Between the Lines

The Third Great Awakening

California is showing the way forward for the aspiring authoritarians in our midst—and the drought is providing them with the perfect opportunity.  The front page of my local rag, the Press-Democrat, ran a story by Washington Post writer Bob Kuznia, “State’s wealthy guzzling water,” which sported this lede: “Drought or no drought, Steve Yuhas resents the idea that it is somehow shameful to be a water hog.  If you can pay for it, he argues, you should get your water.”

The piece goes on to quote Yuhas as saying that people “should not be forced to live on property with brown lawns, golf on brown courses or apologize for wanting their gardens to be beautiful.”  Citing his high property tax rate, Yuhas averred, “And no, we’re not all equal when it comes to water.”

Kuznia describes Rancho Santa Fe, where Yuhas lives, as “ultra-wealthy” and “bucolic,” which in the era of drought-inflicted self-denial are strikes one and two.  Strike three is Rancho Santa Fe’s defiance of the new Water Inquisition, which has been imposed by former Jesuit seminarian Jerry Brown, our dour governor: The Republican enclave in this Blue State “guzzles” five times more water than the rest of the state, we are told.  The accusatory tone reaches a crescendo when Kuznia warns that “a moment of truth...

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