Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Arnie and the New Bipartisanship

The Los Angeles Times has an article today from John Ziegler--a local radio host who leans more libertarian than conservative but is nevertheless pretty solid--describing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent comments on bipartisanship. Ziegler is more or less on the money, if a bit rhetorically over-wrought. Is Arnold really paving a path for uninspired moderates like himself or simply on an unstoppable march toward his own irrelevance? I don’t believe that there is any human cry for the leadership of folks like him and Michael Bloomberg. Where is the list of the great moderates from American history? Where are the great moderate masses moving to push forward their agenda of . . . what, exactly?

Discussions - 3 Comments

Julie, I really, really, really want to agree, esp. in the case of the food-tyrant Bloomberg. But their popularity ratings are both so high. And I'd be lying if I said I thought they were, in general, incompetent. Arnie in particular in no terminator in politics, but he turns out to be quite the survivor. Bloomberg might get Perot-like numbers in aFred-Hillary race.

Yet hasn't Bloomberg said he is not interested simply running without a serious chance of winning? I should think Perot-like numbers were just not what he has in mind.

I hope Bloomberg does run and does get Perot-like numbers because I don't believe they'll be coming away from our numbers this time. If every wishy-washy person in America voted for Bloomberg, do you think there are more principled liberals or conservatives left standing? I am unpersuaded by suggestions of Arnie's popularity. He bounces around between ticking off one side or the other. He hasn't got much solid support that he really owns. Both sides would prefer their own guy--but conservatives in California aren't stupid. He's not our guy but he's probably the closest thing California's going to have to a conservative in a long time. He wins with a coalition of the wishy-washy, the conservatives and the defiant occasional liberal. If the country is as wishy-washy as California is--then Peter has a point. But I doubt it very much. California is a state trying to decide if it's really as liberal as the leadership in our legislature would have it be. It's not yet but it's also not conservative. I don't think this is true of the country as a whole yet (though California is often ghost of Christmas future). But for now, I think it's not a reliable example--especially if Thompson is the nominee and maintains his popular appeal.

Apropos your post below on Thompson and the polls: I'm glad that Thompson's not as squeaky clean as the stereotypical "family values" conservative candidate is or is supposed to be. It's time to acknowledge that hypocrisy is to be preferred to lowering the bar--particularly since that might be the best the large mass of voters is capable of offering or (out of humility) believes they can offer. Sins can be forgiven--that's as much a part of America as God, apple pie and the flag. We get on board and try again--even if we know we may fail again. That's what's been missing from the conservative message and making them seem uptight and unforgiving and unattractive, in my view. This goes back to my insistence on "love handles" or some minor imperfections in the candidate. They ought not to be exalted, of course, but tacitly accepted and appreciated as part of the "color" of the man.

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