Schwarzenegger: I Won't Take Money, Except When I Do
It's nice to see that the psychotic state of California hasn't changed a lot since I left over a year ago. Except in that it's gone far more insane. As you no doubt know by now (and as I've been commenting upon for a couple of months), the plummeting economy and massive deficit Californians are bearing has put them in a mood to recall Governor Gray Davis, at the opportunistic prodding of the ever-sinister California GOP. Darrell Issa, used by the party for his money to initiate the recall, broke into big blubbering tears a couple of weeks ago while announcing that he would not be running as a replacement for Davis himself. The Bohemian Grove folks must have told him that it's Arnold or else, thanks very much all the same for making it possible. Bill Simon, the bland Patrick Bateman lookalike whose campaign was the most laughable I've ever seen, also abruptly dropped out, though he came in swinging with the news Arnold is not a conservative.
Indeed he's not. He supports gay rights, is pro-choice, has smoked pot and so forth, which means that hardcore conservatives will probably vote for McClintock, the Republican who refuses to drop out of the race(at least so far today). Unless those conservatives remember Arnold's unswaying friendship with former Nazi Kurt Waldheim.
But Arnold has been cagey about stating his positions on anything beyond promising to have experts(like his campaign staffers Warren Buffett and George Schultz, both Bohemian Grove boys from way back) look into it. Which is appropriate, because like most star candidates from California, Arnold is a front for other interests, a figurehead not intended to have any thoughts of his own. His whole attitude about the campaign seems a weary one, almost like he's wondering why he hasn't been made governor already. He even claims that he doesn't need donations and won't take them from special interests, that he has plenty of his own money. Nevertheless, he just took
$100,000 from William Lyons Homes Inc., a builder, $21,200 from actor Rob Lowe, and $21,200 from winery Thomas Jordan. He has scheduled a series of high-priced fund-raisers in coming weeks.
Rob Lowe may not be a special interest(and it's interesting to see the lifelong Democrat suddenly defect to the dark side) but anyone who doesn't think builders and wineries are big special interests in California doesn't know the state.
In any event, Cruz Bustamante, the lieutenant governor, is still surging ahead of Arnold in the polls, so we can hope people realize fun's fun, but c'mon
. The conservatives are trying to portray Bustamante's entry into the replacement race as a defection from Davis, and the ever-idiotic Terry MacAuliffe of the DNC--and he needs to be forced out of that position as soon as possible because he's the worst thing to happen to the DNC in decades--almost fell for this like he always does, as he seems to always take his reverse-psychological cue from whatever Republicans say, and almost tried to make sure that in the event Davis were recalled, there would be no Democratic alternative. Yeah, slit your own throat and give the state up out of principle, Terry. That'll teach those Republicans.
The Republicans, realizing that it doesn't matter how you win so long as you win, are attempting a power grab for a number of reasons. Firstly, a personal animus against Davis, which is somewhat understandable--Davis is a political shark and quite brilliant at winning elections, but his methods are sometimes as dirty as any Republican's. They consider this infringement and it chafes, much like their special hair undergarments. Secondly, Bush lost California. They want to make sure this does not occur again. How can they fix the election there as they did in Florida without a Republican governor there looking the other way? They've been softening the state for this for quite some time, through both taking advantage of its collapsed dot-com economy and engineering(through Enron--remember how Cheney tried to use California's plight to demonstrate the need for his energy plan?) the blackouts of a couple of years past that worsened California's problems. California has been punished for being a blue state. And New York too. Or did no one notice that New York never really got the rebuilding money, nor increased money for cops & firefighters(in fact there have been layoffs among those), and that the EPA lied about the level of toxicity of New York's air after the WTC collapse in an effort to get Wall Street running as soon as possible? Babies are being born smaller suddenly in New York City as a result of stuff like dioxins spread throughout its air. It's being punished. Too bad for its Republican governor.
Davis might not even be recalled; only half of Californians polled, as of a couple of days ago, support the recall, and that's significantly less than during the over-enthusiastic drive itself. With the likes of adult film star Mary Carey and dwarfish celebrity ghost Gary Coleman in the race, and a little time to think about it, Californians might realize fun's fun, but come on
. (By the way, if the recall succeeds, my endorsement is for Arianna Huffington, one of the only candidates who would truly help the people of that state, though there's an Evita air about her I don't completely trust.)
I think the recall is a very, very bad idea, and that it's nothing more than offering up Davis as a sacrifice to the gods, and will not save California. It appears the state is throwing itself into an abyss out of panic, and this is typical. The whole country is suffering thanks to Bush's neglect of the economy. But California, the 6th largest economy in the world, has a far lower threshhold to privation than most other places. If you prick them, they not only bleed but scream and convulse. And then sue you. California is not suffering necessarily worse than, say, Illinois. But California isn't as used
to suffering either. So they're more vulnerable to doing something hysterical like this, and the GOP is playing them like flutes. Californians are willingly going along like sheep in the GOP's ongoing experiment in being elected despite elections.
Meanwhile, remember again that at the start of the summer, in response to increased threats toward US troops in Iraq, Bush said "Bring 'em on."
I hope he's happy now. Since he said that more American troops have been killed keeping the "peace" in Iraq than in the hostilities. We have turned Iraq into the hot destination for every damn terrorist group in the Mideast, and worse, we now need the UN's help. I assume that by allowing the carbomb to hit the UN Embassy last week, we'd convince Annan. Certainly after his shoddy bullying and insulting of the UN about a year ago, when he was trying to convince
them to go along on this, he needs something a bit more forceful than "please."
Labels: cheney, politics