national opinion

Monday Column
Carol Platt Liebau

[go to Liebau index]

Latest Column:
Stopping the Meltdown
What Beltway Republicans Need To Do

Subscribe to CRO Alerts
Sign up for a weekly notice of CRO content updates.

Jon Fleischman’s
The premier source for
California political news

Michael Ramirez

editorial cartoon

Do your part to do right by our troops.
They did the right thing for you.
Donate Today

CRO Talk Radio
Contributor Sites
Laura Ingraham

Hugh Hewitt
Eric Hogue
Sharon Hughes
Frank Pastore
[Radio Home]
















Patrick Mallon - Columnist

Patrick Mallon is a freelance journalist and author of California Dictatorship: How Liberal Extremism Destroyed Gray Davis [read an excerpt]. His website is at and he can be contacted at [go to Mallon index]

California Dictatorship:
How Liberal Extremism Destroyed Gray Davis

by Patrick Mallon

The inside story of the people´s revolt against an unresponsive and unpopular chief executive.
[Order it at Amazon.] Read an excerpt


Republicans Baffled by Pussycat Arnold
Where are the Governor's true loyalties?..
[Patrick Mallon]

In his classic 1977 bodybuilding movie Pumping Iron, Arnold Schwarzenegger loved to psyche out his opponents, diverting their attention and focus with humor and anecdote. Even then, at age 28, he was a nimble politician: smart, likable, if a little bit cocky, and capable of using it to expose the psychological weakness of rivals.

Today as governor with a 66 percent approval rating, no one is more confident, nor personifies power better. He's accustomed to pounding his rivals into the dust. He doesn't just overwhelm, he crushes. People can't get enough of the tough guy image. President Bush and his handlers literally begged Arnold to come out to Ohio to campaign for the Republican ticket last October as vigorous enthusiasm for the GOP in California is either ambiguous or strictly verboten. Just ask former U.S. Senate candidate Bill Jones.

Meanwhile Sacramento goes ga-ga, lawmakers are intimidated, and none can stand up to the attention-grabbing persona. Back to the job description: what does any of this have to do with fiscal and cultural reform in state government?

Yes, the governor helped the state stave off bankruptcy, has vetoed several controversial bills signed into law by Gray Davis, and he has made constructive headway on previous deals made with Indian gaming interests and with workers compensation, but where's the force of personality on social issues? Is it now the job of Republicans to "move a little left" as he told the German media recently?

It is high time voters ask some serious questions, so perhaps we'll see a sliver of an answer when the governor goes to Sacramento this week for a special legislative session with the threat of a special election next fall if he does not see receptiveness to real reform from far-Left Democrats.

Is Arnold Recoiling from Conservative Revolution?

11 of 11 states passed laws banning gay marriage, a term of art that is framed deceptively. How is it possible to ban something that doesn't exist in the first place? Arnold has little if any opinion on the subject, other than "crazy ideas."

Pro-life Democrats are routinely treated like lepers by their own party, a phenomena which differs little from how the governor treats the same within the GOP. While Arnold and his wife Maria recently befriended Nancy Reagan, and the governor proudly displays a bust of "The Gipper" as a centerpiece in his office, he continues to prove the maxim: politics is not a team sport. Let's make no mistake, the man is sincere and passionate in most everything he does, but this is politics where a whole different set of rules applies.

As former state legislator Maurice Johannessen, famous for bringing home the bacon to his Northern California district said recently: "If you get elected for the purpose of doing what the party wants you to do, then stay home."

The Pied Piper said voters "wanted change." Arnold promised to clean house. What happened? At least with Davis, we knew what we were getting. Values, traditions, family, faith, all combined to energize the Republican base and re-elect George Bush. This broad transformation has been well documented over the past several years.

Arnold's handlers read the tea leaves and their man, a movie star who'd never held elective office, rode the coattails, but he laid low on established GOP stances in his adopted home state. Fear of criticism? Fear of Hollywood's elite? Fear of honoring cynical voters on both sides of the aisle who bought into his "taking on the special interests" message?

And respecting the balanced budget amendment passed by the voters last year, coupled with $15 billion in borrowing, how is it humanly possible to paper over the basic question of receipts and expenditures supporting the state's 30 million residents? Since Arnold ran away scared from conducting the statewide audit he promised before the recall, the audit that would have revealed that a significant portion of the working population (30 percent?) do not file state and federal tax returns because they work in California on a cash-only basis, there is no way he can truthfully call his fiscal reform package comprehensive.

Without including this key ingredient in the equation, his partial reform plan means a partial solution. Following the political correctness circle back to square one, examination of California's huge under-the-table economy goes right back to the taboo of illegal immigration. People: unless Arnold can break through the dishonesty on this subject - we're stuck.

Since politicians are so adroit at diverting attention from the larger issues at hand, we're likely to see political attentions more focused on redistricting and the long shot of a part-time legislature. This approach is no different from both Democrats and Republicans on a national scale. Neither party wants to touch our hugest American issue: the entry of thousands of people into this country every day, illegally. The majority of them from, and through, Mexico There are good people, and bad people coming in, unabated, at a rate that ranges from 4,000-10,000 a day, crossing into California and Arizona.

Building a Stale Legacy?

Will Schwarzenegger leave California a better place after he's gone? That's still to be seen as there's lots of time left. But at the present rate, he'll likely fall prey to the legacy of almost every statewide elected Republican since Gov. George Deukmejian: too infected with the decade-long fallout of Prop. 187, too fearful of the legislature's most influential provocateurs: the Latino Caucus (an organization that embodies one-fifth of California lawmakers) and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus that pursues gay marriage like salmon swimming to spawn, along with the "progressive" press that routinely characterizes Republicans as "rednecks" and religious zealots.

After all, how does an ambitious politician fundraise when he or she belongs to the party that has been effectively labeled as a bunch of racist homophobes? The frustrating part about Arnold is this: there's nothing he cannot accomplish when he puts mind and will to it. It's his core formula for success. But that's not the problem. It's his heart party loyalists need to be concerned about, and the impression that their leader is ashamed to be associated with the values and platform that put an actor in the very office he refuses to exploit for anything more than incremental partisan causes.

So let's walk through the logic of this, reasonably, sans ideology:

1.. If the national party really thinks a guest worker program is a solution to the illegal immigration issue, there's no reason to expect Arnold will be any different.

2.. If Arnold thinks he's going to solve the state's budget problem without answering the question of who pays for services they don't receive and who receives services they don't pay for, then he's fooling voters no differently from opponents in a bodybuilding contest.

3.. America is the world's most generous, humane nation, and a beacon for freedom and opportunity. While our citizenry demands accountability at the border, our politicians seduce the world to come here for a basket full of goodies to "do the jobs Americans won't do." The mixed messages are baffling.

4.. California and America love Arnold. They want to see the tiger roar while doing the right thing. So why is he acting like a pussycat? Perhaps for the same reason Democrats and Republicans often appear to be one and the same, celebrity notwithstanding. CRO

Patrick Mallon is a political journalist and author of California Dictatorship: How Liberal Extremism Destroyed Gray Davis. [read an excerpt]. Patrick is a regular guest on talk radio programs throughout the state and nationally. He'll be on with Joe Scheibinger of KFIZ AM 1450 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Mon Jan. 3 at 7:10 a.m. PST, and Bob Gourley of "Issues Today" on Wed. Jan. 5 at 11:00 a.m. PST. He can be contacted at

copyright 2005 Patrick Mallon



Blue Collar -  120x90
120x90 Jan 06 Brand
Free Trial Static 02
ActionGear 120*60
Free Trial Static 01
Applicable copyrights indicated. All other material copyright 2003-2005