I've made several posts here about how California, which led the way for the conservative revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, seems poised to lead the way for the nation to follow a different direction. More proof of that can be found here, as Californians decide not only to tackle the infrastructure crisis head-on, but also to do so by--gasp!--raising taxes!
Can you imagine the current leadership in Congress attempting to do any such thing? Of course not. Its base still believes in tax cuts that pay for themselves, and in the view that no problems are so terrible or inevitable that they can't be ignored in favor of short-term tactical gains. So the country crumbles, street by street. Who cares? What matters to the GOP is this: how can we blame it on the Democrats?
And what about the Democrats? Actually, it's a Democratic Governor, Jerry Brown (term-limited, sadly, and therefor on his way out of office) and a state legislature with a supermajority of Democrats, that are responsible for this remarkable achievement. Proof of what can be done when Republicans don't get in the way.
Replicating this on a national scale, on the other hand, is a very different story. Getting another Democratic President is doable, especially in light of the currently collapsing popularity of the current one. Getting a Democratic Congress with a majority large enough to override Republican opposition seems very unlikely--unless, of course, the Democrats decide to modify the current filibuster rule or, as I've suggested, eliminating it altogether.
Whether or not they do eliminate it, Democrats in Washington and around the country need to grow a spine when it comes to taxes. As California is proving, the people are ahead of them on this issue. It's time for the party of the people to catch up to them.