california and the postmodern democracy

I wasnt going to spend much time writing about Arnold Schwarzenegger running for Governor of California, but then it was pointed out to me by someone this afternoon that, with my blood-filled eye (see my last few posts), I looked like his red-eyed robot character in the Terminator films… Is it possible that God is speaking to me through my bleeding organs? Is that the kind of thing that God would do, make pop culture references with blood? I wonder Anyway, Ive decided to say just a little, just in case thats what God had in mind.

First, Schwarzeneggers run for Governor is not at all surprising. Its been common knowledge for at least the past decade and a half that hes had political ambitions. Hes a bright guy and he knows that the real power in the world does not rest in Hollywood.

According to a story I heard several years ago, before marrying Maria Shriver, and joining the Kennedy clan, Arnold was dating Eleanor Mondale, the daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale. Schwarzenegger, it seems, wanted to marry into politics. If you think that this sounds too ambitious, too calculating, you dont know Schwarzenegger. Go out and rent Pumping Iron the next chance you get. The guy is extremely focused and when he wants something he goes about getting it.

The only thing that surprises me about his run for Governor is that he must know that his marital infidelities will come out. Ive read his statements and it seems as though hes trying to preempt that to some extent by saying things like, The Democrats will say anything to dirty my name, even claim that Ive cheated on my wonderful and beautiful wife. I guess, from his perspective, he doesn’t have much to lose if stories should start coming out though. It’s not like fewer people could go to see his films.

If I were going to write at any length about any of the 500+ California candidates for Governor, Id be writing about the columnist Arianna Huffington. Im still not 100% convinced of her sincerity in switching from right-wing Republican to Democratic populist, but shes saying good things. (And she was nice to me when I met her a few months ago.) So, I think that Id vote for her if I were a residetn of California but part of me would be wondering if there might not be an evil robot beneath her human skin.

Here are a few clips from the speech in which she announced her candidacy:

To my fellow Californians, I say one thing: I’m as fed up with modern campaigns as you are — and so I promise you the following: I will conduct no polls. I will run no attack ads. I will always tell you the truth and I will give it to you straight.

And there is nothing more laughable than hearing Republican leaders lay the blame for California’s economic troubles solely at the feet of Gray Davis while conveniently ignoring the orgy of fiscal irresponsibility that the White House and the Republican Congress are presiding over.

Let’s get real: as ineffectual as Davis may be, there can be no doubt that it is the Bush administration, with its tax cuts for the wealthy, its perverted economic priorities, and its cozy relationships with crooked energy companies like Enron that has led California to the brink of financial disaster.

It was George Bush, who insisted on another round of tax breaks for the wealthy and fought against real assistance to the states. And it was George Bush who lined the pockets of millionaires while letting states like California choose between cutting kindergarten and laying off 3,000 teachers.

A fight to invest in schools, not jails.

A fight to support clean energy.

A fight to make sure corporations carry their fair share of the tax burden.

A fight to move beyond partisan gridlock in Sacramento.

A fight to protect the most vulnerable among us.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Well, these things matter. And about them we will no longer be silent.

Of course, if Dano Plato were still alive, and if there were even a glimmer of hope that she could be first lady of California, well Id have to throw my support behind candidate Gary Coleman.

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