“I find it interesting that you have a lot of the Republicans running around and pushing back on the stimulus money and saying this doesn’t create any new jobs,” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said in an ABC interview on Feb 21. “And then they go out and they do the photo ops and they are posing with the big check and they say, ‘Isn’t this great? Look what kind of money I provide here for the state.’ … It doesn’t match up.”
Ouch. Harsh words for republicans who are no doubt scratching their heads and asking, “Who the hell invited this guy to the party?”
While the Governator is not exactly the most popular elected official California has ever seen, his willingness to stick it to his own party, pointing out the hypocrisy of fat cat career politicians, is refreshing. Maybe there is a moderate bone or two in that giant weight lifting body of his.
Of course, being termed out, Arnold doesn’t really have much to lose by speaking plainly at this point. His governance has been plagued by a huge deficit, budget cuts, that have put him out of favor with a large part of California’s liberal population, alongside progressive environmental policy and recent support of alternative lifestyles and gay marriage, putting him at odds with the Grand Old Party. The fine line of moderation, how DO we please everyone?
The timing of the ABC interview does leave room for suspicion, as Arnold met with President Barack Obama the very next day to beg more funds for the floundering giant that is “The Golden State”. Making nice to Obama by praising his package certainly can’t hurt when asking for a raise in the state’s allowance. The extra cash would do wonders for the programs currently effected by Schwarzenegger’s budget cuts.
No matter the motive for the incendiary statement, or even the unpopularity of the Governator and his policies, the undeniable truth and unapologetic tone of his words are commendable. There are too many hypocrites in Washington, on both sides of the barbed wire fence. Too often we see someone sneak up to that rusty, tetanus carrying barrier in order to smack somebody on the other side, but not Arnold, he turned right around and smacked the grey haired conservative standing next to him. He even smashed his teacup!
Only time will tell if Schwarzenegger’s quest for additional federal funds will pay off. He did stick it to the GOP while praising the Dems, which I suppose could be considered bi-partisan? Whatever the case, it could earn him an extra billion clams from Obama. We’ll see.