Friday, July 01, 2005


Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was sworn in today on the steps of the LA City Hall -- and he gave one hell of an acceptance speech. But, of note was the beginning of his speech, as he acknowledged various dignitaries in attendance. Respectful silence as he introduced the new City Council and referred to our two previous mayors, Hahn and Riordan. Then, he acknowledged (Vice) President Al Gore, and the crowd erupted into applause.

He mentioned Governor Schwarzenegger, and the applause turned to boos and catcalls. To his credit (and because he had to), Villaraigosa told the crowd that today there would be civility. But the point came across -- public figures are rarely reviled at events such as these by the crowd. Even when the audience is presumably predominantly of one party and the public figure is of the other, it's usually custom to give a golf clap or make no noise -- unless the public figure in question has really, really got a problem.

Simply put, Schwarzenegger has totally lost public support. Short of pulling some budgetary miracle out of his ass that funds schools, hospitals, public works and transportation for the next twenty years while cutting everyone's income and property taxes to zero, he doesn't have a chance of winning it back.

Moral of the story: the right can whine and cheat in order to steal power -- as they did in manipulating the energy crisis in order to tarnish Gray Davis into a recall -- but they can't hold onto it honestly.

The next step for California? Let's not recall AhNOld. Instead, let's let him twist in the wind, and let's make sure that we associate him in the public mind at every chance possible with George W. Bush. After all, they belong to the same party, and what's sauce for the goose...

The Republicans never missed a chance to imply that, say, Al Sharpton and John Kerry were politically identical. They're not, but it's the image that counts. Schwarzenegger might be more socially liberal than Bush, but politically he's a zero. Let's help some of that taint rub off.

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