02.22.10

California = US continued

Posted in Phlogiston, Rock 'n' Roll at 9:38 am by George Smith

From Krugman today:

At this point, then, Republicans insist that the deficit must be eliminated, but they’re not willing either to raise taxes or to support cuts in any major government programs. And they’re not willing to participate in serious bipartisan discussions, either, because that might force them to explain their plan — and there isn’t any plan, except to regain power.

But there is a kind of logic to the current Republican position: in effect, the party is doubling down on starve-the-beast. Depriving the government of revenue, it turns out, wasn’t enough to push politicians into dismantling the welfare state. So now the de facto strategy is to oppose any responsible action until we are in the midst of a fiscal catastrophe. You read it here first.

This is the paradigm set by California mentioned yesterday here.

Paradoxically, the Governator — Arnold Schwarzenegger — was on CNN on Sunday night calling his party The Party of No. And it wasn’t in the context of a compliment.

There is a great deal of irony in that the Reagan-worshipping Schwarzenegger is now just the kind of government politician the great mean of the GOP despises.

While Schwarzenegger will inherit a lasting reputation as a terrible governor, it was his own party in Sacramento which did him in.

In Washington, the blame can be spread around a little more generously. While the GOP blocks everything, the Democrats and President are equally contemptible for allowing them to succeed doing just that.

The world no longer needs a US when the superpower is run this badly.


Many years ago, when Schwarzenegger was made governor, I wrote this in the context of some spoof tunes about the situation.

The Gropinators explain the politics behind the big man’s success, using rock and roll. Our leader’s election came not through reasoned judgment, but a good old angry and mentally ill snapout, a desire of the polity to strike, to lash out, to schlag — someone in government. We weren’t going to take it! Take what? Who cares? But someone, like Gray Davis, had to be made to pay and Arnold was the benefactor. Lyric: You sent him to Sac-ra-men-to; No rotten car tax, no, no! We sent ‘im to Sac-ra-men-to; We’re not gonna take it, no, no! Arghhh! Danger! Get out of the way, we might have to hit you.

Sound familiar?

Schwarzenegger was elected by the public on his promise to eliminate the car tax. He did so and forced a refund for everyone in the state who had ever paid it. The shortfall caused by that overturned the state government’s finances and precipitated the current catastrophe. The California legislature — effectively ruled by the minority GOP, like the US Senate — blocked all efforts by Schwarzenegger to do anything palliative.

The comedy song, “I Think We Should Make a Carla Sandwich,” which was about the publicizing of the governor’s reputation as a serial groper — in particular, one woman named Carla, prior to his installment is here.

Real Arnold vocals, too. If you don’t laugh, you’ll surely have to cry.

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