Old political strategy: Manufacture a crisis, demand more authority to address that crisis, use that authority to achieve other ideological goals, and expand your own personal power.
While you’re at it, demonize opponents and otherwise stifle dissent.
Latest, most obvious example, California Aspiring Governor Jerry Brown’s campaign for ueber-urban housing densities, part of his crusade for restructuring the economy and society to fit his vision of the world. From a Dan Walters’ column:
The debate is not new but has gained volume because the advocates of vertical development – what Attorney General Jerry Brown describes as “elegant density” – have a new political lever in global warming.
Brown is waging a crusade for his development vision, something of a throwback to the “small is beautiful” credo he sometimes espoused as governor three decades ago.
(His personal commitment, however, is somewhat suspect since he and his wife, citing crime fears, moved from an urban loft in Oakland to a comfortable home in the Oakland hills after he took office last year.)
Brown has been suing, or threatening to sue, just about anyone who doesn’t immediately adhere to his vertical vision, from the Environmental Protection Agency to local governments.
“I don’t do much these days except sue people,” Brown told the state Democratic convention in a virtual declaration of candidacy for governor two years hence. “But maybe one of these days I’ll get around to doing more than that, and maybe you’ll help me.”
Cripes, that’s ominous, on so many levels…a public official boasting of his hyperlitigiousness (remember Eliot Spitzer?) and calling for a mass movement to reshape society.
The strategy papers are all here.
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