Will He Be Back?

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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has had a lousy five months, outwitted by a bunch of aggro nurses, firefighters and cops. Even his own loyal supporters are now talking about an administration in "disarray," and the press has been happy to pile on. L.A. Times analysis here; withering column here.

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  1. Yeah, those bloodsucking public servants are so selfish. They just don’t understand the needs of corporate executives like Ahhnold.

  2. The attitude in the Times column speaks louder than anything coming out out Sacramento. The ‘so called’ problem of no balanced budget was to be addressed in a ‘half baked’ manner that advanced the priorities of ‘a narrow group of special interests’. Er, duh. The answer is clearly to give everyone everything they want and never cut spending. The only responsible government solution is to raise taxes. All spending is needed spending, you see.

  3. Typical media coverage. Focusing on the negative, while omitting the positive.

    The people have a right to know, dammit!

    Was he right about his Oscar picks?

  4. The curse of the “Predator” continues. This does not bode well for Carl Weathers’ administration.

  5. This is my favorite bit from the Times column:

    “He doesn’t project any of the qualities we see in born politicians whatever their ideological stripe, such as Bill Clinton’s empathy for ordinary citizens, Lyndon Johnson’s relish for horse-trading or Richard Nixon’s intellectual fascination with the political process.”

    There it is. I won’t even touch it.

  6. The loudest voices in Arnold’s opposition seem to always come from government employee unions–so he can’t be all bad.

  7. *Sure* Arnie will be back. Just like Jesse Ventura.

    One shot flameouts. Too bad, since I think they both had some ok ideas and certainly sounded more reasonable than the theocrats on social issues (but that’s not too hard).

    Is anyone else scared of how Maria looks nowadays? Her skin looks shrinkwrapped on her skeleton now. Creepy!

  8. NO! He will not be back. And shouldnt’ have been there in the first place. And I am not a government employee and yes Ken, he is THAT bad!

  9. And you base that on what Angie, the loud voices eminating from your butt-crack? If you want to state an opinion, at least include some sort of supporting evidence.

  10. Fixing the mess the Democrats in California have created won’t be easy. Particularly since they still control the legislature, and they are controlled by the special interests. If Arnold can’t fix the mess, I doubt anyone can.

  11. Aw crap, I’m moving to California this summer. I knew the state is screwed but it doesn’t look like it will get better any time soon.

    I’m moving from a state with no income tax and a sky-high sales tax to a state with a high income tax and yet the same sky-high sales tax. Guess I can expect it to get worse.

  12. I wouldn’t write Jesse Ventura off as a one-shot flameout. He’d win Mark Dayton’s senate seat if he’d run in Minnesota, I’d venture.

  13. If Arnold can’t fix the mess, I doubt anyone can.

    Is that the same as claiming that Arnold Schwarzenegger was the best possible executive? Nobody is more skilled or better qualified than this bodybuilder-turned-actor, to solve the complex problems of an enormous state? Am I hearing that correctly?

  14. Is that the same as claiming that Arnold Schwarzenegger was the best possible executive? Nobody is more skilled or better qualified than this bodybuilder-turned-actor, to solve the complex problems of an enormous state? Am I hearing that correctly?

    Yes. There simply are no Democrat politicains in California who are not disasters. On the other hand, most Republicans would have no chance of getting any agenda moving faced with the Democratic legislature. And, most electable Cali Repubs are lacking when it comes to free market ideals.

    Arnold represents the best combination of abilities for the job.

  15. The L.A. Times wrote something negative about Arnold Schwarzenegger? What are the odds.

  16. Why do they call it Taxachusettes again? I hear all these insane tax stories from all over the country (I’m in New York even) yet when I lived in the Bay State, I paid less tax (income/sales/whatever) than at any time in my life.

  17. ed,

    It’s a Republican/media whore thing.

    If Ted Kennedy, Mike Dukakis, and John Kerry had been Alaskans, the term “Al-tax-a” would be part of common parlance.

  18. Yes. There simply are no Democrat politicains in California who are not disasters. On the other hand, most Republicans would have no chance of getting any agenda moving faced with the Democratic legislature. And, most electable Cali Repubs are lacking when it comes to free market ideals.

    Arnold represents the best combination of abilities for the job

    Oh really? What about William “The Refrigerator” Perry? Or wrestling superstar “The Rock”? Personally, I think Hillary Duff might have a few good ideas up her sleeve.

    I understand that Arnold has had many years of expertise in finance, policy, and law; and his numerous treatises on these subjects are benchmarks in their fields. I just can’t help shake the nagging feeling though, that the undderrated works of Nick Nolte, Britney Spears, and Ozzy Osbourne were overshadowed in the last election, and that one of them might have been better (or at least equally) prepared for the job.

  19. “If Ted Kennedy, Mike Dukakis, and John Kerry had been Alaskans, the term “Al-tax-a” would be part of common parlance.”

    No it wouldn’t. Those clowns couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Alaska and nobody would be talking about them at all.

  20. See my comments here. Precursor to a real post, coming soon!

  21. Arnold’s the closest thing California’s likely to get (in our lifetimes) to a libertarian gov IMO. Unfortunately, he has to deal with one of the most left-wing institutions in America, the California legislature. As far as all those public employees are concerned, as a life-long Californian, I think the best thing that could happen to California is the absolute destruction of every public employee union in existence.

  22. “I think the best thing that could happen to California is the absolute destruction of every public employee union in existence”

    That would equally apply to every other state in the union as well.

  23. indy worm,

    That would have been a funny joke, in 2003. If you hadn’t noticed, Arnold’s been gov for 2 years, and I think he proved that a muscle-head actor can do it at least as well as Gray Davis.

  24. As a state employee and union member I can tell you your opinion isn’t terribly accurate. They generally do a decent job in negotiating benefits/wages.

    I enjoy public service and while I could get higher pay (much higher) in private service, I enjoy working for gov’t (public health) and find plying 15 years of higher ed for improving public health. So our trade off for lower salaries is compensated for better benefits than many private companies (as in retirement benefits).

    State unions are a necessary evil (to counteract the evil of any give administration 🙂 Don’t buy the FUD about unions that fully.

  25. It’s a Republican/media whore thing.

    … and it wasn’t all that long ago that joe was whining that people in Massachusetts pay more than their fair share of the tax burden. How times change; now only Republicans and “media whores” believe that Massachusetts taxes are too high.

    Anyway, Massachusetts has low taxes compared to other major blue states, but high taxes compared to major red states like Texas and Florida (which have no state income tax). So the answer is probably that the real tax-crazy blue states — California and New York — don’t have any place in their names for a “tax” sound. 🙂

  26. Jake,

    If you are as good as you claim, you’d be better off without the unions. Unions level pay. The best workers should be paid the most, and the worst should be paid less or fired.

    I disagree that your “pay” is lower. Total compensation is all that matters. You also have much more job security than most private-sector employees. You also don’t have to pay social security taxes! This pisses me off the most. Why are government workers treated like some special elite class, while the rest of us peons are forced into a pay-go Ponzi scheme!

  27. Excuse me Jake, et. al., but when we see public employees demonstrating against some budget cut, who is it they’re really demonstrating against?

    …Isn’t it always necessarily against the taxpayers?

    I don’t think much of the Governator, but anytime I see public employees demonstrating against someone, I can’t help but think that that someone is doing a good job.

    …But then again, I’ve got a really soft heart. I remember when the grocery strike was going on, every time I would drive by one of those stores and see all those strikers, it made me feel really bad. …So, if I had time, I’d always try to stop, cross the picket line and buy something.

  28. Oh, Shultzy! LOL!

  29. So they elected a former actor as governor and they’re finding out he’s not the hero he played in the movies, but really kind of a moron. How many times does that have to happen before they finally catch on?

  30. “but really kind of a moron”

    Arnold has been lampooned for many years for the way he talks (accent) and for his “mindless” action movies. The fact that his determined efforts have made him very wealthy/powerful, I guess, is besides the point.

    But are you merely parroting the very tired stereotypes, or did you actually formulate this assumption yourself? If the latter, then do you have any points to support the claim?

  31. “… and it wasn’t all that long ago that joe was whining that people in Massachusetts pay more than their fair share of the tax burden.”

    FEDERAL tax burden, genius. You understand the whole state/national dintinction, right?

    “How times change; now only Republicans and “media whores” believe that Massachusetts taxes are too high.”

    A lot of ordinary people who don’t pay attention, don’t have any reason to know anything about Massachcusetts taxes, or just aren’t very bright believe that, too. But Republicans and their media whores are the ones passing one the inaccurate information.

    And Flordia does have high taxes – they just charge them to tourists and recent transplants.

  32. “Those clowns couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Alaska and nobody would be talking about them at all.”

    Right, Gil. None of them have the glittering record of achievement of a Lisa Murkowski.

  33. “Excuse me Jake, et. al., but when we see public employees demonstrating against some budget cut, who is it they’re really demonstrating against?”

    On the issues surrounding these protests, the taxpayers are solidly on the side of the teachers, nurses, and firefighters, according to all the polling.

    Apparently, there’s something in the water in California that causes people to realize that the taxes they pay have something to do with schools, hospitals, roads, and emergency services.

  34. “On the issues surrounding these protests, the taxpayers are solidly on the side of the teachers, nurses, and firefighters, according to all the polling.”

    I’d like to see some meat behind that statement.

    On the polling you’re talking about, are people being asked whether they want teachers, nurses and firefighters, or are they being asked whether they’re willing to finance the deficit with their paychecks?

  35. “Right, Gil. None of them have the glittering record of achievement of a Lisa Murkowski.”

    None of them DO have a record of acheivement compared to anyone or anything (such as a dead possum on the side of the road).

    All they’ve ever done is push liberal policies, ideas and programs. And nothing liberal is EVER an achievement.

  36. Wow, stunning logic. That’s the Gil we know and love.

  37. Oh really? What about William “The Refrigerator” Perry? Or wrestling superstar “The Rock”? Personally, I think Hillary Duff might have a few good ideas up her sleeve.

    Very funny. I’m sure all your other chices are vastly better than Arnold.

    I understand that Arnold has had many years of expertise in finance, policy, and law; and his numerous treatises on these subjects are benchmarks in their fields.

    Obviuosly, no one without extensive years in “finance, policy, and law” could possibly be a good governor, right?

    Arnold does in fact have a buisness degree, and he’s been a success in quite a few buisness ventures. I’d rather have someone with real world experience with markets than a Bustamante, Davis, Kerry, or some other professional politician who’s read lots of policy statements.

    Arnold is simply the best guy for the job that I know of. Every other candiate is either a leftist asshole or someone who would have been steamrolled by the leftist assholes from the get go. If Arnold can’t do it, I don’t know anyone who can.

  38. I don’t think that it makes any difference whether Pete Wilson, Arnold Schwartzenegger or Gary Coleman is the governor – as long as California runs itself via ballot initiatives and short-circuits the legislative process, it’s essentially ungovernable.

    Last year, there were 16 ballot initiatives, including such gems as Proposition 63. This initiatve proposed a major expansion of mental health services and facilities (in a time of severe budget deficits), to be paid for by a “special” 1% direct surtax on all incomes over $1 million (usurping the legislature’s power to levy taxes). This proposition passed, BTW. For a full listing of 2004 ballot intiatives, see the link below:

    http://igs.berkeley.edu/library/htPropsIndex.html

    Each California general election breeds a plethora of often confusing ballot initiatives, all designed to circumvent normal governmental procedure. Given the current state of California’s executive and legislative branches, one might argue that circumvention is the best way to go, but it doesn’t make the Governor’s job any easier.

  39. Mark B,

    One of Arnold’s advantages is that he can use ballot initiatives to his favor. At least as long as he remains popular. If he really looses (lost?) public opinion, he ain’t going to get anything done working with the state legislature–but no one else would either.

    McClintock had the best ideas of all the candidates, but had zero chance of implementing anything if he managed to get elected.

  40. What my point is is that ballot initiatives are the only way we can circumvent the Democrat legislature. And we have to circumvent them to make progress in California.

  41. So they elected a former actor as governor and they’re finding out he’s not the hero he played in the movies, but really kind of a moron.

    The amusing thing about that sentence is that the only reason you believe he’s a moron is that he plays mindless action heroes in the movies.

  42. Dan,

    The Austrian accent no doubt plays into it as well. In any case, Aaron’s comment says more about Aaron’s intellect than Arnold’s.

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