Widely known as a RINO (Republican In Name Only), California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger continues to pursue a more populist position which ignores the basic fundamentals of Republican conservatism.
I contend that with Schwarzenegger, winning is everything. While he claims it is all about the people, he seems to consider conservative Republican politics and political parties as irrelevant as long as he keeps generating positive media coverage for his next gig.
Let's revisit for a moment my October 2, 2007 blog entry titled "Schwarzenegger Meddling in British Politics -- Provides Key to his California Philosophy to Brits." Here Schwarzenegger was providing advice to a British politician.
Pushing his California Philosophy...
"The former Hollywood tough-guy, famous for his roles in the 'Terminator' films, told Conservative leader David Cameron to focus on issues that matter to people rather than political parties."
"Calling Cameron a dynamic leader, Schwarzenegger said: 'Our job is to recognize the issues that matter to the people the most and to solve them'."
"Issues like health care, balanced budgets, economic development, education reform, public safety, infrastructure and of course global warming and protecting the environment."
"'These are not conservative or liberal issues. They are issues everyone cares about.'"
"'By being a strong and forceful voice on climate change, David Cameron has revived your Conservative Party's green heritage and helped strengthen Britain's resolve to set an example on this issue,' the Republican governor said."
"That is the kind of leadership people are hungry for. They want action and results, not ideology and stalemate.
Even if the action is generated by smoke-and-mirrors publicity? Or legislation crafted with loopholes for the special interests who seem to dominate today's political scene?
"'They prefer progress with messy compromise, over defeat with pristine principles,' Schwarzenegger added."
I went on to ask, "Even if it means 'selling out' your party's core conservative principles to engage in your opposition's big government, big spending, more control policies? This is exactly what has destroyed the national Republican party. 'Going along to get along.' Where many of the so-called 'joint accomplishments' are, in reality, huge wins for the opposition. And the only victory for those who 'went along' was a hollow one crafted out of public relations spin-meistering."
And now Governor Schwarzenegger continues to sell his position as a populist politician. As reported in London's Financial Times...
"Schwarzenegger urges Republicans to seize center"
"Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California, has urged Republican presidential candidates to capture the political center ground ahead of next year’s election by focusing on healthcare reform and education."
"As the campaign has unfolded, leading candidates have drifted to the right to win support from social conservatives."
"But in an interview with the Financial Times, Mr. Schwarzenegger said the party’s candidates were 'missing out on something' because televised debates had been dominated by questions about gay marriage, abortion and immigration."
"Mr. Schwarzenegger said candidates should challenge the questions they were asked in the debates. “Someone has to say: ‘We’ve talked enough about immigration, now I want to talk about healthcare reform’. The candidates had to 'move the agenda', he said."
His popularity in California, an overwhelmingly liberal state, has surged as he has embraced policies more commonly associated with the Democrats. He has implemented new climate-change legislation and proposed sweeping reform to the state’s health insurance system.
His “post-partisan” stance on these issues was justified by the mandate he won, he said. “I feel because I have good approval ratings, and because I won a Democrat state with 57 per cent of the votes, that . . . I can get people to cross party lines.
“Every decision has to based on what is the best for the people, how can I serve the people, rather than how can I serve my party.”
"We're for the people ... not the political party" has a nice ring to it. However, there are two major problems with the governor's position.
One, these difficult issues are interlocking and demand not only tighter control on the legal, tax-paying, law-abiding citizen to force compliance with stringent methods, but also require substantial use of taxpayer funds to achieve mandated goals. You cannot control healthcare without resolving the illegal immigration issue, especially when illegal aliens are sucking the system dry -- leaving very little for legal citizens. It is not a matter of inclusion or exclusion, it is a matter of common sense. Also, federal policies dictate much of what can occur in healthcare which leaves some state policies ineffective and unfunded.
And two, all of the above decisions are primarily "political decisions" to be made by the party in power -- often to the benefit of their chosen candidates, appointees and special interests. Under the present political climate, "the people," are now and will be in the future, secondary considerations.
Which is the reason that one party (conservative Republican) offers a benefit to the people while the other party (far left democrat) often represents a far worse choice.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS