To watch "The Talking Points Memo" in the Screening Room click here.
Last week I wandered all over Oregon and California, talking to the folks and gauging the mood on the West Coast.
First of all, this recall deal is not about Gray Davis (search). It's about Californians being furious over a tremendous tax burden and terrible economic conditions -- gasoline in California is now around $2.50 a gallon -- folks just can't afford to live out there.
In Oregon the legislature just approved a state income tax hike -- this for a place with the highest unemployment rate in the country.
Add the growing concern over secularists trying to ban any kind of religious expression, the increasing chaos in Iraq and the danger to kids on all fronts and that totals up to a collective anger that will soon resonate throughout Washington D.C.
But you know what? It's our fault. Sure the politicians have sold us out, but so few of us vote that we really shouldn't be complaining. The hard truth is many Americans are simply wimps and won't stand up to exercise their rights.
Here's an example. I went to a rock concert the other night, The Doors -- not so great – and in front of me are two boys about nine and 11 years old, sitting next to their parents. In front of them is a guy who lights up a marijuana cigarette. The father says nothing. But the mother taps the guy on the shoulder and says will you please not smoke that in front of my kids.
The doper sneers at the woman, whereupon I, your humble correspondent, get involved. Thirty seconds later, after some friendly persuasion, the joint is on the floor.
After the concert was over the mom thanked me. But I was stunned that the father just stood there and didn't do a thing.
Barbaric behavior will continue in this country until good people do something about it.
That's why the California recall is a good thing. Finally the folks are confronting the corrupt politicians. But this has to happen everywhere. People who deny you your freedom and endanger your children should be immediately confronted in a legal way.
I do believe many Americans have simply had enough and that the ACLU, the far-left fanatics and the American-haters will soon be on the defensive.
The power in this country has always resided with the working people. That power must now be re-awakened, or big trouble lies ahead.
And that's The Memo.
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Walter Cronkite's (search) first newspaper column is out and in it he explains why he's a liberal.
Says Walter, "Incidentally, I looked up the definition of the word liberal ... synonyms for (the word are) progressive, broad-minded, unprejudiced, beneficent."
Well, that may be true in theory. But as an independent I have to say that the far left in this country right now is about as vicious and close-minded as any group I have ever seen. I know the far right can get nasty, but the uber-liberals are shaming themselves.
Moderate liberals better take back their power, or else the progressive movement in this country is doomed. Fair-minded Americans of all political stripes understand debate, but reject hate driven fanaticism, which is anything but beneficent.
Ridiculous, of course.