Off Comes the Democrats’ Moderate Mask

September 15, 2003

California Democrat lawmakers and their governor have discarded their moderate masks -- passing liberal legislation which is opposed their ethnic-racial base.

Their actions are oblivious to the state’s sinking economy and mounting deficits. They’re rushing through the decidedly Euro socialist legislation – mandatory health care, new privileges for illegal immigrants and gays, higher taxes on business and individuals.

At least one Democrat, Assemblyman Mark Leno, hinted that the legislative frenzy is in part the result fear of a possible GOP gubernatorial replacement from the recall.

But that’s not the whole story. The Democrats have no opposition in California, not in the Legislature and not in the Executive Branch. Republicans hold no statewide office. Left-leaning justices dominate the Courts. In sum, there is no balance of power in California. Democrats control the entire state government. Near Absolute power.

Keep in mind that this same party was re-branded successfully for several years as a new moderate mainstream party.

In fact, besieged Governor Gray Davis during his first term attempted to triangulate. He used his veto on bills passed by the hard left lawmakers of his party.

But once the recall was in motion, off came his Clintonian moderate mask. Among the more controversial actions taken by Davis was to sign a bill allowing illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses. He rejected this measure twice before.

But the logic of his actions is unclear, at first glance. A Zogby poll shows a clear majority of the voters oppose granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants --- 67% oppose such a law. Whites and Asian Americans had the highest levels of opposition to licenses for illegals, at 70% and 64%. But this is the surprising result: African Americans (63%) and Hispanics (54%) also disapproved. The poll was completed in March. Davis nevertheless approved the measure in September.

The Zogby poll showed the same results regarding a measure allowing financial aid to illegal immigrants. Overall, nearly three-quarters of respondents oppose a law giving illegal immigrants reduced tuition to state colleges and universities. Whites (78%) and Asian Americans (65%) oppose such a law, as do Hispanics (55%) and African Americans (51%). Again, Davis signed the measure.

What’s Davis’ logic? Why has he gone "progressive" – or more accurately, gone "regressive," back to the liberal roots of the Democrat Party of the sixties.

The liberal wing of the Democrat party has always been passionately socialist-like, true believers, but pragmatic at the same time. Davis and the Democrat legislature have concluded that mainstream democrats will remain loyal. Despite opposition to much of the new legislation, they will not vote for republican candidates. They know the California Republican Party has been bitterly divided for over a decade. So they are acting out of ideological commitment led by California Senate leader John Burton, who has always seen himself as a champion of the poor.

That’s what’s the most disturbing about the brazen behavior of California Democrats: They share the same ideals as their national leaders. Remember the first actions taken by the newly elected President Clinton dealt with gay issues, health care, and a socialist-like industrial policy. In California with literally no republicans to stop them, they have accelerated their liberal agenda, even though voters are demanding a recall election. In Washington, they are restrained by republicans. If and when democrats regain power in Washington, they will be unrelenting. The California experience previews what we will face from a Democrat president and Congress, unmasked.