I may be, as a social services chief executive, a member of a despised class rightly suspected of promoting unaccountable, dishonorable and inefficient expenditures.
I may be, as an advocate, a typical charlatan using blubbery words to ask my neighbors to place my interests above their own.
I may be, as a blogger, the tea-totaling equivalent of that obnoxious souse at the bar holding forth on matters beyond his ken as if an alcoholic haze were a worthy substitute for any actual knowledge.
I may be scandalous, stupid and self-important, lazy, long-winded and loveless but I am not a California legislator, Alhamdulillah!
The opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to demonstrate their commitment to principles has passed and it passed with no creditable gestures toward principle.
The opportunity to hammer out a smarter, leaner or more compassionate and just budget passed with no apparent fervor for smartness, leanness, compassion or social justice.
It is time for the legislators to stop pointing at one another. It is time to vote for a flawed, inefficient, stupid budget because this year's budget has gestated too long not to resemble its parents.
P.S. The above was provoked by an email sent by State Senator Dutton to supporters sharing Pete Wilson's criticism of Schwarzenegger's budget plan. In all likelihood, all of his colleagues in both houses are sending similarly sanctimonious and second-hand commentary to supporters (more and more loosely defined.) As a supporter, I wanted to explain the following:
Drug dealers may be predators, but they perform.
Government contractors may be parasites, but they are humble.
Undocumented workers may be illegal, but they do what they are paid to do.
People with severe enough disabilities may not be as economically productive as their non-disabled peers, but many accept wages in consideration of output.
In short, there is nobody in this state that any member of our legislature might wish to punish, prosecute or patronize who is not a better public servant until a budget is presented the governor. Until then, criticize no one.