Some random thoughts…
Some random thoughts on the California recall:

  • The influence of the Clintons is seriously waning, if it ever was all it was hyped up to be.
  • It’s amazing how a law can be on the books for 92 years, and all of a sudden folks are coming out of the woodwork proclaiming it a bad law. I saw 3 people last night, as I occasionally popped over to CNBC, complain that the recall law would make America’s founding fathers roll over in their graves and that it was bad for political stability. If it was so bad, why have none of these concerned folks done anything about it, except complain once it’s used on their guy? And for concerns that this will bring about all sorts of recalls now, one merely has to remember that recalls in California has been tried before, but failed, and this is the first on in almost a century to even come to a vote. That’s pretty stable (and it doesn’t reflect well on Davis).
  • In addition, a talked-about recall of Governor Schwarzenegger would be made much harder than the Davis one, thanks to Davis himself. The number of signatures required is 12% of the turnout at the last statewide election, and Davis’ governing got so many folks upset that this recall garnered record turnout. Thus the number of signatures required for a recall vote on Arnold will be significantly more.
  • Spinmeister Terry McAuliffe was on FOX News Channel (and, I imagine, all the other news stations) suggesting that the success of the recall reflected poorly on Bush, and that the anger felt by Californians was due to the national economy and thus the recall of Gray Davis is not Davis’ fault. Of course, if the recall had failed, he’d be saying that reflected poorly on Bush, too. So why does anyone bother interviewing this guy? Sure he’s a cheerleader for the Democrats, but he’s got a history of utterly ignoring reality. He needs one of those captions that the ficticious Joe Isuzu used to have:

    Terry McAuliffe: DNC Chairman
    (He’s lying)

  • It was most interesting to hear Democrats who defended Clinton in the Lewinsky matter go after Schwarzenegger. Maureen Dowd put it this way

    Now Republicans who thundered against Bill – not Arnold, who scorned impeachment as a waste of time and money – argue that peccadilloes are not relevant to governing. And feminists who backed Bill are ushering Arnold gropees up to the Democratic microphones.

    Let’s compare the two:

    • Arnold’s “peccadilloes” did not occur while he was in office, any office, and certainly not as the most powerful person on the planet (who just might be subject to a bit of blackmail should he not want news of said peccadillo to get out).
    • Clinton lied to the American people and the courts about his behavior. (Memo to Dowd: That’s what the impeachment was about.) Arnold has taken responsibility for his actions without being forced into a corner first and without having to parse the word “is”. That, I think, is the major difference between the two situations, and why people are more forgiving of Arnold than they were about Clinton.

    This is not to say that what Arnold did is “OK”. It’s just that what he did is quite a bit down the scale from what Clinton did, it didn’t happen in a situation where the power of his position might compromise a state or a nation, and he freely admitted it when confronted, asked for forgiveness, and didn’t try to brush it aside. This is why I see the change of behavior noted by Dowd differently than she sees it. For Republicans, it’s reasonable and compassionate. For Democrats, I see the change of behavior as hypocritical and as partisan as they come.

OK, Arnold. You have the power now. Use it for good.

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