Good morning, and welcome to Take Two, our weekly sampler of opinion, drawn from The Sacramento Bee editorial board’s opinion-politics newsletter, The Take. Please go to sacbee.com/site-services/newsletters/ to sign up.
Nothing is sacred, not with President Donald Trump. That would include the Boy Scouts of America, as Jack Ohman lamented in his ode. It probably never occurred to this leader that he shouldn’t swear in front of 40,000 Boy Scouts. Jack writes that he was not a good scout. But even now, he can recite the oath. If only our president could.
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Donald Trump has a thing for Kansas. He appointed Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as co-chair of his ill-named election integrity panel which weirdly wants our voter data to prove Trump’s crazy claim that millions of Americans voted illegally. Now, Trump is nominating Gov. Sam Brownback as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. “Brownback will depart as one of the least popular governors in America, leaving behind the worst governing record in the modern history of Kansas,” The Kansas City Star editorial board wrote. Kobach, meanwhile, is running for governor, to take up where Brownback left off.
Newman, The Sequel
Our lame attempt at humor fell short last week. Sen. Josh Newman is the Fullerton Democrat who is the target of a GOP-backed recall for voting in April to raise gasoline taxes to pay for freeway maintenance. We wrote that no one would have been shocked if Newman had ducked the cap-and-trade vote. But Newman voted. “That’s what I was hired to do: to participate in the legislative process in a meaningful way,” he told us. Our tagline was supposed to be a joke. But a Democratic consultant called to say some Democrats worried that Republicans might use the item in a mailer attacking Newman. So to be clear: Newman actually voted his conscience. Any politician who does that is worth keeping around.
Mitch McConnell struggled and failed (for now) to get a sick health care bill through the U.S. Senate. But Sen. John McCain, who traveled from Arizona where he had been diagnosed with brain cancer, showed his mettle. “Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the internet. To hell with them. They don’t want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood,” he told the senators. Our counterparts at The Santa Rosa Press Democrat were especially taken by his words: “Perhaps, eventually, GOP leaders will take McCain’s advice and start looking for an approach that both parties can support.” Then again, maybe not.
Arnold is back
Gov. Jerry Brown appeared on Treasure Island with his Republican predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to sign the far-reaching cap-and-trade legislation. It was a nice touch, given that Schwarzenegger signed the bill that led to cap and trade, AB 32 of 2006. “ ‘Stop lying to the people! Stop it!’ ” The Sacramento Bee’s Christopher Cadelago quoted Schwarzenegger as saying to Republicans who deny climate science. The latest survey by the Public Policy Institute of California shows 68 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of independents favor efforts to reduce emissions through cap and trade. But only 28 percent of Republicans favor it. Maybe lies work.