Gov.-elect Jerry Brown says he's looking for areas of consensus among elected officials and interests of left and right. Good luck with that.
By every indication, the left and right are even more dug in and uncompromising now than they were when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger entered office. If you want to get a sense of how uncompromising, take a look at this Reuters column that has received a ton of attention, particularly on the left.
The piece makes the argument that national Republicans have a "secret plan" to bankrupt California and other states with budget problems. While I share the view that Congress needs to provide financial assistance to California, the problem is that the piece talks about a secret plan without the least bit of evidence that such a plan exists. The Reuters writer instead says that because states are hurting and Congressional Republicans won't provide more funds, they want to see the states go bankrupt--and hurt public employees unions.
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If Californians on the left see that as the GOP goal (and they do), they are unlikely to agree to even modest cuts or reforms to balance budgets. Why compromise with people who are bent on destruction? Couple that with the right's uncompromising stand against tax increases, and the Brown years could quickly turn into a bitter, never-ending partisan fight. No matter how smart, experienced and reasonable Gov. Brown turns out to be.