Lots of cities in America have problems, but is there one anywhere that has the combination of nightmares seen in this California burg? Its schools were declared insolvent in 2003 and the district will be under state oversight until 2023 — at least. Its streets are home to the most chaotic and anarchistic Occupy protests in America. Its unemployment rate was estimated at a staggering 16 percent last year. And now comes news that a judge tired of its police department’s years of misconduct and brutality is contemplating a federal takeover. One would think the guy who was mayor for eight years during this city’s descent into worst-in-the-U.S. status would be a pariah. Nope. Here in California, we call him governor.
I am referring, of course, to Edmund G. Brown. Now I know some of these things are not Brown’s fault, or only partly his fault. But it seems awfully strange that so much could go so wrong in Oakland without there being at least some collateral damage to Jerry’s rep.
Nope. We still are supposed to believe he’s the smartest guy in the room.
Even though he backs the insane bullet train.
Even though his idea of education “reform” — returning schools to local control, that is, to the control of the school boards dominated by the teachers unions that elected board members — is simultaneously goofy and cynical. The lack of local accountability and standards was what led to No Child Left Behind, yet Brown wants to return to the bad old days. I’m sure it’s just a complete coincidence that this emphasis on local control is what the CTA wants, too.
Even though Jerry joins the mindless bunch promoting the idea that California’s status quo’s main problem is that it’s underfunded, so the key to solving just about any problem is higher taxes.
Even though he eagerly touts the economically illiterate and ignorant assertion that higher energy prices will be of broad help to the California economy.
Yet some in the media still promote the Gov. Zen image. He’s playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers.
Not me. When I look at Jerry in action, here’s what I see: the guy who until fairly recently was mayor of the American city which now has more staggering problems than any other.
After Jerry completes his Oaklandization of California, who knows what he can wreck in his next ascension?
U.N. Secretary-General Edmund G. Brown has a nice ring to it. And at least he’d be 3,000 miles away.