Modern movement conservatism, which transformed the G.O.P. from the moderate party of Dwight Eisenhower into the radical right-wing organization we see today, was largely born in California. The Golden State, even more than the South, created today’s religious conservatism; it elected Ronald Reagan governor; it’s where the tax revolt of the 1970s began. But that was then. In the decades since, the state has grown ever more liberal, thanks in large part to an ever-growing nonwhite share of the electorate.
As a result, the reign of the Governator aside, California has been solidly Democraticpolitical balance shifted, conservatives have declared the state doomed. Their specifics keep changing, but the moral is always the same: liberal do-gooders are bringing California to its knees.
A dozen years ago, the state was supposedly doomed by all its environmentalists. You see, the eco-freaks were blocking power plants, and the result was crippling blackouts and soaring power prices. “The country’s showcase state,” gloated The Wall Street Journal, “has come to look like a hapless banana republic.”But a funny thing happened on the road to collapse: it turned out that the main culprit in the electricity crisis was deregulation, which opened the door for ruthless market manipulation. When the market manipulation went away, so did the blackouts.Undeterred, a few years later conservatives found another line of attack. This time they said that liberal big spending and overpaid public employees were bringing on collapse.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Krugman @ New York Times looks West: