Those of you living outside of California (or Kaleeefahneeah) who may not be used to seeing Arnold speak at length about political issues may be surprised to learn something about this former juicer and Hummer enthusiast: he actually gets it. The Governator is coming out of this presidential election looking better than just about any of his fellow Republicans.
Not only did Arnold conveniently skip the Governor’s Association Conference last week in Florida (he had some real fires to put out) in which solutions were in short supply and grandstanding (see Palin, Sarah) and “message” mumbo jumbo were in full bloom, he made his way to “This Week with George Stephanopolous” and admitted what for Republicans has been the toughest thing to admit in the Bush years: you can’t be a competent party that meets the needs of its people if you keep sticking to the same failed ideology, an ideology that is essentially bankrupt.
Why did it take this long for a national figure in the Republican party to say that building roads, good schools, keeping people in their homes, and saving the environment aren’t “Democratic or Republican” issues but issues that transcend political labels? Arnold goes on to say that his “core values” are those of the Republican party of Eisenhower and Teddy Roosevelt — when Republicans weren’t afraid to spend money on programs that invested in the future — and are not the “nonsense” core values of his current party. This is such a stark contrast with the Palin rhetoric that relies on embracing “pro-America values” and prayers to a Christian God to govern at the highest level. At one point in the interview, George S. tells Schwartzenegger that he’s sounding a lot like Obama. This particular Republican didn’t disagree.
Palin supporters may be dissapointed to hear one of the most popular stars of their party (and the most famous — prior to the convention) espouse essentially the same non-ideological rhetoric as the terrorist loving, America hating, Marxist President Elect. Maybe they’ll want to send Arnold back to Austria when President Palin passes her comprehensive immigration bill after 2012. But it must be music to the ears of many Republicans who have had to suffer through this past election as their man John McCain turned his back on his own values to embrace the Rovian politics of the Dark Side and crackpot ideology of the far Right. Better late than never I guess.