— GOP adviser
If the national Democrats are scratching their heads over how to take down a once-popular Republican leader, they should drop a dime and get the 4-1-1 from Democrats in California.
The reversal of fortunes for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger began in January when he informed us in his “State of the State” speech that 2005 was going to be the “year of reform.” The speech was a disaster. Das Guber projected an attitude that suggested that, yes, he was delivering bad news but, hey, he was doing it with a smile. Buck up and take yer medicine.
Voters never liked to be lectured to by their elected officials. A real politician would know that. And nobody wants to be lectured to by a movie star.
While many of his wounds ar self-inflicted, Democrat’s in the state deserve credit for the governor’s reduced fortunes:
“What the Democrats have done here undeniably has been very effective,” said [Hoover Institute fellow and conservative political adviser Bill] Whalen. “They have attacked Schwarzenegger’s policies; they have attacked his character, his ethics, his trustworthiness, and it has driven down his poll numbers.”
…But veteran Democratic strategist Garry South said there’s hardly an outpouring of pity for the GOP action-hero-turned-governor with this latest development. “He’s gotten himself into this pickle,” he said. “This was all about testosterone, and we’ll have to see whether his glands outduel his brain on how to get out of this mess.”
Democratic consultant Gale Kaufman also seemed to be enjoying the governor’s predicament. Strategy is limited, she said, when you’re hanging on the side of a cliff.
“They are in free fall here,” she said of the governor’s team. “They don’t have any good choices.”
President Bush has not had a particularly good year either. His poll numbers are in the toilet. The CIA leak scandal re-emerged in the past few weeks immediately on the heels of revelatitions in the Downing Street documents that the Bush team was preparing for war in 2003 while making public statements that preparations were not going on.
All the President has left is his integrity, which largely fabricated to begin with. Now it is even unraveling in his own party. In a recent poll, 25 percent of Republicans believed that Bush should be impeached if he lied about the reasons for war. In the same poll, 25 percent of Republicans rated his job approval unfavorably.
The noise and fluster around the CIA leak scandal is at the flying monkey level – Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, John Bolton, Ari Fleischer, etc. It is not beyond conceiving that our attention is being drawn to allegations about these men in order to direct us away from the Big Guy.
But that sort of misdirection can’t withstand that scrutiny that is to come. The investigation will eventually lead to the Oval Office, and the question that brought down Nixon: What did the President know, and when did he know it?
We know the corrupt conservatives that run the Congress won’t ask that tough question, so we can only hope and pray that the Democrats will.