Jerry Brown can on occasion be refreshingly iconoclastic, such as when he acknowledges the essential role that law and order plays in urban health, or when he welcomes, rather than demonizes, developers. But it sounds like he is feeling desperate in his campaign for California governor , if he is grabbing for the most hackneyed of political conceits: the faith card. Following a panel at the San Francisco Christian Center which his Republican opponent Meg Whitman did not attend, he remarked:
I’d like to hear Ms. Whitman’s view, what is her faith stand. I’d like to know just what role religion’s played in her life, and this is the forum to do it.
Is he really serious? What possible relevance could “her faith stand” have in assessing her fitness to take on California’s massive fiscal problems? I suppose it’s atypical for a Democrat to demand proof of religious inclination, but within the larger context of American politics, such a ploy is drearily conventional.