The Orange County Register's longtime columnist and senior editor Steven Greenhut left the Santa Ana daily in 2009 to open a Sacramento news
bureau for the Pacific Research Institute, a free-market, individual liberty think tank based in San Francisco. But it's obvious he misses Orange County, opinion writing and chastising our hypocritical politicians.
That's the takeaway from the opinion piece Greenhut filed for the San Francisco Examiner.
It takes a direct hit at Assemblyman Jim Silva (R-Huntington Beach) and two other Assembly Republicans for breaking party ranks and standing alongside–one dreads even typing this–unions opposing government cuts to In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), a program that keeps your grandma in her house and out of the nursing home.
“The three Republicans were perfectly comfortable standing in
front of a union crowd that was chanting, 'No more cuts,'” fumes Greenhut, who was not too surprised by the participation of Silva and Assemblyman Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley), since “These men didn't betray their conservative
principles, given that they always were fairly unprincipled sorts.”
The third amigo was Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert), the Assembly
minority leader's top lieutenant, who had this to say after Governor Jerry Brown's State of the
State address: “I stand firm in my
commitment to not raise taxes, which is a critical component of the
governor's plan to solve the $25.4 billion budget gap. We have to
cut state spending to solve our fiscal crisis.”
That Nestande would go on to attend the “No cuts” rally rattles Greenhut, as does the program the GOP brains want to spare from the budget ax. “It's a wasteful program that ends up subsidizing family members to
take care of their own,” he writes. “Support for this program undermines any claim
But pull up the websites of Cook, Silva and Nestande, Greenhut observes, and you'll “find all the usual
Republican blather about limiting government and holding the line on
taxes, but it's meaningless after this rally. If you can't cut
programs, you have to raise taxes or increase debt, which is a tax on
He wonders what to do when Republicans act like Democrats, one imagines in the same tone Bill Murray's Dr. Peter Venkman uses in Ghostbusters when he vocalizes the notion of “dogs and cats living together.”
Hmmm, we'll have to go put on our think tank cap for the answer.