Daniel Weintraub writes about the Arnold victory. His points might be a bit prosaic, but I believe they’re true. And Mickey Kause, a liberal, explains why he voted for him. The reason it is worth reading (although there is much here to disagree with) is that there are enough interesting details both about Arnold’s way of thinking and behaving (much of it not complimentary) and how his opponents view him, that begins to open some possibilities. So, in an attempt at a quick response to Stewart’s questions below here is my turn of mind. This is a unique situation; both the recall and Arnold’s victory. Arnold is a new addition to the political equation. His personna, and his political smarts, and the circumstances of the recall, put him in a situation where dramatic political breakthroughs are possible. I think he knows this. Folks use the word realignment too loosely; let’s call it a possible tectonic shift in California, with some serious effects elsewhere. McClintock has contributed to this shift with his serious and thoughtful attacks on the particulars of the Davis administration and his mode of governing. People turned toward him to listen. Liberals ended up praising him. In gaining the kind of intellectual support and, indeed, honor, that McClintock has gained, he will help Arnold to establish a new mode of governance, with an infusion of new people, and new ideas that will be even at first sight well received. The political opening is reflected in the fact that about twenty five percent of Democrats voted for the recall and maybe twenty percent of the votes Arnold got was from Democrats. This is not a small thing. All of it combined is a breakthrough, something new and different. I expect Arnold to try to pull everyone together, not by compromising or trimming, but by acting dramatically in every case that he can. His opponents will be petty towards him and his pirposes and will be seen to be ordinary, and he will always rise above that. If he does that he will create a new political universe in California that will have an effect elsewhere. I think McClintock should help him do that, should work from the inside by generally being supportive and by continuing to be persuasive. Those who simply try to buck Arnold’s new regime (either from the left or right) will end up paying a high price. McClintock and the conservatives should be inclined to work with him, and yet be prepared to persuade him when necessary; but from the inside. Dont seem petty and dont carp, and dont underestimate this guy and dont underestimate the political opportunity that this situation offers. Those who talk about the upcoming changes in California in simply policy terms will miss the big picture that is being redrawn as I write. And if I were a California Democrat I wouldnt sleep for six months with worry, and if I were a national Democrat I would be deeply concerned for the future of my party. California will be front page news for six months and how the state GOP handles that honor will have an effect on the political climate and disposition of a nation in a bit of a funk. High drama, this.
"Folks use the word realignment too loosely; let’s call it a possible tectonic shift at least in California and perhaps elsewhere."
"Possible Tectonic Shift"? Ah, the "Big One" - Californias only remaining hope! Only an eternal optimist could see the election of the "least qualified candidate" as some sort of "dramatic political breakthrough". If you really believe that Tom McClintock, and not Warren Buffet, will be calling the "fiscal shots" for "Conan"s" Administration, I have some land 30 miles West of Ft. Lauderdale, FL I would like to sell you - REAL CHEAP! BTW, "Values Deficient Politicos", like Arnie, are really nothing new. His Uncle Teddy is a perfect example of a "moldy oldie" politician without morals who can get elected over and over again in a leftist State. Before Arnie decided to spend some of his fortune to obtain some "power", like his hero, Austrian Hitler, his only "novel" political contribution was forcing the spending of non-existent State funds on an expensive, big government, Nanny State program. Dont expect him to make the "tough" choices in cutting California bloated budget. I cant wait to see his budget proposal for the next fiscal year!
I guess you could call it a Teutonic tectonic shift.