OK, I apologize for the subject line. But:
Kevin Drum points to an LAT article on the upcoming California elections and blames the mess out there in the Golden State on "how completely screwed up the political culture in California is."
I think that's wrong. The problem in California isn't political culture; it's the rules of the game. Government by initiative is just a very foolish form of democracy, one that is very good at providing excellent career opportunities in electioneering but very bad at producing sensible government, or even in the sorts of collective decision-making that democracy is supposed to have. Of course, it's fair to say that California's initiative process is an artifact of its long-ago progressive political culture, but now its just a mess that no one likes or wants. Last I heard, constitutional reform efforts in California were going nowhere again, but as reluctant as I normally am to support radical rules changes, the state really needs radical rules changes.