Yesterday was Bastille Day. The legendary French holiday that commemorates citizens rising up against their oppressive leaders. In fact, it was just before the height of this French revolution in 1789 that Marie Antoinette uttered that famous phrase heard ‘round the world, “Let them eat cake!” A phrase which resembles the attitude in Sacramento all too often.
And so, as the California Legislature winds down its legislative session this week before summer break, this day forces me to reflect back on the storming of our own Bastille that has led us to this day.
One cannot ignore that impact that the last two years of ‘rousing Tea Party activity and Taxpayer activism has had on our state capitol building. Beginning in the Spring of 2009 and continuing through this day in 2011, the citizenry of California made it loud and clear what they wanted: no new taxes.
Prior to our own storming of the Bastille in 2009, we had witnessed Tax increases and members of both parties selling out on Taxes. Mistrust abounded. We even witnessed a Republican Governor back a ballot initiative for a $16 billion tax increase. The world couldn’t have been more upside-down.
What a difference a couple of years makes. Compare and contrast to this year’s budget cycle, where the Tea Party continued pressing, Taxpayer advocates everywhere kept up the pressure, and Republicans stood strongly together. In fact, the Republicans not only stood united against something, their leadership continued to present plans and solutions for our fiscal mess.
I firmly believe it is this blend of partnership, along with the leadership of Jon Fleischman’s FlashReport, various Taxpayer organizations throughout the state, this very blog, and a strong voice within the Republican Party that made the difference. It shows what is possible when a group of determined people come together for the good of the people.
I think it’s high time for a celebration. Cake, anyone?