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The Thing That Won’t Die In The Nightmare That Won’t End August 7, 2008

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Current Events, Dwight Furrow's Posts.

The Terminator, once again, tries to live up to his name.

In order to put pressure on negotiators trying to resolve California’s budget impasse, Governor Schwarzenegger has ordered that thousands of state workers be laid off and many of the remaining employed be paid minimum wage.

Happily the state comptroller, John Chiang, who unlike the killer bot seems to have a conscience, has refused to comply with the reductions in pay, although there is not much he can do about the layoffs.

But this current budget snafu is no accident befalling a state with a moribund economy. It was a deliberate policy manufactured by a political clown whose act is finally getting the goring it deserves.

One of Schwarzenegger’s first acts upon taking over the office of Governor in 2003, following his tax-cut demagoguery in the campaign to oust Grey Davis, was to roll back the vehicle license fee. That single act of political showmanship, that saved each of us a few hundred bucks, this year will cost the state nearly six billion dollars, almost half of the current state budget deficit, according to the California Budget Project.  Next year when the schools shut down and state services collapse we can console ourselves by fondling those few, crisp Ben Franklins that fall like confetti from Sacramento.

Schwarzenegger’s administration has been one political stunt after another–most of them terminated on the big-top floor, splattered like discarded popcorn. But at least in this role, The Governorator performs his own stunts.

Of course, if we were to look behind the facade of this greatest show on earth, we would be reminded of another great performance artist from the silver screen–Oz, the “Great and Terrible”.

From cocksure muscle man, to clown show master, to pathetic humbug. Isn’t that the narrative arc of all Republican administrations?



1. Paul Moloney - August 12, 2008

I have to admit that I have seen only one Arnold film all the way through. It was “Jingle All the Way”. I also have to admit that it is one of those movies that comes along that is so corny that it seemingly is not worth criticizing. The movie does not come with any high expectations. One might say that Arnold was so bad in it that he was good. I would be serious in saying that both Phil Hartman and Sinbad gave excellent performances for such a corny movie. The best line in the movie might have come from Sinbad, playing a distraught postal person, when he emphatically tells a group of people that he knows what he is talking about because he had a half semester of junior college. Those that teach in community colleges should take note and not lose heart in thinking their work is in vain.

One takes note in Arnold’s appeal to power rather than to reason. It also seems that one appeals to power when one is angry. It also demonstrates that revenge is taken out on the wrong people, those facing economic cutbacks. Anger can definitely have a bad effect on the reasoning process.

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