Sunday, August 10, 2003

ArnoldWatch: Why I'm Having a Spot of Trouble with the Liberals

I'd like to consider myself politically neutral, and I usually think I see merits and demerits in both the liberal and conservative positions. But when a site like Democratic Underground (the appropriately abbreviated "DU") presents a piece like this about Arnold Schwarzenegger, you have to wonder whether certain liberals have decided to throw out reason in favor of pure ad hominem (or ad hominid, as we call it in these parts).

Without any supporting evidence, the article makes this claim:

Schwarzenegger makes Reagan seem intelligent, Bush seem articulate and Gore seem loose. He is fine for shallow, idiotic movies where his most complex line is "Hasta la vista," but not for governor of the largest state in the country.

Then there's the old "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" fallacy:

In yukking it up with Jay Leno, the only reason Schwarzenegger could give for running was because the Golden State had supposedly "deteriorated." He showed no understanding of the complexities behind California's budget problems, which were mostly caused by the Republican-controlled federal government cutting funds to states and refusing to help in California's energy scam crisis.

Moreover, Schwarzenegger could not articulate what he would do as governor beyond "pumping up" Sacramento, whatever the hell that meant. His announcement on comedian Leno's show would be funny, if there was not so much at stake. Many in the mainstream media are already calling him a formidable political force, if not the front-runner in the race. What does that say about the mainstream media?

Come on. The Leno stint was the opportunity for Arnold to announce his candidacy, not articulate a full platform. Patience, noble DUdu. Give the man time.

I agree, though, with those who want to see a fully articulated platform (preferably on a website, which is still being built, it seems), and SOON. If Arnold's running, he's gotta have substance to go with the style. But it's way too early for DUdu to dismiss Arnold.

Then there's this, from the article's beginning:

Just one day into his campaign for governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger is being called a liar, Hollywood opportunist and con man.

And that's just by fellow Republicans.

Schwarzenegger bungled his television announcement on the Tonight Show August 6 by burning one of his supposed closest allies, former LA Mayor Richard Riordan. Riordan was reportedly "stunned" that Schwarzenegger announced on TV after giving Riordan indications he would not enter the race.

Schwarzenegger claimed that he and Riordan agreed to maintain suspense, which a Riordan aide disputed in no uncertain terms. "This idea that we have worked together, keeping people guessing and all this for the last few weeks is [ridiculous]," the Riordan advisor said, adding that he knew what it was like to get mugged.

Only one day on the campaign, and already even Republicans are calling Schwarzenegger a liar. Makes for a great Hollywood story, huh?

"A Riordan aide." More, please. I get sick of the whole "unnamed source" bullshit, no matter which side is using that tactic. If we grant that the "unnamed source" might or might not actually be someone of significance, then it's hard to see what substance there is in the above passage, beyond an attempt to engage in libel and turn a rabbit raisin into a cow patty.

Then there's this paragraph, which contains its own implied antisemitism:

Schwarzenegger says he has all the money he needs and won't be beholden to "special interests," but what about his own interests? What are his own interests? We do know that Schwarzenegger came from Hitler's home country of Austria, and his father was literally a Nazi in occupied Austria. That should set well with the California Jewish community.

Think you know what Jews think of Arnold, do you? No: like other liberal paternalists, you're going to try to do the Jews' thinking for them. And what bearing, exactly, does Arnold's father have on this campaign? Are you implying that antisemitism is genetically inherited? What sort of ball-gnawing nonsense is that? Guilt by association... sins of the fathers... these are American ideas?

Then there are the rumors about his extramarital affairs and marital problems. At least Schwarzenegger has owned up to his steroid and marijuana use - but he's still another hypocritical Republican who goes around telling kids to stay off drugs, something he didn't do.

What? Sorry; I was scratching my ass. You were saying...?

Since California was where Republicans started this recall the governor business to divert attention from Bush's lies about Iraq, the economy and everything else, we have to be proactive and take the offensive. That's why I started a petition to "totally recall" Schwarzenegger, even before he gets in office.

Yeah! Good luck, dingleberry!

I hope our intrepid DUdu petitioner works hard, gets lots of signatures, sweats in bloodthirsty anticipation as his movement gains momentum, starts to make a difference...

...then Arnold wins it, anyway.

Haw haw.

UPDATE: Via Drudge-- some advice to Arnold from Governor Jesse.

UPDATE 2: The Revenge:

Excerpt from another TIME article that may or may not support the DUdu article's claim that Riordan wasn't pleased by Arnold's decision to run:

It might be easier to know what to expect from Schwarzenegger if anyone knew just how he ended up where he is. If the rest of the world was surprised by his announcement on Leno's show, imagine how Richard Riordan felt. He and Schwarzenegger are friends and close political allies. Not two weeks before, sources close to Riordan say, Schwarzenegger had faxed to Riordan's Malibu beach house a four- or five-page speech that the actor was planning to make two days later.

It said Schwarzenegger had decided not to run for family reasons and that he was endorsing Riordan. At that point, Riordan had asked him to hold off for a while, to give Riordan time to put together a political organization. As late as the Sunday before the date with Leno, Schwarzenegger, his wife Maria Shriver and their children spent five hours with the Riordans in Malibu without Schwarzenegger once letting on that he might be reconsidering the race. And the day Schwarzenegger announced, Riordan had spent three hours at lunch with California Congressman David Dreier, mapping out his own race. Riordan backed out as gracefully as possible under the circumstances, but not everyone believed it when he said he was "relieved" that his friend Schwarzenegger had decided to run after all.

My feeling: Based on the above TIME excerpt, it seems to me that DUdu is again trying to squeeze out poop that isn't there. The TIME article might be making a dark implication, but it leaves it at that. DUdu wants to spin this into some sort of betrayal.

Points to Arnold for this:

What no one knew in the days leading up to Schwarzenegger's announcement was precisely how the pieces were falling into place for the actor. He had started to doubt whether Riordan really had his heart in the race. And Feinstein's decision not to run removed from the field his most formidable opponent. (In the TIME/CNN poll, she edges out Schwarzenegger by 2 percentage points.) George Butler, a co-director of the Schwarzenegger film Pumping Iron, said that if Feinstein dropped out because she believed Schwarzenegger wasn't running, then she fell for the same tactic the bodybuilder used when he wanted to make his opponents believe he would stay out of the competition. "It looked to me like an old-time Arnold maneuver," Butler says. "What you're dealing with is one of the canniest operators who ever walked across the road in America."

Arnold's politically inexperienced, but he knows people, and if he's gonna run, he's gotta get his Machiavelli on. I think this is promising. If Riordan was pissed, well... as the Terminator said after shooting out the security guard's knees in T2: "He'll live."

No comments: