Wednesday, April 06, 2005


California can be a fickle state politically. We seem to have this constant habit of growing disillusioned with a politician, replacing them with great fanfare and high hopes, and then turning just as sour on the new guy in short order, repeating the process.

Not that, in the case of Ah-nuld, this is a bad thing. I was against the recall of Gray Davis in the first place, seeing it as a well-financed smear campaign. But Davis was politically weak, and he was recalled. It's too bad that, with somewhere in the vicinity of 150 candidates on the ballot, we somehow managed to elect one utterly unqualified for the office.

To be honest, I was willing to give Arnold the benefit of the doubt when he was first elected. "Okay," I thought. "Here's a non-politician who might actually bring in some good ideas and fix things." At least, that's what I thought at first. But as time went on, two things became obvious. First, the man doesn't have a clue how to make things happen politically. He isn't a coalition builder, and he doesn't present ideas that bring everyone to the table. Perhaps he came into the job deluded by all those movie roles, figuring he'd just strong-arm everyone into agreeing with him. "I have come to clean up Sacree-mento," I can imagine him saying as he walks into the House of Reps, decked in black leather. "You are weeez me, or you are dead." Whatever the case, he hasn't really managed much of anything since his early days in office.

Second, he's turned out to be a creature of special interests, despite his constant and annoying use of that catch phrase -- "Leds tell de spezell intyrists to schtay oud of Caleeeeforny-uh." Yeah, right, Arnold. As it turns out, Arnold serves his own special interests, and they are not the people of California. They are the fat cats who give him money. Yep. It's pretty obvious by this point that Arnold is a bigger whore than any of the politicians he accused of doing the special interest dance.

And now, this whore is being called out by a very broad coalition of Californians, led by nurses, teachers and firefighters. The story linked above amuses me, as Arnold is locked out of his own fundraiser by an angry yet non-violent mob. And the worst news for him -- it looks like the cops were pretty much on the side of the protestors, too.

Other than running a few ads with the hollow "special interests" bitching recently, Arnold hasn't really done much of anything, hasn't been visible, and has pissed off a lot of people by trying to make cuts to services left and right. Combine that with the ridiculous gas prices ($1.51 today at my local best-price station for unleaded regular, so figure a typical premium price of $1.69) and the Terminator is Toast. After all, it was the energy cost mess in the form of electricity that ultimately caused Davis's downfall.

Piss off the most powerful unions in the state, preside over the highest gas prices in history (whether your fault or not), kowtow to the big money people and not the little people, and then give the appearance of doing jack-shit for months... there's the perfect formula for getting tossed out of office on your ass by Californians -- who are, despite our Red State reputations, quite a bit more politically savvy and involved than a lot of folk.

I predict we won't be hearing much about amending the Constitution to allow Arnold to run for president after 2006. Politically, he's damaged goods now and short of a third act deus ex machina (which only happens in the movies, Arnie), we won't be hearing much of him after he's turned out of office. Except maybe in a series of ever-crappier sequels to his lesser action movies.

Kindergarten Cop II: Det. Kimble Gets Skooled anyone?

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