California Attorney General Xavier Becerra expressed his respect for the institution of the presidency but also his total lack thereof for the current occupant of that office. Becerra, in town last Saturday for a gathering of the Democratic tribe at Santa Barbara City College — including Congressmember Salud Carbajal, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, and Assemblymember Monique Limón — said of the multiple investigations into Donald Trump’s dealings with Russia, “I believe there is now evidence we’re within obstruction of justice.” He stressed that the investigations needed time to play themselves out, and he also cautioned, “Man, we better move,” citing the proximity of Trump’s finger to the “nuclear button.”
Becerra noted his own father, as a Mexican immigrant, had been barred entry — along with dogs — into certain restaurants. With that history, he said he was ready to lead the legal charge to defend DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the executive order protecting so-called Dreamers from deportation. Of the 800,000 Dreamers nationwide, he said, 200,000 live in California. The attorneys general from 10 states — led by Texas — have initiated legal action to bar the Justice Department from defending DACA. Becerra, as California’s attorney general, vowed to fill the breach.
Unlike the town hall meetings experienced by politicos elsewhere during the summer recess, Saturday’s was strictly a love fest. The only pointed question was about single-payer insurance and was directed at Limón, who got seriously sideways with party progressives for weighing in against the single-payer bill proposed in Sacramento. Limón, who took issue with the bill because it never identified a funding source, stressed health care was a right, not a privilege, a sentiment with which all the other speakers agreed. By the time it was Becerra’s turn to address the issue — as a congressmember, he routinely voted in favor of bills for universal health care — he said, “Ditto, ditto, ditto.” Mostly, he took issue with Trump’s position on immigration, questioning why California would consider changing a course that’s created more new jobs and more robust economic growth than any state in the union.