From Reason TV this time, another must watch video detailing the problems of out-of-control spending in California under the Governator. It includes several clips of Tom McClintock who was the 3rd candidate in the 2003 recall election in California, with 13% of the vote. I remember at the time that I had really wished McClintock could have won, but that Arnold was probably the best you could expect out of California.
What is so disappointing about Schwarzenegger is that I thought he would be so much better on economic issues. In 2003, I had recently watched the entire Free To Choose series by Milton Friedman from 1980, which had recently been made available online. When Friedman did an updated series in 1990, Arnold Schwarzenegger actually INTRODUCED THE SERIES.
The idea that such a huge fan of Milton Friedman would now be leading California as governor toward economic peril through uncontrolled increases in government spending must have Friedman churning in his grave (Friedman passed away a couple years ago, may he RIP).
Schwarzenegger followed this up with pretty solid rhetoric during the 2003 recall campaign, and seemed to be true to his word initially. But after he got his hat handed to him by the unions because they spent HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars to defeat his 2005 series of ballot initiatives (a level a spending the unions ironically could not have done had Proposition 75 passed, requiring union employees to opt-in in order for their union dues to be used for political purposes), he seemed to do a complete 180 and focus only on getting elected again in 2006.
He seems to have taken the approach that the people of California had spoke in 2005, and so he was going to give them what they wanted. I'm not sure if he just wanted to be popular, or look out for his political career, or if he truly believed all his talk about "the people" in the 2003 recall race, but since that defeat in 2005, he has lost all conservative tendencies whatsoever and is now worse for the Republicans than ever because he will get Republicans tagged with the blame as California suffers. Much better to have stood strong on conservative principles even if it would have led to an election defeat in 2006 (which I don't think it would have -- the 2005 propositions may have been defeated, but he was still popular enough). Instead, he is helping tear apart the Republican party from within.
It's a sad thing to watch. Sure, governing is tough, and it requires tough decisions, especially when they are the right but not popular decisions.
Why, Arnold, are you acting like such a political girlie man?