October 8th, 2003

default, pepper

"California is not falling into the sea"

There's a website out there called AlterNet which I don't usually read; it's more or less the left-leaning equivalent to NewsMax. (Setting aside that NewsMax's layout is much worse, and their content tends to play to the "everyone else is an evil liberal and we're real Americans!" crowd with headlines like today's "Clintons lose California." Uh, Rush Limbaugh called, guys, and he wants his ditto back.)

Bouncing around links today, though, took me to this amusing and thoughtful commentary on Schwarzenegger's election today.

Forget what the talking heads tell you: California is not falling into the sea, people. And if this is a sign of the coming Apocalypse, it is only the latest of its type. Or have you forgotten the kind of folks we elect here on the left coast? Ronald Reagan, Jerry Brown, George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, Gray Davis--those are the governors that have run things here since I was born, and I'm not sure how Arnold could be much worse.

While I'm sure not everyone would put Reagan on that list, I think in the best case, Arnie is going to be Ronnie Lite--a charismatic guy surrounded by competent people who seem to do the heavy lifting quietly. Of course, Reagan had over a decade of political experience when he became governor so he really could do heavy lifting on his own, and let's face it, Reagan also had a lot more charisma.

Granted, I'm not sure that Jesse Ventura is a model I think California should emulate, but I imagine it'll survive. My off-the-cuff prediction is that Schwarzenegger isn't going to do much worse than Jesse--but won't do any better.