Ronald Brownstein, the highly regarded (though not by me) L.A. Times political analyst, inadvertently demonstrates the enduring power of political branding over governing reality in his column today about activist-government experiments on the state level.
It's not a news bulletin that this has been a decade of conservative dominance in Washington. Since 2001, the top domestic priority for President Bush and the Republican Congress has been cutting taxes. With a few exceptions (led by the Medicare prescription drug benefit approved during Bush's first term), the GOP majority has focused on limiting, not expanding, the federal government's size and scope.
But a counter-cyclical trend toward government activism is thriving in the states governed by Democrats and moderate Republicans.