Skip to comments.The Girlyman Governor
Posted on 03/10/2009 3:06:47 AM PDT by Rummyfan
The Times of London put it this way: Arnie Schwarzenegger Joins the Ranks of Girlie Men.
Quite. As is well known, the Terminator has been unable to terminate anything not even the impact study group studying the impact of expanding the Department of Impact Studies. The man who walloped his predecessor for fiscal profligacy has managed to preside over a California budget thats expanded 40 percent (so far) since the good old Gray days. Sacramento is piling on an extra million-and-three-quarter dollars of debt every hour, 24/7. The Golden State is a foldin state, going out of business a far cry from when Ahnuld arrived as a penniless immigrant in a land of plenty. Now hes an immigrant of plenty in a penniless land. Another Californian actor-governor famously observed that we are a nation that has a government, not the other way around. In Collyvornya, its the other way round. Doing your 08 tax return? If youre expecting a refund, Sacramentos stopped the check: Instead you receive an IOU saying theyll get around to it when they can. On the other hand, if you owe them money, dont expect reciprocal treatment. As the governors celebrated catchphrase has it: Ahll be back for more of your money.
Ah, well. I supported him at the time. Dont know why. In a field of Arnie, Cruz Bustamante, Arianna Huffington, Larry Flynt, etc., etc., I should probably have plumped for Angelyne, the non-singing non-dancing non-acting celebrity famous for doing nothing except displaying her embonpoint on Los Angeles billboards. True, her cleavage isnt as impressive as Ahnulds, but whose is? If I sound bitter, I shouldnt be. Governor Schwarzenegger is merely the latest fiscally conservative, socially liberal mirage to dissolve from shimmering oasis to bottomless toxic swamp. Usually this beast roams the East Coast see Christie Whitman, George Pataki, William Weld, and others you forgot to remember. I see the nice Maine ladies, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, were hailed for reaching across the aisle on the stimulus bill by William Cohen, who helpfully explained to The Washington Post that Pine Tree Staters are liberal on social issues and conservative on fiscal matters. And nothing says fiscally conservative like voting for a trillion dollars of pork after youve stayed up three nights in a row carefully weeding out the $473.84 that shouldnt have been in there.
A social liberal/fiscal conservative is not necessarily a girly-man, more of a pre-op transsexual. It would be nice to be able to have it both ways, like that so-called pregnant man out on the West Coast and, incidentally, didnt Ahnuld play a pregnant man in some movie a decade or so back? Why, so he did: Junior. I remember the poster, the leading man with a swollen belly like a girly-man governor about to give birth to a big bloated budget. The problem with being socially liberal, fiscally conservative is that most of the social liberalism comes with quite a price tag just have a ten-minute riffle through the non-stimulus bill. We all want to move beyond the standard left/right paradigm, as Arianna liked to say in that gubernatorial race. If I had a pair o dime for every time a politician has said we need to move beyond the old paradigm, I could afford to live in Arnolds California. But the reality is that almost every socially liberal, fiscally conservative politician turns out to be fiscally liberal in the same way that, if you mix half a pint of vanilla ice cream with half a pint of horse manure, its not hard to figure which taste will predominate.
To be fair to Ahnuld, a lot of voters want it both ways, too. Which is why fiscal is not a useful word in this context. Big Government is not primarily a fiscal issue: These programs are not wrong because theyre unaffordable; theyre unaffordable because theyre wrong theyre not the proper role of government, and if you pretend they are, then, as in California, you unbalance the relationship between the citizen and the state. But its not a green-eyeshade thing: They would be just as wrong, as I said a month or two back, if Bill Gates wrote a check to cover them every month. So when a politician tells you hes fiscally conservative, its like Conan the Barbarian announcing hell bring his abacus to a sword fight.
Thats the missing element in the bailoutapalooza. For six months now, Paulson, Geithner, and the gang have talked about it as a kind of technical correction, a recalibration that will re-inflate the credit bubble and get us back to normal. But its not about the arithmetic, its about restoring the concept of moral hazard that is vital to any functioning market but which the socially liberal/fiscally conservative circle-squarers have all but rendered extinct. No government can guarantee universal homeownership, or absurd returns on mediocre assets as a permanent feature of life. And to attempt to do so is to strip language of meaning. Youre debauching the currency not in the fiscal exchange-rate nickel-n-dime sense, but something more profound: the very currency of liberty property, contract, citizenship, responsibility.
There was another muscle man who ran into trouble long ago: Antaeus. Big tough guy. No girly-man. Slew all comers as long as his feet were planted firmly on the ground. But, as Hercules figured out, get him up in the air, unmoored, unrooted, and he turned into a big sack of nothing. Theres a lesson there, and not just for Conan in La-La Land.
At this stage of the game already I’d rather have the girlyman man POTUS than zero.
He should have stuck with the movies, I liked him better.
The Terminator... of babies.
That is the paradigm shift we need!
Thats more like it. I hear you!
Where are all the RINOld FR 2003 supporters...
Well, as much as I like Mark Steyn, this piece is a bit of “Monday morning quarterbacking”...
how in the world could Steyn now see that it is impossible to be a “fiscal conservative” and a “social liberal” but not “at the time.”....there were those of us on FR who were adamantly revealing that such a political position was im-poss-i-ble "at the time!"
You might want to ping your list for this.
I beg to differ. I suspect even today after this example knowing full well the internal conflict of fiscal conservative and socail liberal we would vote for such an animal over an out and out leftist. And reason number 1 is Obama is showing us that an out and out leftist is far worse.
This is what Repubs fail to say. They love to go on about tax cuts, but tax cuts don't motivate people. They especially don't motivate people whose taxes aren't going to go down, because they are at the low end of the earnings curve. You have to explain the philosophical "why" of it.
Tax cuts are short-hand for an important philosophical issue that almost never gets articulated, the importance of limiting government so that individual liberty can breathe. But the endless talk about taxes makes the average Repub come across as just grubbing about for money. Its not true, its libel pushed by our opponents, but its an easy sell if you never explain the principles that undergird your policy.
We get it, but we already get it. You're not going to convince someone who doesn't get it without explaining the whole monty.
Steyn nails it. Government that runs everything is wrong even if it doesn't cost you a dime, because the inevitable result is an infantile citizenry, a dependent citizenry who are incapable of doing for themselves, a people who see themselves as passive consumers of a society rather than active architects and builders of the world they inhabit.