Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Arnold and his risk

I gues that Governor Arnold is up to something in California since everyone is writing about him, trying to figure him out, and giving him advice. I figure that he is way ahead of everyone, including the states’ Democrats, and that a bit of a panic is starting to set in. This guy really could hurt the Democratic Party in California. Yup, this is rocket science. Joe Klein, writing for Time, notes his power and energy and he is going after the public employees unions, and suggests that if he would only compromise and raise taxes (and not only cut spending), the guy could be governor-for-life. Arnold says the state doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. Klein is not persuaded, and is a bit miffed that Arnold isn’t listening to him.

Kevin Starr does a bit of pop-pscychology on Arnold, that quickly moves into how is is really nothing but an old-fashioned Progressive (or European Social Democrat), but then Starr has a harder time computing Arnold’s love of Milton Friedman and other free-market worthies. On odd piece, but worth reading.

Dan Balz is very clear that Arnold is relishing the opportunity to fight the entrenched interests of the state, and he is hoping that they don’t come up with a last minute compromise. He wants an all-out battle, and he is likely to get it, and likely to win it. It’s a perfect role for him, and the MSM reporters just can’t understand why. Arnold has nothing to lose and everything to gain, as does California.

What is unfolding here has all the earmarks of a classic struggle, with clear national implications. The outcome will affect the future of the state, the legacy of the actor-turned-politician, the balance of power in Sacramento and possibly the politics of other states.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Starr has a harder time computing Arnold’s love of Milton Friedman and other free-market worthies.

Perhaps it is Arnold, who has shown himself to be a big-government spender, who has a difficult time reconciling his policies with his love of Milton Friedman.

Arnold’s lasting political legacy could be the rebuilding of a robust Republican Party in CA. It will probably shade more liberal on social issues than the national GOP (naturally enough, given the composition of opinion in CA), but be solidly right-of-center fiscally and on national security (Arnold is almost certainly more fiscally conservative than W, FWIW). It could also help the GOP nationally by acting as a kind of make-weight to keep the party closer to the median voter in places that aren’t "deep red." And Arnold is going to make it all fascinating to watch, of that we can be sure.

I wish our governor was a murderous android from the future....(sigh)

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