Jerry Brown owes President Trump a big thank-you
California governor Jerry Brown has staked out a position as the leader of the opposition to President Trump, squandering hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees to former A.G. Eric Holder's law firm in order to harass Trump and obstruct his policies. He even devoted part of his State of the State speech to a pledge to fight deportation of illegal aliens.
There is even talk of secession, though Brown has not thrown his support openly to the neo-Confederates of California.
But all such talk of going it alone evaporated when California broke the "permanent" drought purportedly caused by global warming (Brown's favorite panic button), and the state's long-term neglect of its infrastructure imperiled hundreds of thousands of people downstream from the Oroville Dam.
Given the degree and extent of hatred voiced toward Trump by highly placed Californians, and given the accusation that he is "irrational" and "vindictive," they must have been expecting little or no help from the federal government to help undo the damage of the state's neglect.
But noooo. Christopher Cedalago of the Sacramento Bee reports:
President Donald Trump announced Sunday more than a half-billion dollars would be coming to California to help cover the damage from the winter storms, including $274 million for repairs to the Oroville Dam spillway.
The fulfillment of the fourth presidential declaration for damage from the winter storms totals an estimated $540 million.
Gov. Jerry Brown appealed for financial assistance last month in Washington. Brown met with Robert Fenton, acting administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as part of the Democratic governor's outreach to the new administration and congressional Republicans who control federal spending.
Disaster relief is generally viewed as a dispassionate function of government. But Trump's repeated rebukes of the state and its policies – from threats to defund "sanctuary cities" that shield unauthorized immigrants to warnings to withdraw federal funding from the University of California, Berkeley, over violent protests there – have inflamed fears that California would be punished for its strong independent streak.
Gratitude, however, is not part of Brown's make-up.
Even as Brown met to discuss storm damage and transportation and infrastructure projects, he didn't refrain from criticizing the Republican-led effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and Trump's proposed wall along the U.S. Mexico border.
For all the trepidation, Trump has come through on the storm damage requests each time the Brown administration has asked him.
President Trump did not even mention the $60 billion or more Brown is squandering on his half-fast so-called "bullet train" that will use conventional tracks and speeds obtained a century ago over parts of its route, and therefore will be uncompetitive with airlines, as travel time between San Francisco and Los Angeles will be roughly five hours, making day trips difficult.
I hope and pray that President Trump will find a way to kill the absurd waste of money and redirect those funds to highways, dams, and other capital facilities Californians actually need. But he is not willing to punish Californians in the process.
Trump outclasses Brown by wide margin.