Last night my wife and I went to dinner. On the way home I turned on Mark Williams at KFBK Radio to see what he thought about the special election. I was expecting a rational, reasons analysis of the election (something like an after action report). Instead of how can we do this better next time what I heard was the most acidic, venomous attack on Governor Schwarzenegger that I have ever heard. My wife was so offended that she told me to shut off the radio.
Right before the radio went off, I did hear Mark thumping his chest and bragging about his article on the Sacramento Union website. (Yeah, the conservative alternative website that was the victim of a hostile takeover by the Sacramento Bee earlier this year.) After reading Marks tome, I can see why the Bee is so happy to have him thumping on Republicans—after all we do tend to eat our own.
A summary of Marks column is for Republicans to throw Arnold under the bus and start from scratch. This begs the question did Arnold fail us or did we fail Arnold? Williams dodges this question by call Arnold a parasite that is killing the Republican Party. His solution, kill our General.
If the party wants to survive in California, not even win just survive, the very first thing party leaders need to do is sit down in a quiet room to jettison SchwartzenKennedy, assess their options and settle on a candidate for 06. Then they need to commit to building a new party, from the ground up . . .
My first reaction to that comment is Welcome to Fantasy Island or the Twilight Zone.
George Bush had the Harriett Miers nomination and Arnold Schwarzenegger had this special election. The motto in both cases was trust me. The reaction from the base was similar. Many on the Right were skeptical. Bush has recovered from this hit and so will the Governor.
In one article, Mark Williams called the Governor:
a duck whos a little gimpy, hes a carrier of a deadly political form of Avian Flu
never was, a republican or a reformer
self-centered, spoiled, B-celebrity out on a lark
The heart of Williams argument is his assertion that the so-called reforms failed for these main reasons: they were ill conceived, poorly written, unsupported, made to be personality specific (Arnold) and did not address any one not a single one of the serious issues and problems facing the state.
This is elevating history revisionism to a fine art form. The Governor and his administration wrote none of these initiatives. The initiatives were written by third parties interest groups that felt the Legislature had failed to do their job. The Governor agreed to support them because they were incremental steps in the direction that he wished to move the State. This election was his threat and he had to follow-up on it when the Democrats failed to negotiate with him in good faith to solve these problems without having to bring them before the people.
To assert that these initiatives were poorly written is nuts. The only one that was spun as poorly written, was the pension initiative that was pulled many months ago for a rewrite.
Yes, Mark some of the Governors initiatives were unsupported by you and John Doolittle and enough others that the base was split. This clouded the issues enough that many on our side either stayed home or fell back on the old axiom of when in doubt throw it out. Instead of being part of the solution for the political ills of our state, people like you became part of the problem of why the effort on our side failed.
Now you want to gloat when you have nothing to offer as a solution or a constructive alternative. If you would shut-up and sit down then you might at least get the benefit of the doubt instead of opening your mouth an throwing a tantrum like last night. You can play the Michael Savage of Sacramento if you wish but you wont be doing anything to solve the problems facing California.