“What are you going to do, you know, go get a hit squad to tell Molly Munger, ‘We’ll burn down your house if you don’t do it?’ – California Democratic Party chairman John Burton, explaining what he won’t do to pressure civil rights attorney Molly Munger to drop her income-tax-hike-for-schools ballot initiative.

Some humorless types might think a comment like that is inappropriate, that it crosses a line, that it might encourage crazy people to commit some kind of violent act against a citizen for the crime of political participation.

Balderdash. John Burton, in his oh-so-charming way, has it right.

Yes, the actions of many people in California politics are maddening. And they must be criticized. But there are certain actions you could take in response.

And why is there anything wrong with just saying out loud what those out-of-bounds actions would be?

In honor of Mr. Burton, consider how you would not address a few stubborn problems:

-The California Federation of Teachers and Courage Campaign won’t drop their millionaire’s tax initiative: “What are you going to do, hire Chinese hackers to shut down the CFT and Courage web sites with denial of service attacks?”

-Republican legislators won’t vote for tax increases, no matter what: “What are you going to do, have the sergeant at arms grab a couple of the GOP lawmakers and dangle them over the Capitol rotunda and threaten to drop them if they won’t vote for revenues?”

-The California Teachers Association won’t go along with education reforms like merit pay and data-based teacher evaluation and longer waits for tenure: “What are you going to do, send Seal Team 6 into Burlingame headquarters and have them tickle Joe Nunez unmercifully until he agrees to become an undercover agent for Bill Gates?”

-Public employees and their unions keep fighting efforts to reduce the state’s unfunded pension obligations: “What are you going to do, require all public employees to eat every meal at McDonald’s so they’re all dead by age 63?”

-The high-speed rail project keeps going forward despite the lack of financing and the huge long-term fiscal risks. “What are you going to do, release reams of documents that show there’s no real fiscal plan to build this thing and that the ridership estimates are pure fantasy?” (OK, maybe that’s a bad example).

-Jerry Brown’s failure to take on the major structural reform the state needs. “I mean, what are you going to do – take Sutter Brown hostage and not give him back until Jerry backs a constitutional convention or at least a revision commission?”

-John Burton won’t stop swearing and saying things he shouldn’t: “What are you going to do – get him to clean up his act?”