States Experiment While Washington Stagnates

The bad news is of course that the nation remains harshly divided, with the Republican extremists (not all Republican voters are extremists, like the Republican gang in Washington) retaining more than enough power to continue their obfuscation, which is quite predictable. The good news is that the U.S. has a Federal system,  i.e., constitutes a union of states in which the states still, even in this era of the Imperial Presidency, retain a broad mandate for experimentation.

Watch California and Wisconsin to see where we are headed. Corporate interests and the super-wealthy won in Wisconsin: they will now surely crack down on both democracy and economic justice for the average American. In contrast, California approved a state income tax hike on those making over $250K/year, pointing back toward the post-WWII era’s focus on raising all boats or, in times of crisis, at least sharing in the pain of cutting back. Although California and Wisconsin share a tradition of open-minded, liberal thinking, the two states are now posed to offer starkly divergent visions of the future. Where they stand in two years should inform the mid-term elections.


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