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Abel’s Extortion – California Budget Deal Now Has To Be Ratified By Voters. Uhh?

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 it's 4 a.m and daryl steinberg is shaking the hand of abel maldonado, the man he hates most in the whole world with a big, big, smile on his face

it's 4 a.m and darryl steinberg is shaking the hand of abel maldonado, the man he hates most in the whole world, with a big, big, grin on his face

Just ask Abel Maldonado. There’s nothing better than a little late-night horse-trading to get the blood circulating. Abel managed to extract his pound of flesh from the willing Democrats, trying to stave off collapse in California on behalf of a toothless Republican Governor. Putting his obnoxious opportunism aside for a moment, Abel’s high stakes poker game (the chits being the lives and treasure of the California citizenry) might all be for naught.

Why? Because the people of the state have to ratify the deal. Uhh? Our lawmakers, elected to represent us, don’t get to actually do the representing part because we end up representing ourselves in the single most important budget in the state’s history. We’re likely to turn it down. Not because it sucks, but because we just don’t want to know how bad things truly are. We’ll refuse to accept things got that bad. We’ll apply the blame to the system. We’ll blame Republicans and Democrats and politicians and vested interests. We’ll blame the Governator and his bloviating. We’ll blame Washington, we’ll blame Wall Street. But mark this, we’ll blame the New York Yankees before we blame ourselves. 

We’ll be so angry and deluded that we might just reject the budget that is the only deal that we in the Democratic majority could extract from the minority Republicans cheerfully holding the rest of us to ransom. In short, all that smoke-filled room stuff might just turn out to be a serious dose of hot air.

The deal in Sacramento came down to one man. But Abel’s extortion is just a stop on the way to California’s version of hell. Asking the voters to ratify a budget that everyone hates might just be asking for catastrophe.

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