"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.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

New York, New York, it's a helluva...Oh, Shit! 

Well, the lights went down in Gotham, folks.

ManhattanLooks like God got pissed off at the Episcopal Bishops and decided to exact His Justice on the electrical power grid of the Northeast United States. According to our Friends Up North, lightning struck a power station on the American side of the Border. Of course, the Canadians started pointing fingers to make us regret not having Jean Chretien for President. Pretty piss-poor conduct from a nation whose hockey teams have yet to win a Stanley Cup this century.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton called in to the Larry King show and started to find a way to blame a power outage on George W. Bush, as if the President forgot to turn on the light switch or feed the squirrels on the generator treadmill. The woman can't help herself.

"Well, Larry, we Democrats tried to pass a bill that would have put in backup systems that would have prevented this problem, but George W. Bush and His Oil Buddies were too busy giving Tax Breaks To The Rich and forcing young black men back to plantation slavery to bother...."

Oh well, God bless her. Somebody has to. BTW, my intellectual drinking buddies, the Freepers, are having a howl with this one. The good thing about FreeRepublic is that it remains, unapologetically, the last home of Barroom Brawl Conservatism. Well, at least until Ann Coulter walks in the room. But back to Hillary.

Clinton called in to Larry while the King of Hialeah Race Track was hosting none other than our old friend, Gray Davis Davis Milkcarton. Davis was going on about how this couldn't have happened in California given all the power plants His Administration Wisely Forsaw To Build. Sweet Jesus Alou, old Pete "Wetback" Wilson started those plants. Larry had on Governor Richardson of New Mexico, as well. I guess it was Old Home Week for Bubba's Leftovers at the Clinton News Network.

But I digress. I guess that Governor Davis believes that if he actually goes on Larry, the sixteen people in California who stil watch CNN will be convinced by his gravitas, his winning personality, his command of the issues and his helmet hair that he is something other than a craven, moneygrubbing poltroon. Of course, there is the fact there there are at least sixteen laughing, drooling idiots in California (hey, Davis was not only elected, he was reelected!). Is it becoming clear why Davis, Bustamante, and the rest of that crowd have lasted as long as they have?

Meanwhile, down at the Venice Beach Gym, Ahnuld is in Training. Yesterday was Warren Buffet Day. Today is George Schultz Day. Tomorrow, it's back to the banana/wheat germ Carbohydrate Blast Protein Shakes again. Schwarzenegger is hiring some serious, heavy duty gravitas to go along with his lovely wife and his penchant for contraband cigars. Again, this gets back to my observation of yesterday: the Terminator is playing a long game, and actually intends to come up with some real, honest-to-God solutions to California's budget crisis. Arnold has been preparing this for some time, and he knew exactly who to contact to help him not only win, but govern. As I said to the Freeps, I half-expect James Baker to pull on in to Sacramento as the election draws near and take out a floor of the Sacramento Radisson.

When Mr. Schwarzenegger hits the trail, Organization Democrats are expecting him to be a dim bulb with some powerful Monied Interests behind him. Again, the totemic example of the Ignorant Republican Stooge is Robert Ritchie, from last year's final season of The West Wing. "Ritchie", as we all know, was the producer's stand in for George W. Bush. The hero of the show was Josiah Bartlett, who was supposed to be a cross between the politically clever Bill Clinton and the earnestly serious Al Gore. Of course, that the liberals ended up with a character who resembles Martin Sheen in thought, word, and deed speaks volumes. Just as that show's producers thought Bush an idiot, so Democrats in California really believe that Arnold is an idiot.

But what if Schwarzenegger's campaign turns out to be some Osterreich version of Teddy Roosevelt? Elmer Gantry in lederhosen? Well, the Dems are up a creek. Period. Their entire campaign is to make it look as if Arnold has his head up his ass on the Big Issues that Affect California's Working Families, People of Color, Women, Gays, Lesbians, and the Transgendered. It all falls apart if Arnold is able to turn on a dime and attack, using his issues to frame the debate. Dan Weintraub, of the Sacramento Bee, wrote an interesting thing in his blog a few days ago, after the news that Arnold had voted for Proposition 187 (the "no citizen, no social services" proposition that had been approved by the voters, but struck down by a Federal Court). What Weintraub said was most revealing.

As an observer, I think the most important development in the entire story Sunday was that Arnold's campaign responded immediately, didn't say they didn't know how he voted or that Arnold couldn't remember how he voted, and put out a positive statement in which Arnold defended his position. If they had done otherwise, the story would have been not only that he might have backed 187 but that his campaign was in disarray in its early days. As it was, my paper described the campaign as "scrambling" in the lead paragraph of the lead story Monday. If this is scrambling, watch out when they get their legs under them...

Arnold moves fast, and has a competent campaign staff that moves as fast as he does. This is a good sign for his campaign, and a bad sign for Democrats.

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