Ahhhnuld the Barbarian

A while back, I took a shot at California’s Governor for what I characterized as pandering to the left. Jeff was kind enough to swing by and tell me I was wrong about Ahhhhnuld.

I’ve stumbled across a Dick Morris column titled The Arnold Revolution that, as Flavor Flav would say, makes Jeff seem “even more righter.”

We haven’t heard much about it on the east coast, but Ahhhhnuld appears to be taking on the California donks, big oil, and the teachers’ unions – these are three of the biggest boogeymen in the state – nay – the union – and it looks like the Gov aims to stomp a mudhole in all three.

Start with the War on Terror. While President Bush hunts the terrorists down and pressures nation-states to give up their sponsorship of terror gangs, Schwarzenegger is working to solve the problem of Islamic terrorism once and for all — by ending our dependence on foreign oil and stopping the worldwide economic and climatic distortions that global oil usage causes.

He’s doing it by providing aggressive state leadership to open the way for hydrogen fuel cell cars. While President Bush speaks of the advent of these vehicles in the indefinite future, Gov. Schwarzenegger is bringing them to the here and now by converting gas stations along California’s interstate highways to provide hydrogen fuel as well as gasoline.

With financing projected to come one-third each from federal, state, and private sources, California will offer hydrogen fuel every few miles in urban areas and at least every 20 miles along the highway system by 2010. Eventually, he and the leaders of Washington, Oregon, Baja California and British Columbia will work together to create a “hydrogen highway” that will run from B.C. (British Columbia) to B.C. (Baja, California).

The Schwarzenegger plan calls for state-subsidized production of hydrogen and for tax incentives for those who purchase hydrogen cars.

Replacing gasoline engines with hydrogen-fuel cells would eliminate two-thirds of America’s need for oil — a demand that we could meet entirely with domestically produced oil.

While I’m generally not a conspiracy theorist, I do believe that finding a replacement for oil has been at the very least intentionally slowed by the powers-that-be (and possibly even the Stonecutters™) because of the oily nature of our economy. The entire backbone of our economy is based on diesel fuel for trucking, the gasoline-powered automobile industry, the airlines, the entire transportation and supply chain grid – even gradually moving to new forms of energy would have a drastic impact on many sectors of the national economy. The fact that we’re so dependent on foreign oil is our economic Achilles heel and it’s nice to see the Gov taking steps to remedy the problem – at least in his state.

Don’t get me wrong – I fully support drilling in the ANWR Alaskan wasteland. Supporting the development of new energy sources and drilling to find new sources of domestic oil are not mutually exclusive. Thanks to our (for the time being, at least) free market economy, the U.S. is the world’s innovation leader and you cannot tell me that our best minds can’t handle the task of finding new energy sources to alleviate eventual oil shortages. We can’t afford to let necessity become the mother of invention on this one.

The Gov has also firmly placed his boot in the ass of California Donks who have long had free reign in gerrymandering districts and swaying local districts in their favor.

Disgusted by the gerrymandering that led to the re-election of all but a handful of members of Congress in 2000 and 2002 (including all 54 California congressmen in 2002 and everyone but Gary Condit in 2000), Schwarzenegger is acting to end the disgrace on our democracy. He is pushing a voter initiative to adopt the Iowa Plan — to have legislative and congressional districts drawn by independent jurists who aren’t permitted to take account of incumbency or party in creating the districts.

The cynical political deals that underscored the post-2000 Census reapportionment made the incumbents of both parties invulnerable and limited the number of swing seats to a mere five percent of the House of Representatives. Gov. Arnold will change all that in California.

This is the kind of action that should be taken nationwide – if only other Governors had the stones to follow suit.

Perhaps most importantly, the Gov is taking a dump on the state’s teachers’ unions.

Finally, Schwarzenegger is striking at the root of the problem with public education by seeking to smash teacher tenure and pay and promote teachers based on merit, just like other employees in America. The privileged classroom enclave where incompetence is not punished and excellence is not rewarded will be ended in California.

Too bad that so-called education reformers like Hillary Clinton dropped merit-based promotion (which she once supported in Arkansas but dropped when she came to New York, with its virulent teachers union).

The NEA, the federal Department of Education and the state teachers’ unions are the biggest road blocks to a quality public education system in this country. If Ahhhhnuld can bust the California teachers’ unions, he will have done California the biggest favor of all.

I think I’m starting to become an Aaaaahhhhhnnnnuuuulllld fan after all.

3 comments

  1. Commercials are hilarious!

    *Whiney teacher comes on* *sniff* *sniff* Arnold wants to take away all your childrens education. *sniff* *sniff* and I won’t have a job *sniff*

    Then they have one with a nurse *sniff* *sniff*ing too.

    Arnold has a comeback ad with a mess of teachers in it saying “Arnold kicks fuckin’ ass yo! He’s actually increased funding by a whopping mother fuckin’ $3 billion bills a year for the edumacation hiz’ouse!” Ok, maybe not those exact words, but you get the gist.

    The Arnold ad really does make the whiney teachers union ad look pathetic.

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