February 22, 2009

"Personally Opposed" Fiscal Conservatives

Some fiscal conservatives in the Republican party want to jettison their social conservative bedfellows but they ought to take a close look at the case of Arnold Schwarzenegger. That very thing the social liberal holds dear undermines the fiscal conservative: that of creating a wedge between the personal and the public.

Schwarzenegger was the former darling of the fiscally-conservative, socially liberal set but who now seems to be selling the oxymoronic idea of "principleless leadership". I'm fascinated by how on "This Week" today he so brazenly said that his only job is to follow the will of the people of California. It amounts to: "I'm personally opposed to tax increases but..". But polls say Californians want a mixture of tax increases and spending cuts and so he gave them what they wanted. Isn't that exactly what pro-choicers say? "I'm personally against abortion but can't impose my will on others"?

Turns out he's Bill Clinton redux, a governor by polls, which would not be surprising except for who he is. Schwarzneggar never struck me as in the same camp with the weaker-willed Bill Clinton. Or is what they have in common simply ambition?

UPDATE: I should've said that the 'personally opposed' quote above was a paraphrase, but the exact language (from this transcript) suggests that Ahnold is a follower, not a leader and that although he's personally opposed to tax increases he has to do what the people want (emphasis mine):
SCHWARZENEGGER: I made it very clear that I'm against raising taxes, and even today I hate tax increases...

________ [later] ______

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even if it requires tax increases?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Even -- if -- no, even though it maybe is against your principles or philosophy, you still have to go, because that's what the people want you to do. And the same is in California. So I will go again after health care reform. I will be going after, you know, education reform, which, of course, we've got some good one, because of the categoricals dropped by $6 billion, our categoricals, so more money goes into the classroom now. So you've got to do what the people want you to do rather than getting stuck in your ideology.
And here I thought we had a representative form of government!


William Luse said...

Pretty insightful, TS.

Wouldn't jettisoning the social conservatives leave us with a one party system?

zippy said...

Did he really say that? That is hysterical.

TS said...

Thanks Bill. I do think it would be suicidal for the party to jettison social conservatives... It sort of feels like we have a one-party system already the way it is.

TS said...

Ooops that was a paraphrase Zippy which I should've said. I'll update with this post with the exact language...:-)