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ORANGE COUNTY COMMENTARY

Yogi Helps Explain Why the Democrats Struck Out

In light of the election day results, will the party change? Yes! It will go further to the left.

November 17, 2002|Reed Royalty | Reed Royalty is president of the Orange County Taxpayers Assn.

The Orange County Taxpayers Assn. turned to the wisdom of Yogi Berra to help us assess the election. Here are Mr. Berra's comments, followed by OCTax's interpretation of what he said.

"We made too many wrong mistakes."

Democrats think they lost the nationwide election because "our message was not clear; people didn't know what we stood for." Actually, their message was as clear as a buttonhook in the well water. Today's Democrats stand for higher taxes, bigger government programs and pandering to unions that represent government employees. That message was welcome in California, but not anywhere else.

In light of the election day results, will the party change? Yes! It will go further to the left. Nancy Pelosi, described in the Los Angeles Times as "to the left of Richard Gephardt," has become House minority leader.

At the state level, the Senate has created a committee to end poverty by finding ways to end "greed" through the redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor.

The committee's founder proudly cited socialist Upton Sinclair, who ran for governor in the 1930s on a platform of creating communes in California. Republicans must be jubilant.

"The other teams could make trouble for us if they win."

The San Andreas Fault, which runs north-south near the coast, divides California geophysically. Politically too. Most liberals live near, or west of, the San Andreas Fault: Los Angeles, Monterey, San Francisco, Berkeley, Marin County. Anti-tax working stiffs live east of the fault, in the Central Valley.

Yes, Orange County is west of the fault. But the Newport-Inglewood Fault juts from the San Andreas to encompass us among the conservatives.

When the Big Quake sloughs the entire coastline into the ocean, California's political landscape will change as much as its topography.

But the part of the state that remains will have to decide whether to grant amnesty to the tax-and-spenders that survive the quake and bob back ashore in their hot tubs.

"Ninety percent of the game is half mental."

Common sense made a slight comeback this year, even in areas where voters normally are guided by metaphysical cosmic emanations rather than taxpayers' judgment.

San Francisco voters passed an initiative that will reduce checks to the homeless and shift the funds to programs to rehabilitate them. In addition, Baghdad by the Bay rejected ballot measures that would have created a government electricity authority and raised property taxes.

"We were overwhelming underdogs."

Because California is more liberal than the nation, pundits fear we will be ignored by the conservative White House and Congress in the distribution of federal largess.

Not to worry. As a de facto socialist nation, ruled by an avaricious dictator who the polls say is disliked by 60% of his own people, all California needs to do is establish a consulate, exchange ambassadors with the United States, promise to reform our government and apply for foreign aid.

"We're lost, but we're making good time."

With a state deficit of $24 billion, there won't be money for state legislators and the governor to spend. Will they sit there and do nothing? No. They'll do "free" things for us. They will impose unfunded mandates on local governments, business and labor.

A legislator told OCTax that "the state must force local governments to do needed things that are politically unpopular." We can expect a Santa's bag of "free" help from Sacramento mandating affordable housing, employee benefits, affirmative action, universal health care and other utopian ideals.

"The future ain't what it used to be."

An issue in future elections will be the surging AIDS epidemic in India, China and Russia. The disease may kill 43 million people in those nations by 2025. Eurasia holds 63% of the world's population and is very visible.

We will see people dying on television. To what extent will U.S. taxpayers be willing or able to stop the human and economic destruction caused by AIDS?

"If people don't want to come to the ballpark, how are you going to stop them?"

This election drew the lowest voter turnout in history.

Why bother?

Last year's legislative redistricting was designed by incumbents to protect incumbents. Of the 153 state and federal races on the ballot in California this year, only five were subject to real competition between the parties. This discourages voter participation. It's boring. It gives credence to the old lament that "one vote doesn't count." It makes it difficult for voters to hold their representatives accountable at the next election.

A couple of decades ago, the Supreme Court appointed a panel of "masters" (retired justices) to redistrict the state, because the Legislature couldn't agree on a plan.

Yogi Berra might agree that it's time to reappoint the masters. Give us "deja vu all over again."

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