Steve, well written piece about "The Arnold" during the aspiring years. Too bad his fatal flaws had already made him damaged goods in retrospect. We fully supported Arnold against Gray...mainly to try and change the entrenched culture of Sacramento. Since the earliest days of "Big Daddy" or even Willie Brown.......surely, California has been "Marked for Death" as a Republican State.
People are too harsh on AS, who is the only governor that tried to cap the fiscal insanity that has been California since 1978.
He did "very little that was unconventional?" Not true at all. Years ahead of Chris Cristie, and while GOP Speaker Dennis Hastert was oafishly allowing the GOP- controlled House to be a cesspool of lobbbyists and uncontrolled spending, AS moved to put a lap band on California's gluttonous spending and growth.
The AS Propositions would have prevented California's present fix, but AS gets no credit for being right.
Where were the state's so-called conservatives when AS was trying to get those Propositions passed? I live here so I'll tell you.
Some frittering away time, money, good will and votes on opposition to gay marriage, pot and what not. These "social issue" conservatives missed the bus, lost the game and have left us in a mess caused in part by their inability to see what AS saw.
Others using an abacus to see if AS was "pure enough" to be a conservative. Smugly they refused to help a man they demeaned as their intellectual inferior. We are now living with the results of their smugness.
Other conservatives, having sat on the comfortable sidelines, said that if AS couldn't get the propositions passed, that he should have "gone down with the ship" by refusing to bend to the voters. That would show "principle."
That is a view, endorsed mostly by people who have yet to live under a democratic governor in California. Each time it has been a disaster: Brown, then Gray Davis. Now Brown again.
Believe me, the worst republican appoints better judges and administrators than the machine democrats here. The last time we had a Chief Justice appointed by a democrat, it convulsed the state for nearly 10 years and resulted in her recall and that of 2 others appointed with her. It turned the state into a litigation free-for-all to the detriment of our employers.
So thank you, I'll take AS over any democrat any day. He understood that just being there was a finger in the dike and a benefit. He did a lot of non-fiscal good while he was here.
Now we have Jerry Brown, who was backed by every major public employee union. His first fiscal move is to suspend 48,000 state cellphones for a savings of 20m a year. Wow. Not a word yet about the state's pensions, or why UC professors can retire at 50 (new ones are now forced tor etire at 55).
I'll miss AS. He tried. Maybe not hard enough, but harder than anyone else.
The media here, especially the LA Times, now lampoon him as "ineffective", ignoring that each big media paper opposed his Propositions as unecessary. Now they think that just maybe there are a good idea.
I detest AS's move to "green" energy which is going to be a boondogle. But he was so 100% right on those Propositions you ought to stand back and give him another look.
Once again it's showed that high taxes, lots of regulation, out of control spending etc. doesn't work. How many times does this have to be shown before people finally get the message that the liberal economic model fails every time, and that its failure is inversely proportional to the 'success' of its implementation?
And that really is the question - for California and for everywhere else that this failed economic model is tried again and again. Why, when there is a wealth of evidence that it doesn't work - is it not dead? The answer is relatively simple: the means of communication are largely in the hands of those who want only to perpetuate the system that is in place now, and who are incapable of understanding that it doesn't work. How else to explain why voters return the same people time and again who caused the mess - not just in California, but in other place like here in New Jersey (Chris Christie notwithstanding)?
The message that this economic system doesn't work is not getting out, since the means of communication is controlled by those who either do not want that essential truth to be known, or somehow do not understand it themselves, despite it being shown over and over again.
And it's not just truths about this failed economic model that aren't getting out. Other, related areas are affected as well. In other words, relatively simple connections are not being communicated to the public, if those connections or truths are inconsistent with value or belief system of the traditional media. To take one of many many examples: why did it take decades for the connection to be made between crime rate and families staying together? The statistical information was out there, but no one was looking? That children are much less likely to commit crimes and fail in school if there is a father at home? How many billions of dollars were spent trying to reduce crime when this simple answer was right there for all to see?
The answer as to why these facts or connections are not being communicated has everything to do with what type of people traditionally control the means of communication. This isn't a conspiracy theory, it's a simple truth, and it affects everything, including why California is failing and will continue to fail - and yes, why Schwarzenegger - who believed he was merely following the wishes of the people, acted the way he did. There was really no press for him to do anything else - he was on a well worn path to failure. And with all due respect to those who are in media trying to deliver a different message - you simply do not understand the pervasiveness of the forces pushing in the opposite direction (and which start with utter contempt for what used to be known in the '30's and '40's of the last century as the 'common man' - but that's a different story)
Any solution has to start with an understanding of why those in government would go with a system which has been proven a failure over and over again - and why voters choose people who follow that same failed way. In the absence of that understanding real change will never take place.
An insightful article that seems to sum up Mr Schwarzenegger well. Keep writing Steven!
This New York City journal's obsession with California is a reliable source of amusement. It is reminiscent of a neighbour looking over the fence, tutting about the state of next door's yard and failing to see the dog cr*p in their own one.
Really the only forgetable thing here is this poorly presented article. I love it when unknown people like Steven Greenhut describe a very famous and accomplished man, who took the initiative to try to address the challenges of governing, as "forgettable". Successful as he was or not, in relative terms the accomplishments of this cheap shot taking journalist are much more forgettable.
After reading your article,I realized you are talking about our Mayor, Kevin Jonhson,Sacramento
Good read about the state I love and will not leave.
Governor Brown has every chance to assert himself like New Jersey's Gov.Christie. What's he got to lose? If nothing happens in a few months, recall petitions will start circulating. All he has to do is be tough where it shows waste and tell those unions who paid to get him in, that he changed his mind and is he going with his conscience (former Jesuit candidate.)He has a great chance to break away and the "moonbeam" will glow brightly. Adding to this, just in; the GOP congress in Washington, has just decided to slash government cost by $ 2.3 trillion for the next 10 years. What and inspiration for you Gov.Brown, be a "can do" governor.
It seems that what is required in California, and elsewhere, in today's
financial situation are a bunch of suicide politicians dressed as genuine
office seekers. That is the only way any fiscal reform can happen. At the
expense of the sitting legislators being turfed out of office for introducing stringent budget cuts. However, their memory will be blessed and they might later be put forward for sainthood.