Hey Big Daddy,
So, this weekend is Easter. How are you going to be spending Easter Sunday? Will the Easter Bunny be making an appearance at your place?
Well, yes, it’s Easter. The springtime holiday that is supposed to signify rebirth and new beginnings and all that jazz.
But it’s hard not to think about Easter as a time of melancholy endings around the Capitol. In our world, of course, the holiday means the end of Jeans Week in the Capitol. The nine-day reprieve from fundraisers, bill hearings and meddling bosses is over. And there ain’t nothin’ that the little rabbit has in that basket that most people wouldn’t trade for another week of that aforementioned bliss.
So now, we go back to our regularly scheduled programming – where staffers can only golf on Fridays, and the midday cocktail hour reverts to the flask you’re hiding in your middle desk drawer instead of the two-hour session at Chops where you and your staffer buddies have been holding court for the last week. In the words of the late Kurt Vonnegut, “So it goes.”
But let us also remember that this week is also the Jewish celebration of Passover. And perhaps more than the Christian holiday’s themes of belief and rebirth, the story of Passover is a more apt parable for the situation we now find ourselves in.
Stay with me on this one.
Governor Schwarzenegger and Co. would have us believe that we are in the mist of our own personal Exodus. Proposition 1A, the logic goes, is our own ticket out of slavery from ballooning deficits and frivolous spending. Sure, we’ll have to wander for a bit in deserts of higher taxes for a couple of years, but soon, we shall be released, and returned to the Holy Land.
But it looks like the governor’s sell to let our budget go is going over about as well as Moses’s first run at the Pharaoh. That is, if you believe the latest Field and PPIC polls, and we have no reason not to. In this totally inappropriate metaphor, I guess it is the people or perhaps the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association or the Service Employees union who play the role of Pharoah, skeptical at best about the shepherd’s initial claim.
Now, in the end, Pharoah comes around, as I’m sure the governor hopes the people of California might. But it takes a little convincing. Blood, vermin, beasts, cattle disease – the usual gambit, and no Department of Homeland Security around to help.
And that, I suppose, is where we find ourselves now. Amidst the plagues. Luckily for us, I think we’re still a heck of a lot closer to frogs or boils than we are to the whole death of the first-born thing. But these are still early days.
The point, if there is one, is this: Even if the governor gets what he wants, there’s going to be some real pain ahead. And it’s going to take a few more miracles a la the parting of the Red Sea before California can once again get back to the budgetary Promised Land.
So, happy holidays everyone. I’ll see you all in the Promised Land.