I don’t know about you, but I thought that we’d get at least a short reprieve from the Governor and his corporate sponsors once the primary election ended last month. The current attitude toward the state of electoral politics in California is probably best characterized as exhaustion. After all, we endured a Bush-inspired gubernatorial recall, followed by the Schwarzenegger Initiatives special election last November where his wrong-headed efforts were soundly defeated; then, a full-blown primary election seven months later where the public response was a miserable 28% turnout. Enough already, one would think, but no… big corporate donors, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the national Republican leadership (via the RNC) have coffers overflowing with grateful fat-cat contributors. They’ve got enough money to burn-up the airwaves extolling the greatness of Schwarzenegger and using primary election rhetoric to demean the Democratic nomineee. In the money wars folks, this one isn’t even close. Thanks to record corporate profits, provided by Republican policies rewarding corporations with tax-loopholes and the ultra-wealthy with tax-cuts, the rich are getting richer and the middle class is falling further behind and discouraged. Schwarzenegger and the Bushies who are running his reconstruction and re-election have plenty of money to recreate the Governor in a more acceptable (but no less misleading) image in time for the November elections.
What we’re currently seeing is the commitment of huge dollars to reconstruct California’s Governor Humpty Dumpty. Arnold is trying desperately to move toward the middle after last November’s right-wing fiasco. He’s betting the public will forget how much he was sounding Bush-like and Bush-lite; how he helped Bush win re-election so our country could continue down the path of corporate profits and higher gas prices, failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, corruption and incompetence in New Orleans and other parts South. This is the same Arnold, no matter how they try to package him. From “girlie-men” to “kumbaya” after the budget came in this year — on-time, but with a gaping $3.5 billion short-fall.
The Governor’s mantra of the day is “no new taxes” — but what do you call college tuition increases for students and their families who can’t affort the cost of this critical but increasingly expensive education? Isn’t that a tax– the “R” tax (R for Republican, of course)? What do you call the suspension of a tax credit for our teachers who regularly pay for supplies out of their own pockets which they can’t deduct? Isn’t that an “R” tax on this important workforce?
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of this over-hyped and over-exposed Governor propped up on TV by unlimited corporate profits taken by gouging the middle-class and removing consumer protections against over-bearing and greedy practices that have been protected and expanded thanks to the policies of the Bush administration that Schwarzenegger helped re-elect.
While watching all the glitzy and deceptive ads on TV, let’s remember who is paying for them, who is producing them and why it is that they’re fighting so hard to keep control of California. We’re talking about the same people who have kept Bush in power, with all the same miserable results for working America. It’s time to take a break, Arnold, and let us have a few summer months to dream of the real California where people, not profits control the future of our state. And let’s hope that, like old Humpty-Dumpty, “all the king’s horses and all the King’s men, can’t put this Governor back together again.