Beer, perilous Facebook postings, the wall and the next DNC chair

On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

Our take


Warning: Posting can be hazardous to your livelihood: Whatever your view on the “Saturday Night Live” writer who tweeted about Barron Trump or Sacramento brewer Daniel Murphy, whose Facebook posts against liberals have incited backlash, both point to one area of common ground.

Drought or not, water conservation must remain the norm: Even if Gov. Jerry Brown does declare an end to the drought, the next dry spell could be upon the state before we know it. In part because of climate change, in part because of greater demands on water, Californians must not go back to water-spilling ways.


Dan Walters: Jerry Brown may yearn to assume a national or even global leadership role in anti-Trump resistance, as he has sought on climate change. But for 23 more months he’s the governor of California, and if he truly wants a legacy, he’ll spend them on issues that will hurt Californians much more than anything a buffoon in the White House will do.


David J. Hayes: Rather than laying out a serious energy policy road map, the White House regurgitates two dubious claims from the campaign trail, while ignoring the growing renewable energy industry and the jobs it creates.

Ray Pearl: Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget plan offers no new investment in affordable-home construction despite the fact that his administration has declared that California’s housing crisis is as bad as it has ever been.

Jessica A. Levinson: The women’s marches did have a platform, and while it was broad, it lacked clear cohesion or needed specificity. The problem is that it is difficult to turn support for a variety of issues into action. And specific, concrete action is exactly what is needed.

Kate Karpilow: President Donald Trump should follow some of George Washington’s rules about manners. First developed in 1595 by French Jesuits, the code of conduct eventually made its way to the colonies, including the journal of a 16-year-old surveyor-in-training.

Their take

San Luis Obispo Tribune: Right-wing provocateur and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos brings his act to Cal Poly next week. That’s triggered calls to ban him from campus or, at the very least, to change the format of his speech to a panel discussion. The university has agreed to neither. From a legal standpoint, that’s the right move.

Arizona Daily Star: Immigration and border security aren’t simple challenges, and no wall will solve them. Life on the U.S.-Mexico border is complicated and requires far more than political platitudes and promises.

San Antonio Express-News: If President Donald Trump does all that candidate Trump said he would do with and to Mexico, Texans will pay a hefty price.

Charlotte Observer: Donald Trump is right. An investigation into voting fraud is a terrific idea – with one significant caveat: The investigation has to be a real investigation. If it is, it will show what other investigations have shown for years: There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Orlando Sentinel: Donald Trump promised during his campaign to rescind a stack of executive orders from Barack Obama. That was music to the ears of many of Trump’s supporters, who agreed with him that Obama had abused his authority. But overturning at least one of those executive orders without passing a backup plan could idle hundreds of thousands of productive young people across America, and inflict needless damage on the U.S. economy.

Denver Post: Donald Trump would do well to consider Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court. Gorsuch is a federal judge in Denver with Western roots and a reputation for being a brilliant legal mind and talented writer. Those who have followed Gorsuch’s career say that from his bench in the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals he has applied the law fairly and consistently, even issuing provocative challenges to the Supreme Court to consider his rulings.

Trying to take the House

Because they’re both Democrats and serve in Congress, you might guess that Ami Bera of Elk Grove would support the candidacy of Minnesota’s Keith Ellison for Democratic National Committee chairman, a post vital to Democrats’ ability to rebuild. He doesn’t, though he has not endorsed in the race.

“I don’t know that Keith will speak to the entire party, and I think we have to find someone who is not going to divide us as a party,” Bera told The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board Thursday.

Nor was he overly enthusiastic of about former Labor Secretary Tom Perez’s candidacy. Bera did have kind words for a third candidate who’s name is not familiar to all but a few insider Californians, Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind.

“He’s a veteran, an openly gay mayor in a Midwest state who is of the rising American generation,” Bera said. “It would behoove us to start thinking about how we start passing the baton on to the next generation.”

More immediately, Bera said, Democrats need someone to stand up to President Donald Trump for the next two years. And he has just the man, Joe Biden: “He is someone who can go toe to toe with Donald Trump, who can speak to every segment of the country, go into any district. He understands the language of middle-class American, working-class America.”

It’d be a two-year assignment, through the midterms. Beyond that, it’d be up to the Democrats who will be running for president in 2020, whoever they might be.

Syndicates’ take

Michael Gerson: President Donald Trump holds his office, in part, because of his talent for Twitter. He has shown a remarkable ability to dominate the news cycle and redirect the national conversation in increments of 140 characters. For Trump, this medium is a living, snarling and hungry thing.

Eugene Robinson: President Donald Trump’s off-the-wall statements and Twitter rants cannot be dismissed as mere attempts to distract. We have a president who is obsessed with his public standing, given to outlandish statements, eager to believe in conspiracy theories and unwilling to admit when he is wrong.

Dana Milbank: President Donald Trump’s wild fibs and fantasies can’t be ignored. But they are clearly diversions, conveniently removing attention from things Trump has done that will have direct and often severe consequences.

Charles Krauthammer: In Donald Trump’s inaugural address, the president outlined a world in which foreign relations are collapsed into a zero-sum game. They gain, we lose.

Nicholas Kristof: In 2017, we reach a mortifying moment for a great democracy: We must decide whether our 45th president is a liar or a crackpot.

Gail Collins: Given the kind of guy that Donald Trump is, I propose that the president has only gone on this anti-reproductive rights bender because he’s under Mike Pence’s thumb.


Kevin McCarthy, let’s see a better health plan before scrapping ACA. – Thomas Cluster, Lincoln