Monday, August 01, 2016

Duty's Not Just a Four-Letter Word That Sounds Like a Word for Poop

Your moment in the sun, Torlakson
As a Beltway-based (ish, Clarence, ish) card-carrying member of the East Coast liberal elite, I consider myself generally well-informed about politics and the practitioners thereof. This is true both at the Federal and State levels. I know about Paul LePage's loonbattery in Maine, for example, and the quirky John Hickenlooper's unlikely rise to prominence in Colorado. (One of the headlines in the Hickenlooper link, for example: "Hickenlooper recounts the first time he smoked pot at age 16. He also writes about a nude selfie he took when high in college.") I'm hip to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory's cartoonish bigotry and incompetence, and Andrew Cuomo's machine-style, sharp-elbowed leadership in New York.

With that as background, I confess no small measure of surprise when I learned that someone named Tom Torlakson had, in his capacity as the Governor of California, declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles and Monterey counties as a result of wildfires in the Golden State. I could've sworn Jerry Brown, the once and future Governor Moonbeam, was at the helm in Sacramento.

I wasn't exactly wrong, as it turns out.

Even in this era of constant connectedness and instant access, California law requires that executive power be exercised within the state's boundaries. So when Brown headed to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, succession rules dictated that the Lieutenant Governor take over. Except that Gavin Newsom, who holds that role, was also in Philly. No worries, the Senate President Pro Tem is next in line. He went to Philly, too, though. As did the Assembly Speaker, the Secretary of State, and Attorney General.

Somebody in Sacto has a sense of duty, though, and that man is State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson, American Hero.

Torlakson didn't have to do too much while the rest of the State's government officials partied on Broad Street. After carving his initials in Brown's desk and taking a dump in the Governor's private bathroom, he issued a handful of proclamations (last Tuesday quickly became Change Lives - Be a Teacher Day), ordered room service, and walked around the office naked. (Those last two might only be imagined - they're what I'll do when I become Governor of Virginia.)

He did, however, have to make a serious decision about the fires ravaging large parts of the state, and that's no little thing. Allegedly, he did so without Brown's input, as he blocked all calls from the six officials above him on the regular totem pole* - despite Brown's Bobby Valentine-esque attempts to maintain control.

* - Might not be accurate.

We salute you, Tom Torlakson. For being cool under fire (sorry), and doing your duty when those around you chose not to do theirs, we name you an honorary Gheorgie, right up until you do something to make us change our minds.


Squeaky said...

Huge day. I guess folks are saving up all their energy for OBFT.

Danimal said...

4 hours into day beach/pool drinking. Need a spliff tho. Theoretically.

Clarence said...

I now get most of my news/commentary from John Oliver. He's top dog since Jon S from W&M stepped down.

rob said...

where do you get your nude selfies?

Clarence said...

I buy them online.

zman said...

I've had five straight meals that included fish. I'm at the point where fish and coffee makes sense.

rootsminer said...

Eyyah Gheorgies,

Just off the plane after a 6 day backpacking trip through the deep woods of Maine over the glorious Bigelow range. My boys are finally old enough to tag along and help carry stuff.

Browsing what I've missed since I left on 7/22, and Zman and Rob have been on fire!

Really didn't expect there to be that much content over 10 days in late July. Kudos boys.