"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."-Winston S. Churchill

"The wandering scholars were bound by no lasting loyalties, were attached by no sentiment of patriotism to the states they served and were not restricted by any feeling of ancient chivalry. They proposed and carried out schemes of the blackest treachery."-C.P. Fitzgerald.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

All Your Arnold Are Belong To Us.... 

Whatever you have to say about Arnold Schwarzenegger, his press conference of today was a bravura performance. This guy is ready to campaign. ARNOLDFor the last couple of weeks, Schwarzenneger has been under attack by the Democrats, of course, and by the candidacies of Bill Simon, State Senator Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) and our old friend, Peter Ueberroth. What Arnold did today was important, as it gave him the chance to set the table and frame the debate on his issues: low taxes and a ceiling on government spending. In essence, he's running as not quite a Green Eyeshade Republican, which may be what the California electorate in the vital if mushy middle is looking for.

One of the points Schwarzenneger made was to claim that none of his economic advisers could tell him the amount Sacramento's actual operating deficit. What he did with this was most clever. He stated that because no one really knows what Davis and his cronies have done with the money, the Terminator would need to send in a team of independent auditors to go through the state's books to see where the money actually is. This relieves Schwarzenneger of the necessity to put out a Ten Point plan of cuts for each agency. Had he specified cuts early on, each beuracracy would have started putting out thousands of pages of position papers detailing just how vital their program was to the State's welfare. Which would have suited Gray Davis and Cruz Bustamante no end.BOY The California Democratic Party's propaganda ministry, also known as the California press corps, would have done their level best to illustrate the squalor that would result should Arnold and his Rich Republican Friends cut spending (the illustration at right is yet another example of Republican cruelty...). Arnold's people, who worked for Pete Wilson and went through this during Proposition 187 back in 1994, might have been born at night, but not last night. They put Arnold squarely in the Center of what my gut tells me that most of the California electorate is looking for at this point in time: fiscal discipline combined with a sense of social responsibility, and the will to act on both. Arnold's action of today has also helped him secure his base.

Strangely enough, our old friend the Common Tator chimed in this week about Arnold's long term strategy. According to him, Arnold needs McClintock and Simon to actually stay in the race, not drop out. In addition, Ray comments on how the Field Poll fell the way it did (Bustamante-25%, Arnold-22%). Apparently, the Field Poll is using a different turnout model, one more closely resembling 2002 than 2000. Click on the link for a bit of number crunching and some superb reasoning from the Tator.

As to the rest of the Pack?

Well, Davis went on a crying jag last night, blaming a Right Wing Republican Vast Buffalo Wing Conspiracy to steal elections. The Governor admitted that he had made a few mistakes (oh, such as saddling California with untenable oil contracts and deliberately lying about the extent of the State deficit during last year's sham budget process), but the Recall was a much larger issue. It seems that Republicans, with their secret handshakes, homoerotic fraternity initiations, and sub-rosa decoder rings, are actually trying to steal the election of 2002.

Of course, Davis has been talking to the Clintons. That's an open secret. Whenever some Democrat mentions conspiracy, Bill Clinton and Bill Clinton's well worn cigar, cannot be far behind. Well, someone handed the jar of invisible ink to Cruz Bustamante, because he became a Member In Good Standing of the Conspiracy the minute he smelled Gray Davis' blood in the water. Why so much blood in the water? Davis wasn't looking when Cruz put the knife in the back, that's why.

Meanwhile, the unions have all lined up behind Gray (looks like Davis is calling in his markers). Bustamante outlined a ginned-up version of Gray Davis' budget proposal to buffalo the voters into thinking that a vote for Cruz is a vote for Change. Bustamante calls it "tough love for California". Eight billion dollars in new taxes are part of the package. Meanwhile, the chihuahuas tugging at Arnold's leg, McClintock, Simon, and Ueberroth, remain under the illusion that they can sweep the state by running as True Conservatives (as opposed to Arnold, the UnTrue Conservative). They can't. They just don't want to admit it to themselves quite yet.

Especially Simon, who declared that he would be "happy" to accept Arnold's endorsement in the future. That statement brought an immediate reaction from California's pets......

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