SCHWARZENEGGER TAKES A PAGE OUT OF DUBYA'S BOOK
The Republican Party, paced by its White House occupant, George W. Bush, and its governor of America's most populated state, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has forsaken its claim to fiscal restraint and limited government. Were the Congress, the White House, and California's governor's mansion currently controlled by the Democratic Party, and given the current level of out-of-control federal spending and outrageous proposals for new spending by the debt-ridden Golden State, the GOP would be vehemently flogging the Dems for fiscal insanity.
But the one thing the Republicans could not do in good conscience, were this fiscal insanity the product of Democratic Party control, rather than GOP control, is to assail the Dems with the careworn "tax and spend" charge. That's because both President Bush and now Governor Scwarzenegger are using political sleight of hand to insist that taxes can be cut (or at least not increased) despite huge growth in government's reach and spending.
Governor Schwarzenegger's ill-advised "State of the State" address, calling for a spending orgy by a near bankrupt state, and President Bush's unabashed expansion of the federal government and its debt during his tenure in Washington should be clarion calls to the Conservative Movement in America that the GOP needs to be reigned in, reformed, and reminded of its mission -- indeed, a clarion call that something has gone fundamentally awry and that far too many Republicans have become nothing more than seed pod carriers for the Democrats.
Schwarzenegger's white flag retreat disgusts me. So much for political courage and conviction. Ronald Reagan would be appalled.
FOLLOW-UP: John Hawkins of Right Wing News has had it with Arnold as well.
FOLLOW-UP II: The Los Angeles Times reports that Governor Schwarzenegger "is counting on the willingness of the federal government to chip in tens of billions of dollars" in funding his super-size ($222-billion) state rebuilding program. Our tax dollars fund the federal government, right? So along with the federal largess being spent to rebuild the hurricane-devasted Gulf Coast, we're now being asked to rebuild the Left Coast. Katrina and Rita were acts of God. The current fiscal mess in California resulted from acts of unprincipled politicians -- mostly Democrats. I live and vote in Texas. How is California my problem, Governor Schwarzenegger? How ironic that you're in office because of the recall of former democratic governor Gray Davis. Arnold, you haven't learned a thing!
FOLLOW-UP III: Governor Schwarzenegger has told California voters that he heard them loud and clear in the special election called for on November 8th, in which all eight (8) of the ballot propositions endorsed by the Republican governor as reform measures were voted down. But isn't the California governor being more than a bit disingenuous? $250 million in campaign spending (largely from special interest groups opposed to the ballot initiatives) and whatever political capital Schwarzenegger carried into the fight resulted in a better than expected voter turnout of 49.6% of registered voters, but, fact is, many Republican voters sat out the election out of apathy or as a result of a lackluster campaign waged by the governor himself, who largely took passage of these propositions for granted.
FOLLOW-UP IV (01/07/06): Ken Masugi at the Local Liberty blog (part of the Claremont Institute site) refers his readers to an excellent piece in the "Orange County Register" (free registration required for online edition) on Schwarzenegger's metamorphosis as a big-spending quasi-liberal, putting his own re-election before fiscal responsibility. California, as the OCR points out, has a "$4 billion yearly structural deficit." The editorial goes on to say: "People usually look to a governor to define what is most relevant regarding public policy concerns, help them understand the scope of the problems and then lead the way to solutions. But this governor has given Californians two radically different sets of problems and priorities - and solutions - in the space of just a year." Political expediency, it certainly appears, has trumped principal in Schwarzenegger's Jekyll-n-Hyde machinations. He's behaving more like a career politician than a citizen-statesman bent on restoring fiscal sanity in the Left Coast's citadel of over-weening liberalism.