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.

There is no doubt that the governor has tried to be inclusive. The governor has overlooked qualified people within his own party to appoint opposition members to significant governmental positions. His Chief of Staff is a prominent, long-term democrat and lesbian. He had made numerous democrat appointments to key committees and commissions. He has apparently embraced positions held dear to the democrat-controlled legislature. And the governor has removed much doubt that his administration is any different than then administration of his predecessor Gray Davis who was ousted from office by a citizen's recall effort. One need only look at his fund-raising efforts, his pandering to the special interests. His creation of special tax-exempt entities to fund his travel and other costs while shielding the actual contributors from disclosure.

For all intents and purposes, the governor of California is a conservative democrat... or as we allege, a RINO.

What can YOU do?

Considering the poor past performance of California's Republican party, one can only help by demanding that the current party leadership seek self-renewal along conservative lines.

Do not patronize those organizations who employ lobbyists to support the party for purposes of securing special considerations for their clients.

Consider the governor for what he does, not what he says. Here is a man who turned his back on one of California's most honest, ethical and financially knowledgeable candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Tom McClintock, although they ran on a combined ticket and the governor promised to aid McClintock's campaign. I can understand why Schwarzenegger wanted McClintock out of the picture as he engaged in the risky financing of questionable projects -- which most likely will leave California with a much larger deficit than that left by his predecessor. Already the Governor seems willing to embrace "smoke and mirrors" accounting to spin his story of fiscal prudence.

It is time to return to basics. To throw out the rascals that tried to hand our Golden State over to the Mexican government as a source of foreign currency -- repatriated to the Mexican homeland from illegal aliens, Mexican citizens, who the State continues to support to the tune of approximately $22,000 over and above any contribution they made to the state's economy. This based on an unchallenged, well-designed study which took into account the value of their labor as well as any taxes they may have paid.

We need to reverse California's course of funding fuzzy do-gooder programs and start controlling the waste and fraud that seems to be rampant under a government bought and paid for by the so-called special interests. Send the governor back to Hollywood where public image always trumps reality and where what you say is often more important than what you do...Do not consider any bid by Schwarzenegger for a Senate seat.

If we want to reform healthcare, we need to demand that the insurance companies allow anybody to purchase healthcare at a competitive price by forming super-pools of citizens. There are any number of people who are denied healthcare due to the lack of regular employment -- even though they can afford to pay the same premium that is currently paid by employers. Remove the incentives which encourage screwing the consumer by denying coverage or limiting coverage by paying a portion of the savings to those charged with providing healthcare. Prosecute fraud vigorously even if it involves physicians, attorneys and those who are politically connected. Build transparency into our hospital payment systems -- no more charging an individual $5 for an aspirin tablet while letting an insurance company pay 50- cents.

If we want to lower gas prices, let us build additional refineries. If we want to become more energy independent using clean energy -- let us build a few nuclear power plants. Want to lower taxes, reduce the size of government, curbing excessive overtime and perks. Paying them a wage which recognizes ordinary salaries in comparable non-public positions. Demand that all of the honorary boards and commissions be perk-free.

There are ways to solve the problems in our fair state. But unfortunately they do not include the special interests with their low-ball bids and outrageous cost over-runs based on artificially-generated "change orders." They do not include politically-connected bidders who then simply sub-contract the work out to a lower cost provider and pocket the difference.

It is time for the public to re-assert control over a political system that has spun out of control -- offering up popular "celebrity" candidates with mediocre leadership and business skills. Consider a man like McClintock for our next governor -- or better yet, Senator.

And above all, do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security and sovereignty of the United States or limit an individual's right of self-defense for personal power, prestige or profits.

It would be well to remember that, if you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don't, you will find an excuse. --Anonymous

-- steve

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

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

Reference Links:

World - Schwarzenegger urges Republicans to seize center|Financial Times

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