When the budget was signed and passed at the end of June, it seemed like this might be a quiet summer for state politics.
It's an off-year election. And it's hard to make controversial new policies when there's no money with which to make new policies.
Alas, the name-calling has been ramped up -- as if there were a budget.
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Here comes Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican, who told a Tea Party group in Redlands that Sacramento "is run by a bunch of lawless thugs."
Which suggests a suggestion and a question for the assemblyman.
First the suggestion: switch to decaf.
Second, the question: who are these lawless thugs?
The people who run the state seem hamstrung by all the laws they obey; heck, the laws themselves are so complicated that the formulas within them run the budget.
People don't make decisions. A little political thuggery in the service of breaking the law to preserve, say, higher education would be nice, but there's no evidence of them.
The one fight in the Capitol this year was a very girlie and unthuggish shoving match between a couple of legislators.
Donnelly's not the only one who has gone off the rhetorical deep end.
Gov. Brown spokesman Gil Duran called Republican legislators "basically moronic."
In that context, perhaps Donnelly's own broadside isn't impolite at all -- but a generous, bipartisan gesture aimed at proving Duran right.