As Phil Angelides and the Democratic Party remind Californians that our Governor is almost single-handedly responsible for helping Bush take Ohio and thus the Presidency in 2004, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see the right-wing spin machine attempting to trivialize what that means for California. In fact, one of the paid right-wing spin-masters went so far as to ask that very question, “How is that relevant to us here in California?”. I guess when people vote for a guy because they like his movies, it just may be time to explain the obvious when the Bush campaign machine (now running Schwarzenegger’s reelection campaign) tries to deflect the very important fact that we are in the predicament we’re in because Schwarzenegger played macho-man to help re-elect the most corrupt, incompetent and dangerous administration in the history of this country. By going to Ohio and nuzzling with Bush right before the election, we now see a national politics emanating from the White House which continues to disrupt, demean and disrespect our civil liberties, stature in the world community and our critically important environmental and consumer protection laws.
So let’s be clear here: What the federal government decrees by Executive Order and passes into law through the legislative process has an enormous impact on our state and its people. Let’s just take a look at a few of the more glaring examples. It would take a book to fill them all.
War in Iraq:
Not only have Californians led the way in making the ultimate sacrifice, our military families have suffered extreme financial and emotional hardship while waiting for their loved ones to return.
Prescription Drugs and Medicare:
Talked with any seniors these days who are now experiencing the “donut hole” phenomena when they try to pay for their prescription medications but are stuck in the “twilight zone” between the deductible and non-deductible levels of this ridiculous and shameful drug program? Another Bush disaster—from which many states are trying to disengage, but federal pre-emption says we can’t do different than federal rules on these matters. So we’re stuck and so are our beloved parents and grandparents.
California’s National Parks represent a huge percentage of the entire land mass of this state. They are under regulation and oversight by an administration that has to be taken to court regularly to overturn Executive Orders and Regulation that violate long-standing environmental protections to insure that the programs initiated over 100 years ago by a Republican President, Theodore Roosevelt, are not endangered. Just this week the Federal Court had to overturn Bush’ s order allowing destructive oil and gas developers to build roads in our nation’s last remaining wild forests.
Does anyone doubt that many of the groups being targeted today by an administration that uses the term Fascist but is actually describing its own mindset are right here in California? Let’s start with the All Saints Church in Pasadena that is being intimidated by the IRS because the minister had the audacity to question the Iraq War.
How about individual telephones that are being wire-tapped regularly without proper constitutional protections?
Think this doesn’t apply to you?—-Guess again.
Tax breaks for the wealthy:
Now here’s one where our own governor likes to play: Earlier this month Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation that would have made corporations more accountable when they provide their financial data to the Franchise Tax Board for payment of their taxes. The law would have required that the state get the same books the corporations provide to their shareholders when they’re boasting about profits, and not show losses when it comes to coughing up taxes on those same profits.
(We’ll talk more about this Governor’s true stripes and vetoes next time.)
But for now, the picture should be clear: Schwarzenegger has brought this nation and this state four more years of the Bush disaster. We might not be able to get rid of Bush until 2008, but we can sure show his buddy-in-crime, Arnold Schwarzenegger the door this November. Of course, given Bush’s low poll numbers in California, Arnold is going to keep emphasizing his differences, but the fact is: they’re not different enough.
Let’s send Arnold home to Hollywood and send Bush and his band of thieves and incompetents a giant-sized California message: We’re taking our country back…..starting right here in the Golden State.