Good Sunday morning, and welcome to Take Two, our weekly sampler of California opinion, drawn from The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board’s daily opinion-politics newsletter, The Take. Please go to sacbee.com/site-services/newsletters/ to sign up.
Donald Trump showed us many sides, many sides in his mishandling of Charlottesville on one day, trying to rectify the mess another day, then taking back whatever good he might have done in an unhinged news conference in which he equated Robert E. Lee, the traitor who tried to rip apart the nation, with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who created it. Southern governors confronted anew what to do with Confederate monuments. North Carolina’s Roy Cooper did the right thing. Kentucky’s Matt Bevin did not. Closer to home, Rep. Jeff Denham screwed up the, ah, courage, to denounce racism, but not the president. The congressman “left something out,” our annoyed cousins at The Modesto Bee wrote.
Foon Rhee has far too much class to say we told you so. But he did dig into our archives to find and tweet our editorial from Dec. 4, 2015: “Voters have to put a stop to it, and that starts by acknowledging the uncomfortable truth: Trump is an accomplished demagogue and a clear and present danger to American democracy.” They didn’t. And he is. Alas.
We got a little choked up when we read about the real-world impact of Trump’s heavy-handed immigration stand. Our friends at The San Francisco Chronicle opined about cancer nurse Maria Mendoza-Sanchez, truck driver Eusebio Sanchez and their son getting deported to Mexico while their high school- and college-age daughters stayed behind. Juxtapose that with Trump contemplating a pardon for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a Trump supporter and now a convicted criminal. The Tucson Citizen was indignant, recalling how “the toughest sheriff in America” – now 85 and awaiting sentencing for criminal contempt after violating a judge’s order to stop detaining Latinos to question them about their immigration status – would use his position to demean prisoners by parading them before onlookers, forcing them to wear pink underwear, and live inside tents in triple-digit heat. This must not happen, the editorial writers said. Indeed.
For the love of God
Sacramento Republican Rob Stutzman offered an especially pointed call to Republican Christians to take a stand against Trump’s equivocation about the Charlottesville racism. In an op-ed, “A call to GOP Christians: Silence in the face of Charlottesville racism is complicity,” Stutz singled out Trump acolyte Jerry Falwell Jr., who oversees the very Christian Liberty University. Junior responded by blocking Stutzman from his Twitter feed. “Kinda makes my day,” Stutzman said in an email. Junior later offered his take on the Charlottesville debacle: “Finally a leader in WH. Jobs returning, N Korea backing down, bold truthful stmt about #charlottesville tragedy. So proud of @realdonaldtrump”. Which proved Stutzman’s point.
Sen. Jerry Hill had the audacity to challenge the California Nurses Association in his bill, SB 799. It was modest. He merely sought to require that hospitals inform the Board of Registered Nursing when nurses are fired or forced to resign for, say, drug abuse that endangers patients. We thought that was reasonable, and said so in an editorial. The California Nurses Association opposed the bill, claiming hospitals would use the power to intimidate nurses who stood up for patients. Right. It is all about patients. This is the same nurses union that is campaigning for single payer because it cares deeply about patients, and attacks Speaker Anthony Rendon for his decision to tube the half-baked universal health care bill by Sens. Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins. Lara and Atkins, as it happens, voted for Hill’s bill, though it stalled in Assemblyman Evan Low’s Business and Professions Committee. We can’t wait for the Legislature to get back to town. So many issues, so many sides.