Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

Wanna Invent Your Own History, Sarah? California's the Place!

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Sarah Palin probably fits best in her home state of Alaska.

    Or in her new state of Arizona, which has a long tradition of strong female politicians (Don't laugh -- Arizona women governors 4, California women governors 0) and where she recently bought a house.

    But Palin has a taste for making up history out of whole cloth.

    She has come under criticism for offering a take on Paul Revere's ride that was, by virtually all accounts, pure fiction.

    If Palin wants to make a habit of historical hokum, she really ought to think about relocating her political operation to California.

    No one does historical nonsense like California. Heck, we've built our entire state government on a series of bogus stories about our history.

    Just a few examples of bunk:

    - Prop 13 was a great populist revolt against big government (in fact, it centralized power in Sacramento and helped institutionalize big government in California).

    -Prop 98, the education funding guarantee, protects education from cuts. (Fact: state support of education has been in decline, relative to other states, since Prop 98 passed).

    -California's legislators have created our problems (Fact: California lawmakers have many constitutents but little power, since the state's ratchet of fiscal rules limit their discretion).

    -The early 20th centur California progressives instituted direct democracy, including the ballot initiative, out of a desire to fight back against the railroad and give power to the people. (Fact: their motives were mixed and were about protecting business, and taking power away from rivals in wartorn San Francisco).

    The list goes on. But Sarah, don't worry -- there will be plenty of opportunity to fabricate more history of your own.