The Other McCain

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What If Arnold Schwarzenegger Had Been as Conservative as Chris Christie?

Posted on | April 17, 2010 | 26 Comments

The Wall Street Journal shares an anecdote about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie standing up to his state’s teachers union, earning praise from Moe Lane.

Meanwhile, we’re watching California circle the drain — the state’s unemployment rate hit 12.6% in March — and I’m thinking of what a horrible disappointment Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been. What Christie is accomplishing in New Jersey seems miraculous, but Schwarzenegger arguably could have done the same thing in California, if only he had had as much courage.

(Hat-tip: Memeorandum.)

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Comments

  • http://www.thetraitorsamongus.blogspot.com Thrasymachus

    Schwarzenegger did try- there was the “year of reform”, four ballot initiatives that covered redistricting and budgeting among other things. The public employee unions went completely nuts. For months they ran ads- usually featuring a policeman, a fireman, and some other public safety employee- saying how this was evil and would destroy the state. All four initiatives were voted down, although one for reformed redistricting passed recently.

    I think he wanted change, and was willing to start working toward it, but was caought off balance by the hysterical opposition of the interest groups. I think had he been willing he could have turned it around, at least partially. There was an initiative to “reform” (read: gut) three strikes. It was up 55-45 a week before the election. Arnold got on TV and it was defeated 55-45. While philosophically conservative I don’t think he had the temperment or determination to wage a protracted, and very heated campaign against the all-powerful interest groups, who were of course supported by his West LA and Hollywood friends and neighbors. I think a lot of the criticism of Schwarzenegger is unfair; and yet a stronger man who was less cozy with the right people may have made a real battle of it.

    In any case, Arnold was probably California’s last chance, and it’s all over but the crying.

  • http://www.thetraitorsamongus.blogspot.com Thrasymachus

    Schwarzenegger did try- there was the “year of reform”, four ballot initiatives that covered redistricting and budgeting among other things. The public employee unions went completely nuts. For months they ran ads- usually featuring a policeman, a fireman, and some other public safety employee- saying how this was evil and would destroy the state. All four initiatives were voted down, although one for reformed redistricting passed recently.

    I think he wanted change, and was willing to start working toward it, but was caought off balance by the hysterical opposition of the interest groups. I think had he been willing he could have turned it around, at least partially. There was an initiative to “reform” (read: gut) three strikes. It was up 55-45 a week before the election. Arnold got on TV and it was defeated 55-45. While philosophically conservative I don’t think he had the temperment or determination to wage a protracted, and very heated campaign against the all-powerful interest groups, who were of course supported by his West LA and Hollywood friends and neighbors. I think a lot of the criticism of Schwarzenegger is unfair; and yet a stronger man who was less cozy with the right people may have made a real battle of it.

    In any case, Arnold was probably California’s last chance, and it’s all over but the crying.

  • K

    Arnold brought in libs as his advisors. He’s married to a Kennedy and it shows. The inititive process had already failed on gerrymandering more than once as it was never supported with money from the RNC or anyone else – probably because the Republicans benefit from it in places like Indiana. The unions had enough money to kill it dead.

    If Arnold had been smart and started cutting as Christie has done, people would be trying to amend the Constitution so he could run for President. Instead, he wanted to be a “good guy” and make sure that “the people” were behind him. That makes him a coward in my book.

    He even went so far as to gratuitously ban 50 cal rifles, which have no record of any criminal actually using one, just to rub the right’s nose in it.

    Hasta la Vista, idiot.

  • K

    Arnold brought in libs as his advisors. He’s married to a Kennedy and it shows. The inititive process had already failed on gerrymandering more than once as it was never supported with money from the RNC or anyone else – probably because the Republicans benefit from it in places like Indiana. The unions had enough money to kill it dead.

    If Arnold had been smart and started cutting as Christie has done, people would be trying to amend the Constitution so he could run for President. Instead, he wanted to be a “good guy” and make sure that “the people” were behind him. That makes him a coward in my book.

    He even went so far as to gratuitously ban 50 cal rifles, which have no record of any criminal actually using one, just to rub the right’s nose in it.

    Hasta la Vista, idiot.

  • http://indenturedservantgirl.blogspot.com Indentured Servant Girl

    I can only explain Arnold’s 180 once in office by speculating that someone had an old video of him doing gay stuff in Venice beach.

  • http://indenturedservantgirl.blogspot.com Indentured Servant Girl

    I can only explain Arnold’s 180 once in office by speculating that someone had an old video of him doing gay stuff in Venice beach.

  • http://gardenstatepatriot.blogivists.com MikeGSP

    Christie is not a conservative despite how everyone in the blogosphere and elsewhere are portraying him. All of these people pushing this BS have one thing in common: they know noting about NJ politics.

    http://blog.nj.com/njv_paul_mulshine/2010/04/gov_chris_christie_is_no_reaga.html

  • http://gardenstatepatriot.blogivists.com MikeGSP

    Christie is not a conservative despite how everyone in the blogosphere and elsewhere are portraying him. All of these people pushing this BS have one thing in common: they know noting about NJ politics.

    http://blog.nj.com/njv_paul_mulshine/2010/04/gov_chris_christie_is_no_reaga.html

  • http://ak4mc.us/cms/ McGehee

    Mike, if Pat Buchanan were governor of California and showed the spinelessness Schwarzenegger has shown, all his vaunted conservatism wouldn’t do anybody a damn bit of good.

    Christie might not be “a conservative” by somebody’s definition, but he’s getting shit done.

    Results matter more than ideological bona fides.

  • http://ak4mc.us/cms/ McGehee

    Mike, if Pat Buchanan were governor of California and showed the spinelessness Schwarzenegger has shown, all his vaunted conservatism wouldn’t do anybody a damn bit of good.

    Christie might not be “a conservative” by somebody’s definition, but he’s getting shit done.

    Results matter more than ideological bona fides.

  • Joe

    I am not defending the girly man in Sacramento, but California “leaders” did this to itself. When Arnold tried being conservative for a while, the lefty power that be went nuts. You would have needed a Ronald Reagan to go over their heads to the people, but Arnold never went there.

  • Joe

    I am not defending the girly man in Sacramento, but California “leaders” did this to itself. When Arnold tried being conservative for a while, the lefty power that be went nuts. You would have needed a Ronald Reagan to go over their heads to the people, but Arnold never went there.

  • http://gardenstatepatriot.blogivists.com MikeGSP

    “Christie might not be “a conservative” by somebody’s definition, but he’s getting shit done.”

    I see. What exactly is he getting done?

  • http://gardenstatepatriot.blogivists.com MikeGSP

    “Christie might not be “a conservative” by somebody’s definition, but he’s getting shit done.”

    I see. What exactly is he getting done?

  • Ad rem

    The people of California have the leadership they deserve. I’ve lived in So. Cal. all my life, and the populace consistantly votes for any number of wacko bonds and initiatives. They’re like crazed teenagers with Dad’s credit card. We’ve long since passed the 50% mark….the takers now outnumber the givers.

  • Ad rem

    The people of California have the leadership they deserve. I’ve lived in So. Cal. all my life, and the populace consistantly votes for any number of wacko bonds and initiatives. They’re like crazed teenagers with Dad’s credit card. We’ve long since passed the 50% mark….the takers now outnumber the givers.

  • http://ak4mc.us/cms/ McGehee

    What exactly is he getting done?

    Are you claiming he isn’t cutting spending?

  • http://ak4mc.us/cms/ McGehee

    What exactly is he getting done?

    Are you claiming he isn’t cutting spending?

  • http://www.rightviewfromtheleftcoast.blogspot.com Mark J. Goluskin

    This is an awesome and true post! Yes, Gov.Benedict Arnold could get a little credit for the ballot innititives to rein in state employee unions. But once they failed, he gave up. He hired a lesbian Democrat activist to be his chief of staff. Started harping about the “post-partisan” crap. The only reason Gov. Benedict Arnold won reelection in 2006 is compared to Democrat Phil Angelides, he was sane. But he never advanced any thing near a conservative or even moderate agenda. Gov. Benedict Arnold turned out to be The Ultimate Squish. And we are paying for it. And yes, I regret that I voted for this girly-man not once but twice.

  • http://www.rightviewfromtheleftcoast.blogspot.com Mark J. Goluskin

    This is an awesome and true post! Yes, Gov.Benedict Arnold could get a little credit for the ballot innititives to rein in state employee unions. But once they failed, he gave up. He hired a lesbian Democrat activist to be his chief of staff. Started harping about the “post-partisan” crap. The only reason Gov. Benedict Arnold won reelection in 2006 is compared to Democrat Phil Angelides, he was sane. But he never advanced any thing near a conservative or even moderate agenda. Gov. Benedict Arnold turned out to be The Ultimate Squish. And we are paying for it. And yes, I regret that I voted for this girly-man not once but twice.

  • http://gardenstatepatriot.blogivists.com MikeGSP

    “Are you claiming he isn’t cutting spending?”

    Not only am I claiming it. I am saying it is 100% fact.

  • http://gardenstatepatriot.blogivists.com MikeGSP

    “Are you claiming he isn’t cutting spending?”

    Not only am I claiming it. I am saying it is 100% fact.

  • http://gardenstatepatriot.blogivists.com MikeGSP
  • http://gardenstatepatriot.blogivists.com MikeGSP
  • Jeff

    Gov. Christie’s austerity program in NJ is more severe than any the IMF is imposing in EU. Who pays? The poor. He is fundamentally redistributing wealth in my state, and it surely will never recover.

    Gov. Christie is an economic neo-liberalist, which is an ideologically bankrupt proposition.

    The biggest question is how New Jersey, with the highest property taxes in the country by far, can’t manage its money without gutting social programs and ravaging union pension funds. Or was that the idea all along? Certainly one component of neo-liberalism is privatization of all things previously public.

    The morality of such a policy is reprehensible.

  • Jeff

    Gov. Christie’s austerity program in NJ is more severe than any the IMF is imposing in EU. Who pays? The poor. He is fundamentally redistributing wealth in my state, and it surely will never recover.

    Gov. Christie is an economic neo-liberalist, which is an ideologically bankrupt proposition.

    The biggest question is how New Jersey, with the highest property taxes in the country by far, can’t manage its money without gutting social programs and ravaging union pension funds. Or was that the idea all along? Certainly one component of neo-liberalism is privatization of all things previously public.

    The morality of such a policy is reprehensible.