by John Hawkins | October 8, 2003 9:15 pm
Roger Simon & Andrew Sullivan both make TRULY HUGE overreaches while trying to assign significance to Arnold’s win. Ironically, Simon’s article is practically self-refuting…
“Well I have news for them—something much bigger than they know, probably than Schwarzenegger himself knows, is going on here. We are not witnessing a Republican victory. The Republican Party in California remains a minority party. Most of the Republican true believers voted for McClintock.
What we are witnessing is the beginning—the early movement–in the death of the two-party system as we know it. This is a revolt of the pragmatic center.
…Perhaps I am being optimistic in how I read this. I admit it. Schwarzenegger has already been surrounded by the usual group of Republican apparatchiks, but we the people are watching….”
Excuse me for being a bit skeptical here, but when a Republican who is “surrounded by the usual group of Republican apparatchiks” wins an election, I hardly thinks that foretells “the death of the two-party system”.
I probably wouldn’t have even bothered to comment on this, but Andrew Sullivan actually agreed with Simon’s analysis…
“Roger Simon gets the basic point: the Eagle revolution. It’s a potentially excellent development for the state of California, for punishing a certain type of interest-group-beholden Democrat, and really, really good news for the future of the Republican party nationally. (Can you imagine how gloomy Alan Keyes is this morning?)
…Arnold also shows that Eagle politics can work – fusing low-tax conservatism with social tolerance and a tough foreign policy is the great missing politics in America. We may have just found our first truly charismatic candidate.”
Look, the reality is that what just happened in California was a complete fluke. Just about EVERYTHING broke Arnold’s way. Think about it…
— Gray Davis is the most incompetent and disliked governor in America. For most California voters, Gary Coleman, Mary Carey, a chimp making policy decisions based on what type of banana he wants to eat today, any of them would have been an improvement over Davis.
— Arnold’s main Democratic rival, Bustamante, was a personality free pol who refused to renounce his ties to MEChA, a racist group that supports taking the Southwestern United States back from the United States. On top of that, Bustamante took millions in Indian Casino money and then defied a judge’s order to stop showing commercials with the money. Bustamante was practically a dream opponent for Arnold.
— Furthermore, the super short run-up to the recall was of tremendous benefit to Arnold. Over the long haul, Arnold’s less than stellar grasp of the issues & the scandals would have worn him down as the excitement over his celebrity diminished.
— On top of all that, California is one of the most, heck maybe the most, liberal state in America. Arnold’s left-of-center positions on social issues would have been an albatross around his neck in most states, but in California, it helped him.
So is Arnold’s win the start of a “revolution”? No, it’s just an example of someone who was in the right place at the right time.
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