Skip to comments.McCLINTOCK IS NO BUCHANAN!
Posted on 09/17/2003 2:56:19 PM PDT by Writesider
The always brilliant Hugh Hewitt has finally outdone himself in his pre-emptive war against the California gubernatorial candidacy of Tom McClintock. Let us forget, for just a moment, the ridiculous comparison made in his latest column, between Tom McClintock and Pat Buchanan. But he also seems to want to equate the re-election campaign of President George Herbert Walker Bush, circa 1992, with the (R)nold Inc. Gubernatorial campaign taking place today.
I must remind Hugh of a tedious and inconvenient fact. In 1992, when Buchanan made the decision to run for President, as a Republican, and to challenge Bush for the Party's nomination, Bush was the PRESIDENT! To suggest a political equivalency between McClintock's candidacy against an actor turned political-neophyte and Pat Buchanan's candidacy against a sitting President from his OWN PARTY, isn't just wrong, it is bizarre.
Let me admit right from the start that I like Schwarzenegger. In fact, it is impossible not too. He is a very charming, engaging person with an impressive resume of personal accomplishments. However, I think it violates the rules of political fair-play to question, or, in the case of Hewitt's latest column, condemn McClintock to the role of spoiler. (R)nold is not an incumbent Republican Governor battling to save his Governorship. That hypothetical scenario would better describe the Bustamante candidacy more than that of McClintock. And by the way, unless I am mistaken, it was McClintock who announced his candidacy first, not (R)nold. But I digress.
But let me be clear about something else, as does McClintock, (R)nold too has every right to run for Governor, irrespective of his interesting past. And I agree with those who say what a person might have said or done at 29 has no direct relevancy on who or what they are at 56. After all, we don't make anything true by our experiences. But, as the man of faith I understand Hugh Hewitt to be; he must also agree that it is not what we do that determines who we are, it is who we are that determines what we do. And that is not a distinction without a difference.
Something else I find curious about Hewitt's hypothesis is, for some reason, while referencing Buchanan's early days, he fails to mention that it was actually Richard Nixon and not Ronald Reagan, as he implies, that gave Buchanan his start in Presidential politics. Moreover, Buchanan continued to admire President Nixon up and until the day the former President died. He even delivered one of the most moving eulogies at the former President's funeral. This is particularly relevant in light of the close similarities between Bush 41 and Nixon.
In fact, the similarities are so close, it's almost startling. For example, both Bush and Nixon were members of Congress who later became Vice-President. Both eventually went on to be elected President of the United States, something that has eluded most U.S. Vice-Presidents. Both were committed internationalists. As President, both signed major revisions to the Clean Air Act, Nixon in 1970 and Bush in 1990. Nixon imposed wage and price controls, Bush raised taxes, including those on luxury items. Both supported an activist federal government in the area of foreign and domestic policy and both were willing to embrace policies that had the potential of hurting the economy for the sake of cutting deals with an adversarial Congress.
Therefore, since Bush 41 supported policies that were, for the most part, almost indistinguishable from Nixon's, one is perfectly justified in asking what it was about the policies of Bush 41 that Buchanan found so offensive he was willing to challenge a sitting President of his own party. The point to all of this being; there is no similarity between McClintock's Gubernatorial campaign and that of Buchanan's Presidential campaign, except for the fact both started out as underdogs. Especially since, with the exception of a shared opposition to issuing an illegal alien a drivers license, there are precious few issues in which McClintock and (R)nold seem to agree. And after all, isn't disagreements between candidates what political campaigns are all about?
Hugh and the rest of the Republican's supporting (R)nold should stop and reflect on one final point. The next time they are tempted to question the legitimacy of McClintock's candidacy and his political future because of his decision to seek the Governorship at a time when no one doubts his qualifications to be Governor, just remember this: Tom McClintock didn't spend the last twenty years, in the California Legislature, carrying the torch for the causes we all believe in, so that Republican's may one day accept him. On the contrary, Republicans have already accepted Tom McClintock, and that is why he has labored in the Legislature.
Joe Armendariz is Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Industrial Association and the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association and a supporter of Tom McClintock. He also writes a regular column on politics in California.
In his whole legislative career, McClintock hasn't accomplished anything. Sure he's been a fiscal conservative (whatever that means) but his only concrete accomplishment according to the bio on his website was the Mello-Condit-McClintock Tax Rebate Act in 1987. That was 16 years ago. What has he done lately other than complaining and voting against state budgets?
Speaking of accomplishments, what exactly will McClintock do as governor? He seems to have four things in mind: 1. End the car tax 2. Void the energy contracts 3. Fix worker compensation 4. Cut funding to redundant agencies. Well everyone wants to end the car tax so he's welcome to join the party. 2 is totally unworkable because he can't just rip up a legally binding contract without spending years in lawsuits and risking the chance that utilities will simply cut off the power to California. 3 and 4 sound good but I can't see how he's going to it. Apparently, his plan of action is to tell the legislature "Do this or I'll complain about you to the public". Yeah, that's really going to work. More likely the state will end up totally in gridlock with everyone blaming everyone else.
Now a lot of people on this board (mostly out of state it seems) have fixated on McClintock's conservative social views regarding abortion, gun rights, gay rights etc. vs. Arnold's "liberal" views. However, what has McClintock done regarding these issues? Unlike Arnold he had 20 years in the legislature and he did absolutely nothing. How's that any better than Arnold?
Finally it seems that McClintock and his campaign are fixated upon Arnold. I have never heard, seen, or read him saying anything critical about Davis or Bustamante. It has always been "I'm gaining momentum, Arnold is an amateur, so vote for me instead of him". Why doesn't he mention Davis or Bustamante? Does he even care about them? Isn't he even going to try to get the support of moderates and independents? Is McClintock running a serious gubenatorial bid or is he just trying to spite the California GOP?
In essence, McClintock has accomplished nothing in 20 years other than talking and going on ego trips about how he knows everything and everyone else is an idiot for not listening to him. His idea of leadership is "Do this or I'll tell" and his plans to fix California are typical of a career politician - they sound good but are totally unworkable in practice. He says the "correct" things regarding certain social issues but it's clear that he hasn't and won't make a stand on them. Finally, even his motives about running for governor are questionable. Exactly why is he running this campaign?
Now contrast this with Arnold. Since his teenage years, Arnold has achieved everything he wanted to achieve. He wanted to be a world class body builder and he won the Mr. Universe a record six times. He wanted to be an actor and he's now one of the world's best known. He wanted to be a businessman and now he's raking in millions a year. When Arnold wanted to get into the politics with Prop. 49, he was successful by a wide margin. Now Arnold wants to be governor with the goal of fixing California. Given his track record as a doer and a winner vs. McClintock's track record of a talker and a loser (after all he lost every statewide election he's been in), who would you seriously vote for?
What a bizarre argument!? If the point is that California has gone down the tubes, why would you be looking for a candidate who had a hand in it? I would think we would be supporting the lone wolf who saw the writing on the wall for the last two decades. I lived the first 8 years of my life out here, then moved to CO kicking and screaming. 25 years later, I am back and I do not in any way recognize the state I left behind.
McClintock may have seen the writing on the wall but he apparently lacked leadership ability to do anything about it. To be a good governor you have to be a good leader above all else. That includes the ability to convince people, to listen to people, and to compromise. These are qualitites that McClintock lacks.
And how did Arnold have do with the current fiscal situation except to express his desire to fix it?
He sure is. Both are conservatives for America and life first.
Demands that the Republican who has the most support to withdraw fail the laugh test.
The Democrat strategy of divide and conquer is going to prevail.