Immediately after the election, I wrote in this space that Gov. Jerry Brown was now the president of the American dream, if not the United States. Representing more Democrats than anyone else, he was the natural leader of the opposition to Trump, and he was in the best position to stand up for idea-based governance against the hate-driven administration in Washington.

A couple weeks later, it’s not clear that Brown is up to the job.

Indeed, his silence has been deafening. As David Siders noted in Politico, he issued only a brief statement. Legislative leaders, mayors and gubernatorial contenders in California have been much more forward in taking the rhetoric lead in countering Trump.

I can’t say I’m surprised. Brown has been silent for long stretches of his governorship. He’s invisible in many parts of the state, and has never really given Californians much of a story about our future. That’s one reason why his big forward-thinking initiatives – on water and rail and housing – are stuck.

It would be awfully nice if his advisors and political allies would wake him up—and convey that he needs to be much more engaged and present in these final two years.

And if he’s not up to it, physically or mentally, he should think about turning over the office early to his lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom. This is not a time for California to be run by a caretaker.