Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Just say no to Arnold Schwarzenegger! 

Arnold Schwarzenegger met with Karl Rove in the Whitehouse in April of this year. They both said politics was not discussed. Yea right.

Laura Bush's press secretary, Noelia Rodriguez has been meeting with Schwarzenegger for weeks now. Mindy Tucker, "a Bush campaign operative", apparently has extended the "blessing" from the Whitehouse to the recall effort. Darrell Issa, the republican who orchestrated the recall, dropped out of the race, as soon as Schwarzenegger entered the race. This is a Whitehouse orchestrated campaign from the beginning. Don't let a phony Bush posing as "neutral" throw you off. He recently said, "I think Arnold Schwarzenegger would make a great governor," while claiming to be neutral.

It seems, former president Bill Clinton agrees this recall effort is stinky. In an article in the New York Times on August 13, a Clinton unnamed associate said, "There are a lot of people in the party who are connecting the dots: What's occurring is a conscious and well-heeled effort to try to undo traditional democratic processes."

Bush and his legions are smart, in that they continue to underestimate voters in general, and so far, with great success. They underestimated the determination of voters to have their votes counted in Florida in 2000. This success may continue into California, if voters and the press there don't show some initiative to identify the true issues facing California. And it doesn't have anything to do with the personality of Gray Davis, like him or not.

Arianna Huffington recently said that the mistake Davis made was in announcing the additional deficit after his recent re-election. There has been an obvious leadership deficit on the part of Davis. Unfortunately for the Democrats, Davis's problem sounds like it was one of communication, and foresight. Let this be a lesson. Voters, in these uncertain times, want as much directness and honesty from their politicians as they can muster. What if Davis had come out early on and said, "Folks, we're in trouble, and this is what we need to do to manage this trouble." Voters do not want to be taken for fools.

I have to ask myself, am I underestimating Arnold Schwarzenegger, as much as I believe the Whitehouse is underestimating California voters? Will he be a bitch for the republicans, excuse my direct language, or is he going to be his own man? Does he have any ideas, or is he going to run on his personality and good looks?

These are all issues California voters need to think about, along with the price tag of this recall, estimated at $66million. No rest for the weary.

My advice to voters in California is this: if you don't want to be taken for a fool, don't behave like one. Don't just jump on the bandwagon of a matinee idol, who's never had a lick of government experience, possibly has some unpleasant skeletons in his closet, and who may be a pawn for a faltering Bush administration, an administration that has decided that a republican California would be a distinct advantage in the 2004 presidential race.

And remember, this is an administration that justifies the means for the ends. It is doing so in the Texas republican government attack on voting districts in that state. It is doing so in Iraq in a war that is getting harder and harder to justify. It is doing so now in California, helping to orchestrate a recall based on issues that the republicans themselves had a large say in bringing about. We all know now that Enron manipulated energy prices in the California energy "crisis", and the now known marriage between Enron's desire to manipulate and derregulation in California, with Dick Cheney serving as the best man, in then "secret", Whitehouse meeting with Enron.

Californians will best serve themselves, if they are able to distinguish between a dislike of the personality of Gray Davis, and what he has actually accomplished, what battles has he fought. If there is a decision to choose another candidate, then I would hope for Californians that they choose carefully, examining the issues, and how the candidates resond to the issues. Or will this race be another judgement primarily of personality, and well, Arnold is just plain more likable than Gray, nevermind the issues.

Please don't give credit to someone who has not yet earned the credentials to run your government, but has certainly earned the money to run for office. Question Arnold Schwarzenegger, question him often and well. Demand that he provide a platform of his issues, answer to the California press instead of doging it, and debate the other candidates on live TV. Go for broke California, in your demands on the candidates. It's only your future at stake.

Good luck California! All eyes are watching.