Free-Floating Hostility

Thursday, November 10, 2005

On Politics: Just Say No

We, by which I mean Californian, were asked to vote on seven statewide ballot initiatives Tuesday and all of them went down to defeat. And then there was a local issue, about a proposed development in Davis that also went down in flames. Also there were some members of an area school board recalled for firing an intensly popular football coach. All of which goes to prove that Californians hate everything.

Actually the Governor -- who is Arnold Schwarzenegger, by the way -- put his support behind four of those propositions. During the campaign, all of his ballot initiatives were cast as attacks on public workers and teachers. His calculation, I suppose, was that he could garner enough popular support through the force of his personality. One of the interesting outgrowths of living in a time when politics are so ideological and divisive, is that it's impossible for anyone to remain a non-partisan, uniting figure. So although Arnold won election because of his charisma and energy, it's hard for a liberal Republican with no independent power base in his own party or any true inclination to reach across the aisle to the Democratic majority to strongarm anyone. So this next re-election campaign should be fun.

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