Arnie wins in california
October 8, 2003 1:32 AM   Subscribe

Arnie wins in california, a victory for Mr schwarzenegger. For a man whose acting ability was described as going all the way from A to B, lets hope for the sake of californians that he is somewhat more adept at politics.
posted by johnnyboy (190 comments total)

 
So in the U.S we find an actor who has made the successful transition to politics. Here in the U.K we have a politician who is becoming a very adept actor.
posted by johnnyboy at 1:37 AM on October 8, 2003


adept is my word of the day......
posted by johnnyboy at 1:47 AM on October 8, 2003


Ronald Reagan was a lot more successful a politician then Arnold will ever be, and he starred with a monkey in his movies.
posted by jbou at 1:47 AM on October 8, 2003


...and he starred with a monkey in his movies

President Chimp, anyone?
posted by holycola at 2:02 AM on October 8, 2003


I'm a Democrat. I've been a Democrat all my life; I even worked for the Gore campaign in 2000. But I have to say that I'm pretty disappointed with my party, strategy-wise. Our platform is great -- why don't we stick with it? What happened to grassroots? Bread and butter issues?

I can't believe that we let Arnie control the issues in this ridiculous election. As soon as the allegations of groping arose, Davis and Bustamante should have taken the high road and said something like:
"I certainly hope that the allegations about my opponent are not true, as the charges would constitute assult and harrassment. But I don't know the truth to that matter, so I'm not going to focus on that. What I do know is that Arnold hasn't presented any ideas for California, and his platform so far consists of I'll be back."
By attacking Arnold about his womanizing, we discredited the LA Times story in the minds of the voters, and looked petty and issue-less. We let Arnold look like the victim, the alternative to "puke politics." (HA!) Unless you give voters a reason, they're going to choose "grope politics" to "puke politics."

And while I'm ranting: you Californians deserve what you get. This is evidence that governing by referendum is a bad idea. It's too easy to pass unnecessary, costly, near-sighted referendums. You want to create a law to legislate everything, including banning the government from raising money to pay for all your cracked-out voter-initiated laws. No wonder why the state is in a budget crisis.
posted by jennak at 2:09 AM on October 8, 2003


Governor Schwarzenegger - California finally slides into the ocean

Ronald Reagan was a lot more successful a politician then Arnold will ever be, and he starred with a monkey in his movies
posted by ElvisJesus at 2:35 AM on October 8, 2003


Some people shouldn't be allowed democracy.
posted by Summer at 2:58 AM on October 8, 2003


you Californians deserve what you get

Wait a minute! I'm a californian and a republican and i voted against the recall, as did 46% of the voters out here. Do I deserve this? What did I do to deserve this? I can't help the fact that so many of my fellow residents can't get over their need to blame somebody for the recession that caused our budget surplus to evaporate. There are some sane people out here, we're just outnumbered, that's all.
posted by JParker at 2:59 AM on October 8, 2003


One thing that gives Arnie a minimal amount of credibility: His 47-48% percent of the vote was more than the 45-46% who voted to keep the Grey Man. (Remember all the preditions that the voted-out Gov would have twice as many votes as the voted-in Gov?) The Bad Bad News is it'll give Recalling in general some credibility too...

As for the "sexual misconduct" scandal, hey, California went for Clinton, too.

The LA Times should've dropped the issue after resident Media Critic David Shaw did a column on Arnie's 'women problem' ten days before they 'broke' the scandal . (Shaw used to have the job of critiquing his own paper... I'll bet he'll be writing the post-mortem of this journalistic foot-shooting).

And, I must note that California has fallen behind Florida in the 2003 Morgan Quitno rankings of the Smartest (and Dumbest) States. Explains lots.
posted by wendell at 3:04 AM on October 8, 2003


this is crazy. what the hell qualifies that retarded goof a. schwarzenegger to be a governor? i bet the man hasn't got a single idea in his empty head.
posted by mokey at 3:20 AM on October 8, 2003


Yeah, but of all the "empty suit" politicians California has elected over the years, he really fills his in well...
posted by wendell at 3:25 AM on October 8, 2003


Obviously, JParker, my rant is meant for the Californians that are stupid (e.g., the ones that don't read Metafilter. ;)
posted by jennak at 3:26 AM on October 8, 2003


Some people shouldn't be allowed democracy.

Not so much a question of allowing as deserving. For Democracy to work requires more than a fleeting interest. Its pretty damn dangerous to outsource your attention span.
posted by ElvisJesus at 3:29 AM on October 8, 2003


i hate to be the guy that blames the media but, while casually flipping through the channels at 9pm est, i could barely remember who was running against the terminator. granted, i don't like have to care, but still i stopped on cnn for a few minutes simply awestruck at the facts scrolling across the bottom of the screen: "arnold got his first break in conan the barbarian," "schwartzenegger was a successful bodybuilder in native austria until . . . " ad n. gray who? good luck, ca.

"blue sky on mars? ok..."
posted by magikeye at 3:31 AM on October 8, 2003


CaliforniaFilter
posted by i_cola at 3:36 AM on October 8, 2003


"To the members of the legislators, I extend my hand."
Dubya has a new rival in more ways than one.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:44 AM on October 8, 2003


dream of californication.
posted by johnnyboy at 4:03 AM on October 8, 2003


So who'll be directing the actor for the next few years, then?
posted by Hogshead at 4:03 AM on October 8, 2003


CaliforniaFilter

ElectionFilter
posted by oaf at 4:08 AM on October 8, 2003


I am hereby calling for the tar and feathering of Arnold. Not for his politics, but for his acting. He should be punished for making some of the movies he did. We should call for impeachment for lack of good taste.

So, how long until the next recall election?
posted by benjh at 4:39 AM on October 8, 2003


After Jesse Ventura, why would anyone find Ahnold's election surprising? People are fed up with old-school politicians and their bullshit, right and left.
posted by mischief at 4:42 AM on October 8, 2003


California Uber Alles
Uber Alles California
posted by Outlawyr at 4:54 AM on October 8, 2003


Whatever the case with Arnold, the 65-70% voter turnout can't be a bad thing.
posted by shoos at 4:55 AM on October 8, 2003


ok, two thoughts;

first, no one should be surprised by this turn of events, as it was clearly predicted in "Demolition Man".

And second, clearly acting opposite a monkey is no clear grounds for discrediting an elected official, i mean Clint Eastwood successfully made the transition from monkey co-star to politician.

Not that i'm endorsing Arnie, though i loved him in T1 and Predator.

[on preview: Predator featured both Jesse and Arnold, mischief makes a salient point that i can not argue, But i thought that it might be worth noting that the two have worked together before. Not that that has any bearing

"Time to bring out 'old painless'"]
posted by quin at 4:56 AM on October 8, 2003


but then again, there must be some disenfranchised folks getting all stepped today on like they tend to.
posted by shoos at 4:58 AM on October 8, 2003


My favorite post-recall quote so far:
"Arnold, you're very famous for making movies all over the world," Bustamante said. "I want you to feel free to continue doing that. Go where you like. Feel free to stay as long as you like. I'll be here, keeping an eye on things."
That Cruz. He's funny. And he looks like Carl.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:15 AM on October 8, 2003


Anytime a career politician loses is a win for the citizenry. They are all bought and paid for by special interest. The rest of them had better start waking up, or they will be surfing monster looking for work.
posted by a3matrix at 5:16 AM on October 8, 2003


So who is next from Predator, Carl Weathers or Elpidia Carrillo?
posted by probablysteve at 5:27 AM on October 8, 2003


So what if he's an actor, it's not like he's going to run the state on his own or only be allowed to employ other actors to help him (although that would be fun). I assume he's thought long and hard about this move and weighed up the fact he could end up looking like a dummy.

And at least he's fairly liberal on a number of subjects (pro choice, equal rights for gay partners). Am I right in thinking he couldn't become president though due to birth?
posted by ciderwoman at 5:28 AM on October 8, 2003


I still have the feeling like I'm going to wake up and it won't be true.

My beef with Arnold isn't that he's an actor, or that he can't say California. It's that he's never addressed his proposed solutions for the budget crisis, and that he didn't even participate in a genuine debate.

It seems to me that California's budget crisis is caused by our addiction to direct democracy that controls the budget, giving little wiggle room to legislators to actually fix anything. Heck, one of the questions on the ballot beyond the recall was 'Do you want to force California to spend 3% of it's money on infrastructure?' (the last question was non-fiscal in nature, and was "Do you want to pretend that race doesn't exist?"

As much as Davis was an uncharismatic douchebag, he wasn't the terrible leader he was made out to be. Now we've got an actor with unknown beliefs, untested unknowledge and a desire to control the public. Great.
posted by mosch at 5:29 AM on October 8, 2003


I'm damn near glad that he won, if only to further illustrate the farce that American politics has become.

I think I'll use "farce" and "adept" in every sentence I speak today.
posted by adampsyche at 5:32 AM on October 8, 2003


a3matrix, thanks for repeating Arnie's unofficial campaign chant. Unfortunately, it stinks.

(You too, mischief)
posted by magullo at 5:35 AM on October 8, 2003


I am aghast.
posted by walrus at 5:44 AM on October 8, 2003


Anytime a career politician loses is a win for the citizenry. They are all bought and paid for by special interest.

Damn straight, at least Arnold can afford to buy elections with his own money.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 5:52 AM on October 8, 2003


I am thrilled to see that moral relativism is now an official part of the Republican platform.

Be aware ladies that your breasts are now considered public property and are subject to unwanted fondling just as is your ass. No more sexual harassment charges clogging up the courts just because some man decided to feel you up. You're supposed to relax and enjoy it. Or at least be flattered that you are desireable.

I'm very interested in seeing how Governor Gang Bang will "solve" the fiscal problems of California. As for Californians, you will definitely live in interesting times. I predict a train wreck with many dissatisfied voters. Be careful what you vote for.
posted by nofundy at 5:54 AM on October 8, 2003


10 bucks says he goes GWB pyscho.
posted by Yossarian at 6:02 AM on October 8, 2003


Am I right in thinking he couldn't become president though due to birth?

Orrin Hatch is on the case.

And as fun as it to roll our eyes at California, I wager that the fine citizens of almost any American state, given the chance, would have elected Arnold over some typical politician. Except maybe Vermont. Gah.
posted by lisa g at 6:10 AM on October 8, 2003


Whatever the case with Arnold, the 65-70% voter turnout can't be a bad thing.

Amen to that.
You only need signatures of 12% of the last vote for governor to issue another recall. Keeping the numbers high means that we're not to expect another recall until after his first year of budget passing...
posted by Busithoth at 6:21 AM on October 8, 2003


After Jesse Ventura, why would anyone find Ahnold's election surprising? People are fed up with old-school politicians and their bullshit, right and left.

I'm damn near glad that he won, if only to further illustrate the farce that American politics has become.

This is the part that will be interesting to watch. Are we to a point where any actor with sufficient name recognition can win any race that he enters (possibly excluding the Presidency), simply by acting, that is, presenting the tough, independent, outsider facade that voters are now known to respond to? Ronald Reagan, Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood, Fred Grandy, Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger...this may just be the bare beginning of what could turn into a floodgate. Many Americans already worship their tv and movie stars, obsessing over what they wear and whom they date; it really is a very small step to turning over real power to them in the hope of rescue from the ugly, confusing, partisan, and gridlocked mess that is politics today.
posted by rushmc at 6:22 AM on October 8, 2003


Has anyone seen a story that includes returns as well as just outcome? How did Bustamante do? How did Gary Coleman do? How did the propositions turn out?
posted by jfuller at 6:22 AM on October 8, 2003


Ah, it's California. Here in New York, we'd demand Steve Buscemi, at minnimum.
posted by jonmc at 6:25 AM on October 8, 2003


thanks for repeating Arnie's unofficial campaign chant

Well, I am in Massachusetts, so I didn't follow this sham too much. I was unware that it was his campaign platform. Score points for Arnold. I would have voted for him for no other reason than to show my disgust with politics in general.
If nothing else, it should prove to be interesting to watch.
posted by a3matrix at 6:36 AM on October 8, 2003


plo chops for everyone!!
posted by shadow45 at 6:38 AM on October 8, 2003


jfuller: Statewide returns
posted by cmonkey at 6:39 AM on October 8, 2003


plo chops for everyone!!

Cool.

Wait, who from?
posted by jonmc at 6:40 AM on October 8, 2003


And the first seal is broken.

Seriously, Californians got the democracy for which they asked - if Schwartzy does a good job, great. If not, they'll know better next time (in theory...)
posted by FormlessOne at 6:44 AM on October 8, 2003


Are we to a point where any actor with sufficient name recognition can win any race that he enters (possibly excluding the Presidency), simply by acting, that is, presenting the tough, independent, outsider facade that voters are now known to respond to? Ronald Reagan, Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood, Fred Grandy, Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger...

Yes, if Sonny Bono and Fred Grandy were known for anything, it was for being tough guys.

Too bad for Gary Coleman -- any other year he'd have been a shoo-in.
posted by Epenthesis at 6:45 AM on October 8, 2003


Man. And I thought the Ontario election of last week was depressing.
posted by orange swan at 6:46 AM on October 8, 2003


Well, I am in Massachusetts,

Yeah, well, I live in Amsterdam. Had you done it, you'd be showing you disgust for politicians by voting someone who acts just like them. He is no outsider. If you want to know more, please do click on the links provided.

My favourite was Larry Flynt. But I guess taking a bullet for defending the right to free speech (and making a buck or two out of it) is obscene in America in this day and age. Oh, well.
posted by magullo at 6:49 AM on October 8, 2003


lets hope for the sake of californians that he is somewhat more adept at politics.

Why? I think what California wanted, and perhaps the rest of the US needs, is someone who is not adept at politics. It's these career politicians who make government so corrupt and self-serving.

At least this is a breath of fresh air.

And why is everyone here so against Arhnuld? He's as liberal as one can hope? Hell, he even likes orgies!
posted by eas98 at 7:03 AM on October 8, 2003


This should be interesting. Schwarzenegger is more liberal than most of the Dems here in GA, and it will be fun to watch the hard right Repubs deal with an immensely popular (judging from the preliminary results) member of their party who is quite liberal on social issues. I am as liberal as anyone here on mefi, and I am not sure this is a bad thing.
posted by TedW at 7:05 AM on October 8, 2003


Arnold is funny. Hee hee. governor funny

and quin - I have seen Demolition Man several times... what do you mean?? /OT srry
posted by ac at 7:09 AM on October 8, 2003


It's these career politicians who make government so corrupt and self-serving

- very true but the world of plowitics would be poorer (and dare I say it boring) for the lack of a few rogues.
posted by johnnyboy at 7:09 AM on October 8, 2003


and quin - I have seen Demolition Man several times... what do you mean??

Sandra Bullock (i believe) said something about the Schwarzenegger Presidential Library or something to that effect.
posted by monique at 7:12 AM on October 8, 2003


My daughter and I went out to support Arnold!
posted by filchyboy at 7:14 AM on October 8, 2003


I'll blame the media a great deal. They had no problem praising Arnold without requiring him to say anything of substance, and had no problem talking about how bad Davis is without saying exactly what he did wrong. So we had stories in which Arnold would say how he would only participate in one debate because, as with bodybuilding competition, he did not bother with the smaller, less important contests--and he was not challenged on that response. And we had stories about little old ladies living near the governor's mansion who felt ignored because Davis came home at night and pulled down his shades.

At least I'm in SF, a haven of relative sanity (I can't believe I would ever say that), but I would also say that California deserves this mess.

I wonder how long it will take Arnold to try to change the recall laws. I keep hearing the new recall discouraged under the justification that "the voters have now spoken," but the recall effort against Davis started immediately after we spoke last year. Give us a few months--we'll find something new to say.
posted by troybob at 7:16 AM on October 8, 2003


and filchyboy deserves the MetaFilter 'parent of the year' award
posted by troybob at 7:17 AM on October 8, 2003


I'm truly ashamed to be a Californian. That McClintock couldn't take away Arnold's votes (i.e., McClintock votes would have gone to Arnold) only demonstrates how truly pathetic the public is.

If this is the farce that politics has to be, then let's start the recall process on Arnold's ass.
posted by ed at 7:18 AM on October 8, 2003


I hope the Iraqis are paying close attention, especially as they're supposed to soon be the benefactors of the glorious system that is American democracy.

Ah well, as Hunter S. Thompson once said, there's always smack....
posted by jokeefe at 7:24 AM on October 8, 2003


I'm not really sure if anyone read the two links in Magullo's post, so I'll just write this in all caps:

ARNOLD MET WITH KEN LAY, CONVICTED "stock swindler" MIKE MILKEN AND THE MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES ON MAY 17, 2001 AT LA'S PENINSULA HOTEL.

9 billion dollars in stolen money were at stake in this election.

Can someone who's posted saying that he's socially liberal and/or not controled by special interests groups like other "career politicians" please respond to this?
(also, please keep in mind that i'm not defending career politicians and don't need to be told about them and their badness etc.)


i'm sorry.

To me, this whole election has the horrifying absurdity of some gubernatorial Dr. Strangelove-esque satire. The whole thing depresses me both as a U.S. citizen and as a filmgoer.
posted by ProfLinusPauling at 7:26 AM on October 8, 2003


My favorite (well, one of them) all-time Onion headline:

Maria Shriver's Face Re-Sharpened

Otherwise, I'm still disinterested in the recall.

/proud to be a right-coast dweller
posted by dhoyt at 7:27 AM on October 8, 2003


The whole thing depresses me both as a U.S. citizen and as a filmgoer.

Heck, I enjoyed a few of Arnold's movies.

But then again I also enjoy some of David Crosby's music. Dosen't mean I want either of them running a state.
posted by jonmc at 7:29 AM on October 8, 2003


filchyboy for parent of the year!!
posted by ProfLinusPauling at 7:29 AM on October 8, 2003


PLEASE SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY YOU ARE ALL SO UNHAPPY ABOUT THIS OUTCOME!

Sorry for shouting, but all I hear is people complaining about this outcome, but I still do not understand why.

Did you all want another political hack in there? Are only ass kissing politicians allowed to serve as governor? What is it?

Really, I'm just confused...
posted by eas98 at 7:31 AM on October 8, 2003


Hey! Stop! Did we forget about the movies?
If Arnold is gouvernor, who is now going to make great movies? I don't like Bruce. I don't care about California, I want him BACK ON SCREEN!
posted by asd at 7:32 AM on October 8, 2003


PLEASE SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY YOU ARE ALL SO UNHAPPY ABOUT THIS OUTCOME!

BECAUSE WE DISAGREE WITH HIM!!

I can't speak for everyone, but I'd have no problem electing an actor whom I agreed with. Howard Hesseman, perhaps.
posted by jonmc at 7:33 AM on October 8, 2003


I can't speak for everyone, but I'd have no problem electing an actor whom I agreed with. Howard Hesseman, perhaps.

The late Gordon Jump would do a better job in Sacramento than this turkey.
posted by ed at 7:36 AM on October 8, 2003


eas98

I said it in my first post ...

also my girlfriend's brother is an actor and I honestly think that they should be allowed to vote and run for office just like anyone else.
posted by ProfLinusPauling at 7:37 AM on October 8, 2003


Unfortunately, it stinks.
Reality usually does. Which is worse, voter apathy and small poll turnouts, or voter weirdness that produces wins like Jesse Ventura, Ahnold or GWBush, Inc.?
posted by mischief at 7:38 AM on October 8, 2003


Apparently tony blair used to be in a band, or that may be just an ugly rumour.
posted by johnnyboy at 7:39 AM on October 8, 2003


I predict this is the start of a trend towards completely politically inexperienced people being elected to high offices. People on all sides have come to the conclusion that all politicians are scumbags, even the ones from their own parties. They figure anything would be better than a career pol, even an empty-headed bodybuilder/"actor". If Trey Parker becomes governor of Colorado, I wonder if he'll give speeches in the Cartman voice?
posted by Shoeburyness at 7:41 AM on October 8, 2003


My hope is that Arnold is a complete disaster, that he wrecks the state, everybody leaves and real estate prices plummet. Then I could finally afford a house!
posted by mrhappy at 7:41 AM on October 8, 2003


mischief, I wouldn't classify election fraud as "voter weirdness". Just sayin'.
posted by Shoeburyness at 7:43 AM on October 8, 2003


> PLEASE SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY YOU ARE ALL SO
> UNHAPPY ABOUT THIS OUTCOME!

It's painful to be so publicly marginalized, even (or maybe especially) when you work so hard at being marginal.
posted by jfuller at 7:44 AM on October 8, 2003


Then I could finally afford a house!

So California voters are rational after all! Your cunning plan is revealed.

So hey, who won the Domo-Kun?
posted by furiousthought at 7:50 AM on October 8, 2003


Pancakes, anyone?
posted by tommasz at 7:51 AM on October 8, 2003


Jesse Ventura was really not bad at all. Certainly better than the wingnut we got stuck with after the last election.


However, Jesse was an Independent who had to deal with a Republican state house and a DFL (Democratic) state senate, both of which hated his guts. Arnold will probably have to watch out for similar problems--the remaining politicians and bureaucrats who resent his success.


Big difference between Jesse and Arnold: local media absolutely despised Jesse (and Jesse occasionally let them pull him down to their level). My hunch is that reporters will be licking Arnold's boots, at least for a little while.
posted by gimonca at 7:57 AM on October 8, 2003


Fuck it. It's California. California is the laughing stock of the nation, anyway. I wanted Arnie to win just for the entertainment value. Governor Terminator! I mean, come on, how much better does it get?

A number of you folks would have so much happier lives if you could get over this professional outrage thing. Really.
posted by jammer at 7:59 AM on October 8, 2003


filchyboy: Blogging in Gill Sans is the coolest thing I've seen today. And the signs of course...
posted by i_cola at 8:01 AM on October 8, 2003


A number of you folks would have so much happier lives if you could get over this professional outrage thing.

You mean some of these people are getting paid?? And I'm sitting here being pissed for free??

Whatta gyp.
posted by jonmc at 8:03 AM on October 8, 2003


PLEASE SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY YOU ARE ALL SO UNHAPPY ABOUT THIS OUTCOME!

We are unhappy about arnold winning because:

a. we are unhappy about the recall, period
b. arnold never clearly stated where he stood on issues
c. he never clearly stated what his plan of action is
d. he is NOT independant. He's a rich republican just the like goatfucker that bankrolled the recall.
e. it shows just how completely fucking pathetic the competition is. Bustamante? yeah. right.
f. also - he never starred with a monkey in a movie. (did he?)
posted by jaded at 8:08 AM on October 8, 2003


eas, for me the problem comes down to this: Arnold was elected in a public relations scheme in which he was not required to demonstrate even the ability to thoughtfully answer a question. He spoke mainly in gross generalities and, when trying to get specific, he would reveal himself as less than someone who is simply not politically experienced.

Also, Arnold's campaign has been under the guidance of former governor Pete Wilson, whom we were glad to be rid of. His lack of political (or even common) sense would indicate that we are in for a retread of the Wilson administration, with Arnold in front smiling for the cameras.
posted by troybob at 8:09 AM on October 8, 2003


What is shocking is that in a historically democrat state, 61% voted republican. That's beyond landslide and should be a wake up call to CA democrats. They royally fucked this one up and the people are letting them know how badly they are tired of it.
posted by mathowie at 8:09 AM on October 8, 2003


California is the laughing stock of the nation, anyway.

GROSS PRODUCT IN YEAR 2001
(billions of dollars)

United States $10,171
Japan 4,245
Germany 1,874
United Kingdom 1,406
CALIFORNIA 1,392
France 1,303
China 1,159
Italy 1,091
Canada 677
Mexico 618
Spain 577

Very funny indeed
posted by magullo at 8:26 AM on October 8, 2003


I have no idea what it was like inside California, but I was startled by the immediate legitimacy Arnold had in the eyes of the media. Why? Whatever for? The whole thing looked insane, looking from the outside in. In 1950, anthropologist Hortense Powdermaker attacked Hollywood for its presentation and acceptance of limited alternatives and its allegedly "totalitarian" character. News is often now entertainment of a distinctly Old Hollywood sort.

Meantime, frequently insane Louisiana will elect either a woman or an Indian-American for governor this year, and hardly anyone noticed. No one is yelling, 'What does this mean for America?" about the election there.
posted by raysmj at 8:26 AM on October 8, 2003


What is shocking is that in a historically democrat state, 61% voted republican. That's beyond landslide and should be a wake up call to CA democrats. They royally fucked this one up and the people are letting them know how badly they are tired of it.

You guys can fuck up your state all you want - but we need to not let this translate into letting Bush take California next year.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:31 AM on October 8, 2003


I'm just sad that I can't keep saying "Win one for the groper!"

Whoever came up with that one was a genius.
posted by mikeh at 8:36 AM on October 8, 2003


And at least he's fairly liberal on a number of subjects (pro choice, equal rights for gay partners). Am I right in thinking he couldn't become president though due to birth?

That's correct. According to the Constitution you have to be born a citizen of the United States (Article II Section I). Location is not relevant, however, so Americans born overseas in foreign countries are still born citizens, and thus can become President. Dual-citizens (such as myself) that were born in other countries but also born to American citizens are also eligible. The real gray area is in the line of succession for President starting with Speaker of the House, because a Speaker does not need to be American by birth, he merely has to meet the constitutional requirement for representatives elected to the House (Article I Section 2): 25 years old, citizen for 7 years, resident of state where elected.

So the highest Schwarzenneger can go is Speaker, US Senator, or as an appointee in the executive branch for a major department or position, or even as a Supreme Court justice.
posted by insomnyuk at 8:38 AM on October 8, 2003



Suppose Californians voted for Arnie because he was the candidate that suited them best?

What the voters seem to want most from elected officials is fiscal conservatism and social liberalism, together with at least seeming independence from special interests.

That's what kept Bill Clinton in power for 8 years, despite all the mouth-frothing indignation from his opponents. That's also what seems to have attracted people to Arnie.

Instead of whining about a stupid, decadent electorate that keeps voting for adulterers and movie stars, maybe the politicians should start thinking more about how to keep the economy healthy while butting out of people's private lives...
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:38 AM on October 8, 2003


and if he were Speaker and the President and Vice-President were to die, I believe we would find ourselves in a Constitutional crisis that probably would have to be sorted out by the Supreme Court. Of course all of this is just idle conjecture.
posted by insomnyuk at 8:39 AM on October 8, 2003


This is an interesting map by county of who voted on the Yes/No thing.

Reminds me of the last presidental election, the big cities vote one way, the rest of the place votes another way.
posted by mathowie at 8:42 AM on October 8, 2003


I'm truly ashamed to be a Californian. That McClintock couldn't take away Arnold's votes (i.e., McClintock votes would have gone to Arnold) only demonstrates how truly pathetic the public is.

and

What is shocking is that in a historically democrat state, 61% voted republican. That's beyond landslide and should be a wake up call to CA democrats.

No surprise, really. When moderate Republicans run for statewide office, they tend to do pretty well. It's only when the Neanderthals in the mode of Bill Simon, Jim Brulte or Bruce Hershenson run that the Republicans don't have a chance. If Davis had faced Richard Riordan in the last election, Davis would almost certainly have lost.[*] But because Riordan wasn't ideologically hardcore enough for the Republican fringe, he was rejected in favor of Simon. That rightmost chunk of Republicans are the same people who voted for McClintock in this election. If it had been a Republican primary instead of a statewide general election, McClintock would have done considerably better against Ahnold.

[*] I can't imagine Riordan would have done any better than Davis as governor, given the circumstances the state is in. But then, I voted "No" on the recall and cast my vote for governor -- the second time in a row -- for Camejo.
posted by Slothrup at 8:44 AM on October 8, 2003


"By attacking Arnold about his womanizing,......"

I really don't think this was an issue at all. if they'd have found 50 women who had proof he groped them it wouldn't have changed anyone's mind. if Davis had come out and condemned it, it wouldn't have changed anyone's mind.

The people voting for Arnold didn't do so after much weighing of issues or evaluation of qualifications. They just wanted something new. The situation sucks, politicians got us that way, so we elect a non-politician. That's the entire thought process right there. The fact that he's a sexist pig doesn't change the fact that he's a non-politician.

In fact I think the more his opponents harped on the fact that he was completely unqualified, the more people decided to vote for him.

" you Californians deserve what you get."

Yep. We built a fiscal house of cards. We voted for this mess one proposition at a time.

"It seems to me that California's budget crisis is caused by our addiction to direct democracy that controls the budget, giving little wiggle room to legislators to actually fix anything."

Exactly. No one can fix things, because, quite literally, we've made it illegal to do so. What fun.

" i bet the man hasn't got a single idea in his empty head."

This sort of lazy, ill-informed thinking is the problem.

Arnold has dominated everything he's put his mind to. Including the millions he's made in real estate, and extremely successful (if critically dubious) movie career, a business degree, and now the governor of California.

And unlike our current president, he did it all on his own.

"Are we to a point where any actor with sufficient name recognition can win any race"

Yes. Clearly.

Jennifer Aniston running the state after the next election.

" Arnie's unofficial campaign chant"

California's new state motto: "Nice tits!!!"

"PLEASE SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY YOU ARE ALL SO UNHAPPY ABOUT THIS OUTCOME!"

Arnold has never been a man of the people. He's been a wildly successful megalomaniac. Instead of someone who would have had a chance at reform we have an actor who hasn't ever reformed anything.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:47 AM on October 8, 2003


I would like to urge the entire state of California to go rent Kindergarten Cop now, and fast forward to my favorite line of his:

"Who is your daddy, and what does he do?"
posted by adampsyche at 8:54 AM on October 8, 2003


And we had stories about little old ladies living near the governor's mansion who felt ignored because Davis came home at night and pulled down his shades.

I saw that shameful piece of fluff, as well. It bugged the hell out of me, not just because of the "People don't like Davis because people don't like Davis" thing, but because it's pretty obvious to me that anyone living in the immediate vicinity of the governor's mansion is probably a rich republican who wouldn't like Davis under any circumstances.
posted by jpoulos at 9:02 AM on October 8, 2003


"It's not a tumor."
posted by TeamBilly at 9:02 AM on October 8, 2003


Maybe people who vote for politicians, should be held accountable for their choices.

"You voted for this guy. He fucked the economy, introduced all these crappy laws. Now we're going to take it out on your ass."

Maybe that's what it'll take to get an electorate that wants to make informed decisions.
posted by Blue Stone at 9:05 AM on October 8, 2003


Check this out, adampsyche. It uses your favourite line
posted by magullo at 9:05 AM on October 8, 2003


I concur with the sentiment about the media letting the voters down. They did let Arnold get away with gross generalizations, and condemned Davis without explaining why (or bothering to explain that the car tax was voted into effect by Republicans).

I feel like the media should have given more prominent coverage to more candidates, but in a field of 100+ candidates, how does the media decide which candidates are major candidates? Ideas?
posted by jennak at 9:11 AM on October 8, 2003


Time to start a recall campaign to get Arnold out. Recall, recall, recall!

Ha! Take that, Californian democracy! Oh, and jokeefe's comment wins funniest and saddest of the thread ("I hope the Iraqis are paying close attention, especially as they're supposed to soon be the benefactors of the glorious system that is American democracy.").
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:16 AM on October 8, 2003


I wonder if he's going to apologize to Georgy.
posted by homunculus at 9:18 AM on October 8, 2003


Maybe people who vote for politicians, should be held accountable for their choices.

It's a good point. There's no accountability at the voter level. I mean, sure, Shizzyburger's supporters will suffer from his policies as much as the rest of us, but NO MORE.
posted by scarabic at 9:21 AM on October 8, 2003


Lack of experience, seemingly quixotic & ill-researched ideas, a "political" reputation based solely on being an entertainer --

How MeFi would respond if other celebrities exhibiting these things--say, Woody Harrelson or Barbara Streisand--had become governor? Would there be outrage? Would there be snarky comments about whatever muckraked private details had surfaced during the campaign? Wailing, sobbing or henny-pennying? What would the response be? I'm just curious.

I mean, if you admittedly know so little about his platform, why are some of you so solidly convinced you will "suffer" under his policies" as scarabic implied?
posted by dhoyt at 9:24 AM on October 8, 2003


Sigh, democracy has proven itself second best to a good philosopher-king. It was sad to watch a action figure win an important election by avoiding making any statements about policy.

That, I'd say, is the difference between Arnold and Woody Harrelson - Woody has stated his position on many subjects, many times.

So Arnold won, not on the issues, but through a well-moneyed and slick campaign. I don't see how Arnold is any different from a career politician since career politicians will undoubtably advise (read: script) his every move.
posted by elwoodwiles at 9:33 AM on October 8, 2003


I mean, if you admittedly know so little about his platform, why are some of you so solidly convinced you will "suffer" under his policies" as scarabic implied?

Because he's a Republican, dhoyt. C'mon, say it. "Republican". Doesn't it make you feel dirty just to say it? "Repuuuuuublican". Ewwww. I think I'm going to go take a shower, now.

Oh, yes, and he's an actor! And not our sort, not the good, enlightened kind of actor who speaks out against Shrub -- not like Penn or Striesand at all. No, he does low-class musclebound films that those sort like. Damn the proles, damn them all! This country would be great if it weren't for the simple-minded schlubs who make up 95% of its populace!

Oh, and he molested women. Non of "our" candidates ever do that. Plus the man can't even say "blow jobs" right. PLO CHOPS?! What the hell! He tawks funny! He's a furriner! I mean... er... wait... isn't "furriner" what those sort say?
posted by jammer at 9:34 AM on October 8, 2003


My favorite (well, one of them) all-time Onion headline:

Maria Shriver's Face Re-Sharpened


No shit, Sherlock--you ever wonder why you never see pcitures of their kids? One of these days, her face is going to split open like a nightmare from Mission Impossible right there on NBC and you may, for some, being greeting your new insect overlords sooner than you think...

As for the People are fed up with old-school politicians and their bullshit, right and left meme, I submit this childhood memory Lithuanian born science fiction writer Algis Budrys:

Adolf Hitler drove by our house a couple of times, and they went insane. Hordes of German housewives and househusbands, people that I knew, who were all living in the same apartment complex together, were tearing themselves psychically to pieces all over the sidewalk, just watching the man go by. They weren't simply shouting or clapping their hands or going 'hooray', they were going through an animal frenzy to the point where some of them were having what I guess were epileptic seizures. Others were defecating in our bushes, couldn't control their bowels. I was four years old. I remember a guy hopping across our lawn with his pants around his knees, tugging desperately at his underpants, trying to get to a bush. And men and women rolling on the ground, writhing, clutching at each other. A hell of a thing to see. I'm four years old and I suddenly realize that I know absolutely nothing about the world except that it is populated entirely by monsters---werewolves.

I'm not equating Arnold with Hitler, mind you--just noting that celebrity worship leads to

Your guilty conscience may force you to vote Democratic, but deep down inside you secretly long for cold hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalise criminals and rule you like a king!

I must note in passing that Arnold's victory speech was remarkably gracious and intelligent--about 180 degrees apart from his idiot stump speech.

But then again I also enjoy some of David Crosby's music.

Man, that is sick! /Elvis Presley

*shaking head sadly, strikes old entry and marks -0 in jonmc credibility column, thinking 'that's 0-0 for all for this day...', he stands at the threshold, grabs his right arm, turns, and moves deep into the frame, wandering into the desert as the wind kicks up dust and the door closes to a fade...*
posted by y2karl at 9:36 AM on October 8, 2003


How MeFi would respond if other celebrities exhibiting these things--say, Woody Harrelson or Barbara Streisand--had become governor?

It's not strictly politics, if that's what you're implying. I wasn't a fan of Arnold because he never stated his stance on issues or his plans for the future. There was no substance.

Jessie Ventura had a similar lack of experience, but at least he was clear with his intentions and plans. If Babs or Woody came out for any office and didn't say anything about what they really stood for, I'd be mocking them just as hard, regardless of their political stance.
posted by mathowie at 9:39 AM on October 8, 2003


A large part of Arnie's success lies with the media's need to sell eyeballs to advertisers. I wager the media want Arnie in, because they'll always be able to fall back on farce when there's no other interesting news to tell.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:39 AM on October 8, 2003


The late Gordon Jump would do a better job in Sacramento than this turkey.

Nah, let's move to recall Ashcroft and let him run against Gordo. I'll put $20 on the Big Guy.
posted by given2fli at 9:40 AM on October 8, 2003


if they'd have found 50 women who had proof he groped them it wouldn't have changed anyone's mind.

It also helps the Gropinator to have "alpha-females" like Dowd and Estrich defending him.

Well I've learned my lesson: consent is for girly-men. I gotta get out there and grab me some ass.
posted by homunculus at 9:42 AM on October 8, 2003


b. arnold never clearly stated where he stood on issues

not true! he's made it clear from the beginning that gay marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Woody Harrelson or Barbara Streisand--had become governor? Would there be outrage? Would there be snarky comments about whatever muckraked private details had surfaced during the campaign?

definitely. you and jammer would be on that piece like stink on rice!

anyways, wouldn't it have been bad-as-hell if Robert Patrick had one? he could pull out a picture of Gray Davis and say, "have you seen this bonehead?"
posted by mcsweetie at 9:43 AM on October 8, 2003


well, it could be worse. McClintock could have won.

Davis was on borrowed time. Had the GOP pulled their heads out last year, and nominated a moderate republican instead of the wacko Simon, Davis would have lost then. Hell, I was ready to vote for Riordan over Davis. But the truth is that no moderate republican can survive the primary battles where the hard right always prevails. This recall was the perfect storm for Arnold. Hugely unpopular governor, no primaries, short election time frame -bingo -the governator.

But I am proud of my fellow San Franciscans who voted against the recall 80 to 20! My anger about this perversion of electorial process will not fade soon. Davis was freely and fairly elected 11 months ago. He committed no crime. The budget short fall was well known last November.

This was a revolt, but not against democrats. This was the only way that the center right could wrest control of the GOP from the hard right. Too bad they had to by pass our electoral process to do it.
posted by pejamo at 9:43 AM on October 8, 2003


extremely successful (if critically dubious) movie career

Ture, y6y6y6, but let it be noted that in his movies, he's shown up and read his lines for his shots only, groped a few women on the way to and from his trailer, all the while being sucked up to royally by a pack of mindless sycophants--he hasn't produced, he hasn't directed, hasn't put a cent of his money in producing any of his films, he hasn't shown any interest in the making of movies whatsoever. He's just punched the clock and collected his check. As for his real estate deals, do you seriously think he made the deals or had someone do it for him? Ambitious? The man's a multinational, a corporation.
posted by y2karl at 9:44 AM on October 8, 2003


Er, True...
posted by y2karl at 9:45 AM on October 8, 2003


democracy has proven itself second best

He was voted in by a majority of the citizens. Sounds like democracy (California-style) won out.

Disclaimer: I would never, in my right mind, cast a vote for Arnold frickin' Schwarzenegger for any office, even for the co-treasurer of the local scooter club -- yet I still find all of this fatalism and transparent partisanship to be just as amusing.
posted by dhoyt at 9:51 AM on October 8, 2003


Time to start a recall campaign to get Arnold out. Recall, recall, recall!

"California Democrat Party state spokesman Bob Mulholland said his party is giving Arnold Schwarzenegger just 100 days before a new recall effort may be launched. ... Already press reports indicate that Democrats have $3 million prepared for a new recall effort."
posted by Dean King at 9:52 AM on October 8, 2003


a Speaker does not need to be American by birth, he merely has to meet the constitutional requirement for representatives elected to the House (Article I Section 2): 25 years old, citizen for 7 years, resident of state where elected

[pedant]
Not even that. All the Constitution says is that the House shall chuse their Speaker. It doesn't require that the Speaker be a member of the House.
[/pedant]
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:53 AM on October 8, 2003


I suppose it's not all bad. At least with a Republican in office, a very popular Republican, it will be harder for George W. to ignore California. Or even want to.
posted by soren at 10:00 AM on October 8, 2003


that anyone living in the immediate vicinity of the governor's mansion is probably a rich republican

Calafornia doesn't have an offical governor's mansion. What is up with that?

He's just punched the clock and collected his check. The movie, Twins wanting to show his comedic side, he offered taking a cut of the profits instead a paycheck which paid off big, 18M(iirc).
posted by thomcatspike at 10:02 AM on October 8, 2003


I lost control and finally started breaking out laughing at all of this last night when Peggy Noonan announced on MSNBC that Arnold's victory "was a message to California that the people are sick of the elites running the state."

Because nothing defies "elite" like a Kennedy family member who raised a net worth of several hundred million with his Hollywood acting career.

Dean: is it funny that I knew it was a NewsMax article before even clicking it just because the blurb mentioned "the Democrat Party?"
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:07 AM on October 8, 2003


Arnold has dominated everything he's put his mind to. Including the millions he's made in real estate, and extremely successful (if critically dubious) movie career, a business degree, and now the governor of California.

Not forgetting Mr. Universe.
posted by walrus at 10:08 AM on October 8, 2003


I don't really understand why people seem to hate "career politicians" so much. Being a politician is a job, and a pretty tough one to do well at that. Do you complain about those rotten soft career doctors? Would you prefer your defense lawyer to be Callista Flockhart rather than a professional with years of seniority? I like my politicians to have some experience in, oh, say, running a government, but I guess that's just me.
posted by jess at 10:15 AM on October 8, 2003


Anyone wanting to argue that Schwarzenegger is a successful businessman can meet me down at the local Planet Hollywood. I'll buy the first round, and you can explain it to me slowly.
posted by dglynn at 10:16 AM on October 8, 2003


dhoyt: I'd vote against any celebrity who failed to have any kind of solid political experience, let alone a platform. This has nothing to do with partisan lines. If you hire a good-looking plumber to fix your sink, and he has no experience, then you can expect a goddam mess. That's why some of us here are so appalled by this. This is truly a case where the electorate has been charmed by aesthetic rather than any rudimentary grasp of the issues. And it's not just Hollywood chic. This morning, I listened to one woman blab on about how delighted she was that Arnold won because he was an immigrant who made good. The fact that he was a bodybuilder and an action movie star had nothing to do with her delight. And even more distressing, Arnold's self-made immigrant status was more substantial than any political position that Arnold held.

Uninformed people like this woman went to the polls in droves yesterday. And it only demonstrates to me that people on the whole know nothing about what the political process means. If the Democrats hope to regain any lost ground, they need to not only understand the way everyday people think (by actually talking to them individually instead of market research and focus groups), but somehow convert their thinking away from telegenic politics, Comedy Central one-liners ("That guy owes me bacon," "I've got a role for her in Terminator 4.") and realize that politics is really about policies, compromises and issues, and the effects on the commonweal. The responsible voter is obligated to research an issue and make an informed choice, rather than a blind one based off of what s/he was entertained by or what biographical tidbits attracted him/her. If more people voted with their head instead of what they were amused over, then you'd see a better democracy. And Hiram Johnson's ideal decanter of Progressivism might actually hold legitimate water.
posted by ed at 10:20 AM on October 8, 2003


definitely. you and jammer would be on that piece like stink on rice!

Not true. I'd love to have Woody Harrelson in office. We need more unabashed, hardcore potheads in power.
posted by jammer at 10:22 AM on October 8, 2003


Liberals->Knickers->Knot
posted by HTuttle at 10:22 AM on October 8, 2003


This sucks. I was looking forward to watch T4. A Terminator film without Arnold is just not the same. =[

Assuming that he goes at this governor thing for 8 years. How old will he be when he comes out? 80?
posted by VeGiTo at 10:26 AM on October 8, 2003


MetaFilter: more liberal than california
posted by bwg at 10:27 AM on October 8, 2003


Liberals->Knickers->Knot

Conservative->Knickers->Wet.

What do I win?
posted by jonmc at 10:29 AM on October 8, 2003


what the hell qualifies that retarded goof a. schwarzenegger to be a governor?

Well, he ran, and people voted for him. That's pretty much all it takes in a representative democracy.
posted by glenwood at 10:35 AM on October 8, 2003


"say, Woody Harrelson or Barbara Streisand--had become governor? Would there be outrage?"

More outrage probably. I think Arnold is an awful choice for governor. But he's much better than these two. Better to have an ineffective guerilla in a suit than an ineffective ideologue who's totally out of touch with reality.

"but let it be noted that in his movies, he's shown up and read his lines for his shots only"

Yep. And I'm sure this will be his style as governor as well.

My point was that what he's great at is accomplishing his goals. When sets a goal, he always attains it. Always. And this despite the fact that his goals have always been outlandish. But that's all he's great at. Once he gets there....... [shrug] That's it. Expect Arnold to be as great a governor as he is an actor.

"As for his real estate deals, do you seriously think he made the deals or had someone do it for him?"

As someone who did a bit of body building when he was younger I've been following Arnold's career since the late 70's. I have no doubt he did his own deals as much as any real estate tycoon would. Again my point, and what I believe, is that Arnold is self-made. I come to that opinion from reading about him for the last 25 years.

I've also come to the opinion that he's a nasty, sexist pig who shouldn't be governor.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:36 AM on October 8, 2003


This morning, I listened to one woman blab on about how delighted she was that Arnold won because he was an immigrant who made good. The fact that he was a bodybuilder and an action movie star had nothing to do with her delight. And even more distressing, Arnold's self-made immigrant status was more substantial than any political position that Arnold held.

Uninformed people like this woman went to the polls in droves yesterday. And it only demonstrates to me that people on the whole know nothing about what the political process means.


So what does the political process mean? His rags-to-riches immigrant story is very compelling, especially to immigrants like myself. While I agree that his immigrant story probably should not be the controlling factor in deciding who to vote for, just because some people have different priorities when voting and weigh factors differently from you does not mean that they voted incorrectly or that they should not be allowed to vote.
posted by gyc at 10:37 AM on October 8, 2003


I always liked Total Recall.
posted by Hildegarde at 10:43 AM on October 8, 2003


Liberals->Knickers->Knot

-> ??? -> Profit!
posted by dhoyt at 10:46 AM on October 8, 2003


dglynn: some random guy had the idea to start Planet Hollywood. He gave money to a bunch of actors (including Arnold) to do publicity for the chain. The actors took the money and pimped the restaurant, and the chain subsequently failed. But all that the failure cost Arnold was a little bit of credibility by association.
posted by jaek at 10:50 AM on October 8, 2003


well, it could be worse. McClintock could have won.

There was a good progressive case for McClintock. I would be much more comfortable with him as governor, at least he's proven his competence.
posted by homunculus at 10:53 AM on October 8, 2003


"Whatever the case with Arnold, the 65-70% voter turnout can't be a bad thing."

Unless, of course, they are crass, greedy, reactionary, and ill-informed, in which case it is roughly like the movement of lemmings towards the cliff.

It doesn't matter that a recent study came out showing that newspapers, public television, and NPR users hold fewer false beliefs about the world than viewers of Fox and listenners to talk radio -- the people want their disinformation, because it keeps them from having to think about politics, the world, etc.

When people attack a newspaper (not a reporter, not a story, but a whole newspaper...) which is owned by a huge national conglomerate that also owns several Fox affiliates, and when the media itself throws gasoline on the fire, you really have to question where things are heading. Notice that the one thing the media didn't do (besides drum up anger against their own...) was dispute all the charges made in the article.

In other words, the truth, if unpopular or inconvenient to some, shouldn't be exposed. The truth has become irrelevant to the matter, and those who dare to provide a home for it should be excoriated or targetted with vendetta. (This applies even to CIA agents, apparently.)

Frankly, this country appears to be slipping into a U.S. version of totalitarianism in an altogether quite willing manner, and the media's endless willingness to be quiet about it in order to get along and not upset its audience has had a lot to do with it.
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:01 AM on October 8, 2003


The only reasonable explanation I have heard for why someone from Maria Shriver's background would marry a dope like Arnold is that it is a genetic breeding program to create a bulletproof Kennedy.
posted by JackFlash at 11:07 AM on October 8, 2003


What do we get a year after Arnold takes office?
posted by homunculus at 11:11 AM on October 8, 2003


in other news , california has invaded poland.
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:11 AM on October 8, 2003


Unless, of course, they are crass, greedy, reactionary, and ill-informed, in which case it is roughly like the movement of lemmings towards the cliff.

That's the tyranny of the majority for you. It's the eternal failing of democracy.

But, it's also worth remembering that "it's the tyranny of the majority!" is the rallying cry of every loser in the democratic process. The People are always misguided if you lose, genius if you win.
posted by jammer at 11:18 AM on October 8, 2003


As someone who did a bit of body building when he was younger I've been following Arnold's career since the late 70's.

No wonder you're always kicking sand in our faces, you big bully, you.
posted by y2karl at 11:22 AM on October 8, 2003


Unless, of course, they are crass, greedy, reactionary, and ill-informed, in which case it is roughly like the movement of lemmings towards the cliff.

i have a number of conservative family members and friends who would just like to give a big 'kiss my ass' thank you to all the progressively enlightened people out there for reactionary, degrading statements like this.
posted by poopy at 11:31 AM on October 8, 2003


How depressing was it to see all the Kennedy cousins lined up behind Arnold at the podium? Didn't Kennedys used to have values? and be Democrats?...nevermind--Arnold probably reminds them of JFK and Teddy with the woman thing. (I think Maria was rebelling by marrying him, and she looks terrible, by the way)

And I was pleasantly surprised that Cruz gets to keep his job...maybe he can stop the Groper from doing too much damage.

jonmc: i could totally see DeNiro winning as mayor here in a landslide, but he actually has a brain and is articulate. : >
posted by amberglow at 11:44 AM on October 8, 2003


...just because some people have different priorities when voting and weigh factors differently from you does not mean that they voted incorrectly or that they should not be allowed to vote.

By that token, I suppose that faical hair fans would have no problem voting Staliln or Castro into office, seeing as how adorable their respective mustache and beard are to the pogonphiliac bloc.

If casting a vote is about something that has nothing to do whatsoever with a respective individual's qualifications or platform, then it's truly a wasted vote. The great problem is how to make politics, in situ, sexy without Willie Horton tactics, the dissemination of Big Money, or the glamorous sham of celebrity (whether Hollywood or Clinton playing the sax). That involves education, much like the Progressivism of the pre-WWI years. Probably an ideal incompatible with reality (as Progressivism proved to be back in the day once the war tambor kicked in). Entertainment value and priorities that were unthinkable a century ago are now so embedded within politics that I really don't see how it's possible. There isn't a single muckraker, one who combines fact-collecting with a no holds barred polemical style that tips over all sacred cows, left or right, working in the media today. Michael Moore? A vaguely amusing though unintellectual prankster. Bill O'Reilly? A man so angry that he's perilously close to a cardiac arrest. Al Franken? A comatose centrist without a solid pair of incisors.

These election results really tempt me to abdicate populism and become a full-fledged elitist. The will of the people has been laid down. Heaven help the rest of us.
posted by ed at 11:49 AM on October 8, 2003


It doesn't matter that a recent study came out showing that newspapers, public television, and NPR users hold fewer false beliefs about the world than viewers of Fox and listenners to talk radio -- the people want their disinformation, because it keeps them from having to think about politics, the world, etc.

Well, then from here on out we'll only let members of your demographic vote, then.

I don't like that Arnold got elected either, but looking down your nose at people and being condescending isn't gonna change anyone's mind.
posted by jonmc at 11:51 AM on October 8, 2003


also, that whole "immigrant with nothing comes here and makes good" thing is a crock. Didn't Weider pay for him to get here, and got him papers, and set him up in an apartment and gave him money to live on and made him a bodybuilding star? One of the many things we didn't learn about Arnold...

and on preview:If casting a vote is about something that has nothing to do whatsoever with a respective individual's qualifications or platform, then it's truly a wasted vote.
It's true, but i think we as voters can only decide on the information we're given. If the media plays the "successful, charismatic, celebrity outsider vs. career politicians in a bad economy" thing, then that's what the vast majority of people use to decide.
posted by amberglow at 11:55 AM on October 8, 2003


Dean: is it funny that I knew it was a NewsMax article before even clicking it just because the blurb mentioned "the Democrat Party?"

I don't know, perhaps it is. I assumed it was a typo. I wasn't familiar with NewsMax when I posted that link, but I am now. Learn something every day.
posted by Dean King at 12:05 PM on October 8, 2003


in other news , california has invaded poland.

Walking backwards, looking over their shoulders, waving their arms and saying "Bye ! Had a wonderful time! Thanks for everything! Don't forget to write!"

No, wait a minute--that was how the Italians invaded Poland.
posted by y2karl at 12:07 PM on October 8, 2003


> Uninformed people like this woman went to the polls in
> droves yesterday. And it only demonstrates to me that
> people on the whole know nothing about what the political
> process means.

If you believe in democracy, you accept that people have a right to choose their government even if they're illiterate cannibals. If you believe that only the enlightened, educated, thoughtful, progressive elite should be able to vote you're welcome to push for that sort of arrangement. Just be aware that the minute you put such laws and constitutional apparatus in place, powerful interests will use them to disenfranchise you.
posted by jfuller at 12:23 PM on October 8, 2003


Mickey Kaus: Why I Voted for Schwarzenegger
posted by homunculus at 12:26 PM on October 8, 2003


"If you believe in democracy, you accept that people have a right to choose their government even if they're illiterate cannibals."

I'm ready to just go with the obvious and admit that democracy doesn't work.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:31 PM on October 8, 2003


This country would be great if it weren't for the simple-minded schlubs who make up 95% of its populace!

Amen.
posted by Espoo2 at 12:45 PM on October 8, 2003


I'm ready to just go with the obvious and admit that democracy doesn't work.

Viva Fidel!!
posted by eas98 at 1:01 PM on October 8, 2003


This country would be great if it weren't for the simple-minded schlubs who make up 95% of its populace!

1) Take that sentiment

2) Apply it to any country in the world. Any of them.

3) Feel as though you're somehow Elite for observing it, and that it only applies to your immediate environment

4) Wash, rinse, repeat
posted by dhoyt at 1:05 PM on October 8, 2003


jfuller: We're actually almost in agreement. My angle here is that if you improve the level of discourse, inevitably you improve the level of politics (at least on the electorate level). I believe it's possible to educate the cannibals to some extent. (Perhaps they can be persuaded to eat just the leg instead of the whole corpus.) If you educate people to separate the malarkey from the pith, then you encourage a more informed public. Thus, the quality of the vote improves. And the votes really begin to count.

In the case of California, as has been discussed here at length, the level was always set somewhere between the a particularly bad episode of Politically Incorrect and Entertainment Tonight. When historians remember this direction, trying to determine just what caused so many people to vote for Arnold, they'll analyze the atmosphere and the communicative conduits that created the results. But my whole point was: why wait for historians?
posted by ed at 1:06 PM on October 8, 2003


Liberals->Knickers->Knot

Liberals,Knickers,Knot,
HTuttle, you sound like a twat.
I duly confess,
You must be obsessed,
'Cuz you seem to be saying it a lot.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:44 PM on October 8, 2003


Half a wit is not better than none.
posted by y2karl at 2:00 PM on October 8, 2003


A midwestern point of view: hah hah. Er, wait ...
posted by moonbiter at 2:44 PM on October 8, 2003


California Uber Alles
Uber Alles Schwarzenegger
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:46 PM on October 8, 2003


Yes, if Sonny Bono and Fred Grandy were known for anything, it was for being tough guys.

I wasn't drawing a parallel between "tough guy" roles that they've played, but rather indicating a "serious political pose" that they adopt.
posted by rushmc at 2:52 PM on October 8, 2003


The moviegoing voter
posted by homunculus at 3:58 PM on October 8, 2003


I, for one, welcome our new pumped-up overlord.
posted by laz-e-boy at 4:21 PM on October 8, 2003




[UNHOLY SHRIEK]
posted by scarabic at 5:05 PM on October 8, 2003


dhoyt - the point is not that we don't know anything about him, it's that he said little about what he proposes to do about very real problems at hand.

He appears ill prepared. A total lack of experience, expressed contempt for the people he'll have to work with in Sac, and no cogent message about what he intends to do bodes ill for times that would be hard for the best Governor possible.

Building on that doubt, you have the character issues that many have cited as further potential bad news. We may suffer from bad policy, we may suffer from neglect, mismanagement. Time will tell.

I for one would evaluate any celebrity on the ideas they put forth, and the credibility they've built over the years, as a professional, and as a citizen. Since no other celebrity has executed a campaign, debated, etc, it's hard to guess at how they would have been judged.
posted by scarabic at 5:14 PM on October 8, 2003


Despite how grating I found her during the debate, I hope Huffington gets enough signatures for her Clean Elections Initiative.
posted by homunculus at 6:08 PM on October 8, 2003


Ah, scarabic, at last--a picture of one of their kids. He takes after Maria, don't you think?
posted by y2karl at 7:00 PM on October 8, 2003


As a Californian, I'm going to have to say those of you who have never lived here can take your opinions elsewhere.

Other Americans think we're the laughing stock of the nation, but our GDP and the influence our television and cinema produce say otherwise.

As other Californians have posted, the majority of the people decided quite strongly that we didn't want another politician.

Think of the options (the serious ones).

Keep Davis and you run the risk of continuing the current state of affairs.
Bustamante has shown himself to be of poor character (his numbers kept sliding with each public appearance) and his strong links to labor unions and the Indian gambling group have made him unpopular to a large number of the state's populace.
McClintock is a hard right-winger in a leftist State.

It's obvious the Dems in the race would not be able to control the State Assembly. While it is true California's budgetary problems are in large part due to the direct control its voters have on how monies are allocated, the gridlock at the Capitol has exacerbated the issue. McClintock may have had a chance, and he certainly would have been the bet qualified politician to do it, but as stated, his platform is too extreme conservative for California.

Who does that leave?

The office of governor does not require political adeptness (hat off to johnnyboy), it requires the ability to lead and to inspire. It also requires the ability to choose your counsel.

Arnold's shown a lot more ability than most people expected when he first announced his candidacy. Using his resources to assemble a first-rate election team demonstarted his ability to mobilize quickly and target precisely what he needed to do. His numbers started high, but they kept going higher, and come election day, they surprised everyone by being even higher still.

That alone should show what most newspapers in the state have reported: Californians are sick of politicians and would rather have the untested but potentially powerful Arnold Schwarzenneger to prove his mettle.

Laugh and chortle and call us a bunch of goofs. Go ahead.

I voted for the man because he was seriously the only one you could vote for if you wanted to see something new.

It'll be interesting to see everyone eat crow if Arnold pulls through. And if he doesn't? Well, at least Californians gave the man a shot.
posted by linux at 9:13 PM on October 8, 2003


"My favorite (well, one of them) all-time Onion headline:
Maria Shriver's Face Re-Sharpened
No shit, Sherlock--you ever wonder why you never see pictures of their kids? One of these days, her face is going to split open..."


Yes! Thank you, MeFi, for making me feel less snarky for thinking this. She and Arnold both have the most frightening jawlines.

Meanwhile, anytime the Schwarz does anything as Gov'ner that makes me want to foam at the mouth - I have no idea how he's gonna kill off the car tax, not tax, AND fix the deficit - I'm just going to rent Red Sonja.

"If you believe in democracy, you accept that people have a right to choose their government even if they're illiterate cannibals."

Wait, are you telling me that everyone who voted for Arnold...is going to eat each other?!
*runs to get television and book rights tied up*
posted by batgrlHG at 9:29 PM on October 8, 2003


This is not how democracy works, folks.

You lot that keep harping on about how democracy has failed us forget Democracy requires responsibility; when you elect someone, you accept the chance that this person may fuck up. What happened in California was not democracy in action. The ability of a small minority to essentially void the legal election results of a (democratically elected) candidate means the entire election process is a worthless exercise.

Wake up, California. There's always going to be a few million people that hate the current governor. Should they be able to void the will of the majority and the entire election process because they can find someone to bankroll a recall? Davis broke no laws. None. If this fiasco has proven anything, it's that the entire recall initiative is fundamentally anti-democratic, and more than that, utterly stupid. How can a governor expect to accomplish anything if he doesn't get a chance to fulfill his term?

Think of how fast our president would have been out of office if there was presidential recall. But that's not the way things work in this country. You make your bed, you sleep in it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:38 PM on October 8, 2003


We will.

Thank you.
posted by linux at 9:40 PM on October 8, 2003


"You make your bed, you sleep in it."

Or someone else makes it, short sheets it, and you have to sleep in it anyway. But you can still bitch about it later.
posted by batgrlHG at 9:42 PM on October 8, 2003


You make your bed, you sleep in it.

Or someone else makes it, short sheets it, and you have to sleep in it anyway.


And then when you finally fall asleep, someone gropes you.
posted by homunculus at 11:03 PM on October 8, 2003


Nearly every governor since Davis has been the target of a recall. Davis is the only one who was so phenomenally unpopular that the recall was able to succeed. Even then it was a close thing - 55/45 or thereabouts. Furthermore, many countries with Parliamentary systems have Measures of No Confidence which are more or less analagous to the recall.

You can't claim the recall is anti-democratic - it's giving the people a chance to vote and influence their government. If anything, it's anti-republican.

But given that I have seen many Democrats calling for a recall of Arnold and none calling for amending the California constitution to remove or restrict the recall measure, I have to guess that the problem most people had with this recall was that it was anti-Democratic.
posted by jaek at 12:49 AM on October 9, 2003


f. also - he never starred with a monkey in a movie. (did he?)

No, just Jim Belushi.

yet I still find all of this fatalism and transparent partisanship to be just as amusing

It's not amusing in the least. It's ridiculous from either side: if all the heat and energy generated after the fact could be somehow harnessed before the elections, during the campaigns, between the campaigns, and channeled into actually doing something instead of just wringing hands and bitching like a bunch of dessert-deprived children, perhaps we wouldn't have contested elections and the growing gulf between urban and suburban denizens and recalls and all of the nonsense which has plagued our political system over the last decade or so.

Everything is talk, talk, talk. I'd love to know what actions any of you whining Californians took to support Davis or Bustamante or oppose the recall.

The ability of a small minority to essentially void the legal election results of a (democratically elected) candidate means the entire election process is a worthless exercise.

Which small minority would that be? A "small minority" of the overall population decides every election. Voter turnout was extraordinarily high; if you want to be angry at some "small minority" then be angry at the ones who couldn't be moved, even under these very bizarre circumstances, to get off their butts and vote. If you want to be angry at a small minority, be angry at the ones who put their vote behind the absolute joke candidates, porn stars and unemployed college students, diluting support for someone who reality has the ability and knowledge to properly govern. Blame the porn stars and college students, for entering the race and making it more about spectacle than the very real and substantive issues facing a huge state in fiscal crisis.

Or stop and think about why your response is to play the blame game instead of doing something.
posted by Dreama at 1:30 AM on October 9, 2003


Reading this makes me grateful that Schwarzenegger is a moderate, but it also makes me wish he hadn't said that we should model ourselves after Texas during the debate (I know he was talking about infrastructure, but still.)
posted by homunculus at 2:29 AM on October 9, 2003


recall arnold.
posted by joedan at 3:15 AM on October 9, 2003


Or stop and think about why your response is to play the blame game instead of doing something.

You talkin' to me? I think you guys need bad weather.
posted by y2karl at 8:07 AM on October 9, 2003


I'd love to know what actions any of you whining Californians took to support Davis or Bustamante or oppose the recall.

It seems that most people whining in this thread are not in California. But to answer the question, I voted for Davis last year, then I voted NOT to recall the governor this year.

But in the event the governor is recalled, then I had better choose the candidate I want, and it was not Bustamante.
posted by linux at 10:31 AM on October 9, 2003


Hypocrites in the locker room
posted by homunculus at 1:55 PM on October 9, 2003


Think of the options (the serious ones).

Keep Davis and you run the risk of continuing the current state of affairs.


There is absolutely no way that anyone can eliminate California's enormous economic troubles in the span of a governor's term. The current state of affairs will continue no matter who is in office. (Economically, that is. Politically, it will only get worse.

Bustamante has shown himself to be of poor character (his numbers kept sliding with each public appearance)

Non-sequitor. Basically, you're saying that people didn't like him because they didn't like him. That's a brilliant way to run a government. Besides, as we learned late in the campaign, Arnold's character is complete shit.

and his strong links to labor unions and the Indian gambling group have made him unpopular to a large number of the state's populace.

As a non-resident, I'll defer to your knowledge on that one.

McClintock is a hard right-winger in a leftist State.

This is true.

It's obvious the Dems in the race would not be able to control the State Assembly.

But a Republican--for whom the State Assembly has nothing but contempt--will?

While it is true California's budgetary problems are in large part due to the direct control its voters have on how monies are allocated, the gridlock at the Capitol has exacerbated the issue.

See above.

McClintock may have had a chance, and he certainly would have been the bet qualified politician to do it, but as stated, his platform is too extreme conservative for California.

Who does that leave?

You still havent' given a single reason why Schwarzenegger will do a better job than Gary Coleman or Larry Flynt--let alone Bustamente.

Rationalize it all you want, but people voted for Arnold because they thought it would be "fun". They turned out in record numbers because millions of people who don't follow politics were excited that they could finally play the game and vote for someone they'd heard of.
posted by jpoulos at 2:15 PM on October 9, 2003


Damn, there should have been some italics in there, around "While it is true California's budgetary problems...exacerbated the issue." and "McClintock may have had a chance...too extreme conservative for California."
posted by jpoulos at 2:17 PM on October 9, 2003


Arnold's Second Act
posted by homunculus at 2:46 PM on October 9, 2003


One thing Schwarzenegger's victory has convinced me of is that of all the Democratic candidates, only Clark has a chance to win the presidency in 2004. It really is all about the being the stylish alpha male, and of the current bunch that means Clark.
posted by homunculus at 3:39 PM on October 9, 2003


Arnold has certainly put together a very interesting transition team including people from a wide variety of the political spectrum, like Bill Simon, Susan Estrich, and Willie Brown. It does look like he knows a thing or two about politics.
posted by gyc at 4:26 PM on October 9, 2003


jpoulos:

Whether or not it's a brilliant way to run a government based on how much you like the candidate... that's pretty much how all popular elections go. Arnold won because he proved the most popular during the campaign.

Most people decided to give Arnold a chance because he is:
1. not a politician
2. has resources and connections (Shriver, Buffet, etc.)
3. seen as a strong and dynamic leader, and is perceived to be able to resist powerful lobbies
4. can obviously inspire Californians to vote for him

Bustamante is:
1. a politician
2. has resources and connections in the liberal sector, especially labor unions and Indian gambling groups
3. seen as a back-stabber to his boss; weak, performing poorly in the debates
4. not able to inspire Californians to vote for him

McClintock is:
1. a politician
2. has few resources and connections, all of which are ultra-right conservetive factions
3. seen as a man of strong convictions, for which he has earned respect
4. too right-wing to convince the majority of Californians to vote for him

Coleman is:
1. not a politician
2. has no resources, no connections
3. therefore seen as a joke
4. convinced everyone to vote for Arnold

Flint is:
1. not a politician, but a pornographer
2. has some resources and burned a lot of his bridges in the past
3. therefore not taken seriously
4. a decent fellow but not a man you want for governor

I can continue, if you'd like, but the election sort of shows that this is pretty much how everyone was thinking.

No one took this election lightly, no matter how festive it seems on TV. Sure, we like to joke and sure it looks like a circus... but how does this translate to Californians not taking this election seriously? We did, and we chose Schwarzenneger.

You are all welcome to chortle and guffaw, but make no mistake, this decision was made by a majority of the people, and it was made with more deliberation and thoughtfulness than prior gubernatorial elections.
posted by linux at 4:42 PM on October 9, 2003


Transition Team Includes Democrats
posted by homunculus at 4:56 PM on October 9, 2003


he's off to a shitty start
posted by amberglow at 6:58 PM on October 9, 2003


The tyranny of majority is a term invented by the self-serving elite. I think this recall is important not because Arnold was elected, but because it happened and the result of the election is honoured without question in spite of vocal objections from the intellectuals.

I wrote a pretty long post about the situation... And instead of posting it all here, I might as well link it.
posted by VeGiTo at 7:40 PM on October 9, 2003


"When are people going to learn? ... Democracy doesn't work!" - Homer Simpson
posted by jpoulos at 10:33 AM on October 10, 2003


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