Debra J. Saunders

Odysseus-like, Jerry Brown journeys back to his ancestral home.

Sing in me, Muse, and tell the story of the godlike Jerry Brown,

Who became a political wanderer, skilled in the ways of the campaign,

After he forfeited his father's throne

In an ill-fated bid to take the proud halls of the faraway Beltway.

Begin, Muse, with the electoral rout that drove the son of the infrastructure-rich Pat Brown from his home

When the soft-throated San Diego mayor bested him in pitched battle, and

Made Brown eat small potatoes as he snatched the treasure meant for the Golden's State's lord.

The pop-star-dating pol spent years clinging to his Spartan mattress, his trademark blue Plymouth and even Malathion,

While the much-suffering goddess Minerva looked down at the exploits of those who picked up her shield:

The buttoned-down George Deukmejian, who booted the law-bending Rose Bird from her bench,

Pete Wilson, who told his short-haired troops they were eff-ing irrelevant,

Gray Davis, the gleaming-white warrior who declared that Sacramento was worse than Vietnam,

Even though, Zeus-like, he friggin' kept the lights on,

Until Conan, with his broad arms and flashing savage sword, recalled him.

Having been driven from office, the son of Pat Brown set sail for Japan.

When sated with Zen, he voyaged to Kolkata.

He poured libations for the sick and sat at the feet of the gamma-shaped Mother Theresa.

Buffeted by the fickle gods, he railed against the political machine,

Then he lunged to control that wine-dark apparatus in his yearning to take the helm of the state Democratic Party.

After pitched battle, he defeated the fair-haired Steve Westly

And flexed his fundraising prowess among the glittering swells

Who deride Proposition 13 from their super-size homes atop California's steep hills.

Then an old yearning stirred deep inside him one day.

The Jesuit prince looked into the mirror and said, "You must be, by your looks,

The infrastructure-rich Pat Brown's boy."

Thus spake the wheedling siren who lured him back toward presidential politics.

The wily Jerry Brown then proclaimed an "anti-politics gospel"

With an 800 number and $100 donation limit.

Once again, he tasted the bitter dreck of rejection.

He spent days squatting on his haunches, brooding

Until he found comfort in the soft breast of talk radio

With like-minded listeners who lapped up his honeyed words.

He then governed over Oakland Ecopolis, "both far away and very near,"

Only to battle NIMBYs, Birkenstock-shod and goose-loving scolds --

Debra J. Saunders

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