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July 15, 2009

Schwarzenegger Gets the Message

Arthur writes:

Arnie = Jerry Brown

And I mean that in a good way. My fondest memory of Gov. Brown was the night Prop 13 passed. He was strongly against it all through the election cycle. That night, after it passed by a landslide, he was talking as if he was for it all along. My point is, he got the message! Arnie is getting the message.

He writes that in response to Schwarzenegger's sudden conversion to the tea-partiers' point of view:

American Power notes the shift:

Listen to that message: Balance the budget; no tax hikes; rationalize government by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse. This line, in pure form, has been completely alien to the Schwarzenegger administration since the recall of 2003. Yet it's the standard program among tea party patriots across the country today. We're "Taxed Enough Already," remember?

After campaigning as a fiscal conservative, the Governor has repeatedly violated his "no new taxes" promises. Voters approved $15 billion in bond revenues in a 2004 special election. Proposed by the Governor as a budget solution (complete with a "spending cap"), "critics called Prop. 58 a ruse, saying, correctly, that it was weak and opened the way for more borrowing, spending and taxing by politicians." And when state services indeed continued to grow, Schwarzenegger failed to reform finances with his set of ballot initiatives in 2005 (see, "Voters Reject Schwarzenegger's Bid to Remake State Government").

The defeat Proposition 1A on May 19th handed the Governor his third strike - and clearly, he was out!

So now he's "standing firm for a balanced budget"! Golly Gee Willikers!!! You think?

And now it's not about whether you're a Republican or a Democrat? Hello tea party patriots! That's what folks have been saying all year.

A lot of readers are cynical about Republican leadership (and you can put scare quotes around either one, or both, of those words) and pessimistic about the chances for political change.

There is no doubt that government itself has a liberal bias, and no matter who is elected to office, she will find out that while a lot of things are difficult to achieve, nothing is harder to achieve than cutting spending. The permanent government establishment has set it up to be so, and the various constituencies dependent on government spending can make a lot of noise.

But even though the odds are stacked against us, we actually can pressure government officials to do the jobs they were elected to do. Yes, they will avoid this at almost every cost. Yes, they view doing their jobs as the least attractive path and will resist it until they have no other paths left open to them. But ultimately, if we stay united and noisy and implacable, they will bend.

Eventually.

There's way too much dark talk of actual revolt. Not only is such talk scary, but it is also a fantasy solution to real-world problems, and as such, counterproductive. Any emotional energy directed towards this fantasy solution is not being directed towards a realistic solution. Someone who's really convinced that the situation is absolutely hopeless politically is obviously not going to be very enthusiastic about political agitation.

Anyone talking like that has kind of given up, and basically is playing right into Obama's Clowad-Piven plans. I don't know if this is actually part of the Cloward-Piven strategy, but Obama wants nothing more than for his opponents to feel marginalized and helpless and dispirited and... broken. Politically broken people don't vote and don't agitate -- why should they? It's futile.

But it's not futile. And no one on our side is actually marginalized at all. Low taxes and limited government and pretty much the entirety of the conservative program have long had strong appeal for the public; that appeal has not simply disappeared.

Obama was not elected primarily for his ideology; indeed, he had to hide it and actively lie about his ideology (and enlist the entirety of the MSM to lie on his behalf). The election turned instead on managerial competence; the GOP was deemed to have been found wanting, so much so the public was willing to entertain the possibility that a man whose executive experience summed to signing grant applications by left-wing organizations might just happen to have undiscovered talents as a leader.

Schwarzenegger was and is the ultimate RINO, and no one can have any delusions that he really believes in cutting spending. Nor that, were the pressure lifted from him, he wouldn't happily go back to the path of least resistance, raising taxes and increasing spending.

But it is irrelevant for our purposes whether or not he actually believes in this or if he'd chose it absent coercion. He doesn't and he wouldn't. The point is that even in supposedly ultra-liberal California, the public's appetite for increased taxes is very low, and the public's tolerance for wasteful spending is almost as low. And that public pressure can, ultimately, effect change.


Quote: I forgot I'd wanted to quote Dr. Samuel Johnson: When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.


Maybe We Just Should Have Told Him Cutting Spending Was Like Sexual Release. Light content warning for Schwarzenegger's quotes from Pumping Iron.


Thanks to yinzer... sort of.

digg this
posted by Ace at 01:39 PM

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