Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hard To Believe

It's hard to believe I've been in lab since 8 a.m. and it's now 12:30 a.m. So it goes.

It's also hard to believe that Schwarzenegger's recent appointment of a Democrat as chief of staff is anything more than a temporary election year ploy. Really, I'd like to believe that he genuinely cares about bipartisanship. Of course, this is the same guy who promised to get the legislature to work, but never really gave them a chance.

Schwarzenegger had a great deal of bipartisan support when he first came to office and many Democrats were eager to work with him. But when there was criticism or red flags going up by Dems, he resorted to name calling and tried to make the legislature irrelevant if he didn't agree with what they--and most Californians--wanted.

Schwarzenegger's 2005 was, sadly, a textbook case of how you should not govern. He could have easily had a redistricting plan if he bothered to work with Democrats on it--Prop. 77 was a joke and anyone who voted for it should be embarassed. I'm sure he could have worked to make modest changes to the teacher tenure process if he went through the legislature. Prop. 75 was a corrupt, Norquistian ploy that was just wrong. (Be on the lookout for a similar proposal in June.) Prop. 76 was embarassingly rejected because Californians really care about their neighbors. No matter what Schwarzenegger thinks, the evidence is pretty darn clear that Californians are willing to stomach a modest tax increase to save important programs (especially for impoverished children). Further, we emphatically rejected the idea the possibility to give tax breaks to upper-income earners and corporations.

I always knew Schwarzenegger would turn out this way. After all, it was clear that he is a Grover Norquist Republican. His priorities were explicit and we saw his priorities in 2005. The question is, did his walloping by a bunch of "girly men" really change his priorities? If Californians should learn anything from Grover Norquist, it is that he'll do whatever he has to to achieve his ends. I hope Schwarzenegger realized that we don't care for the Norquist agenda. Otherwise, this is just a campaign ploy. I won't believe otherwise until he publicly rejects the Norquist agenda for California. And I want him to do so LOUDLY!

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