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Thursday, May 31, 2007



An interesting item in today's paper:
The state Senate Rules Committee voted 3-2 Wednesday in favor of a non-binding resolution that would ask California voters whether President Bush should "end the U.S. occupation of Iraq."
But here's the interesting part:
The bill's sponsor, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, said the public needs a voice through Democratic means, or else frustration could spill into the streets, as it did during the Vietnam War.
Yeah, we wouldn't want that. People in the streets, feeling their own power, instead of relying on politicians.

Don't get me wrong, I not only like the idea of referenda like this, I think they're an excellent organizing tool. They provide a great potential opportunity for continuous (for a period of weeks or months, anyway) antiwar organizing and agitating - organizing meetings, passing out leaflets, etc. They aren't counterposed to demonstrations in any way, but rather perfectly complementary. But it's an interesting peek into the mind of a politician that Don Perata thinks otherwise.

Update: It didn't hit me on first reading, but I just noticed the upper-case "D" in "Democratic." Quite the interesting Freudian slip!

Update 2: A reminder of my own proposal for a California referendum, on the subject of the National Guard, from 2005 (but still perfectly valid should anyone want to take up the fight).

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