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Monday, January 24, 2005

COMPROMISING POLITICS AND THE POLITICS OF COMPROMISE

My brother posted a rather severe attack on Mr. Bush and friends last week, and though I agree with him in the sense that I do not trust these people and think that they are inherently evil, I do think that some of the comments on that post were fairly on point. What is needed in these times is an attitude of compromise, which both sides seem to believe the other is incapable of. I agree with Fred that the Bush administration is out for capitulation, not compromise, but I see that attitude on our side as well. I believe John Kerry would have done a fine job, but I accept that he lost, just like I accept that the Jets lost last week. I don't like it, but it happened. What needs to happen is a looking forward to next season. Last night I watched some local L.A. news magazine program on TV, and The Governator was being interviewed. I, like many other east coast liberals, thought that Arnie was a joke. I have changed my mind. I found him to be direct, thoughtful, and above all conscious of the division, and willing to do something about it. Much like another Republican that I respect, Sen. John McCain, Arnie is interested in compromise. He said he wanted to work with Democrats, not in spite of them. When asked who his 'Leadership' role models were, he replied, "Nelson Mandela, Mikael Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, and John F. Kennedy". Three out of four is pretty good. His reasoning was that these people affected change in a positive way, and were not afraid of unpopular decision making. Making the hard but right decision. I couldn't give a rat's ass about the Constitutional provision that currently blocks Arnie's ability to run for the big office. (As I've said, I'm no Nationalist. Hitler was a Nationalist, and so is Mr. Bush.) The fact is, neither could Arnie. He said he's too busy working on this movie to worry about the next. Here, Here Mr. S. So, like Arnie, let's get on with it, do our thing, try to be friends, and when we can't, try to be nice. Lead by example, do the right thing, and hope that next time we can get somebody in there who can repair the damage done.

Comments:
Please don't like Arnie. Remember what his first order of business was? Removing the extra tax on luxury automobiles so people can drive more hummers. The nice thing about California is that the freeways are practically free. If you have to cross a bridge, occasionally they'll bang you for a few bucks but it is nothing like the 6 to 9 bucks you face going into NY. This is because in CA you pay more to put your car on the road in the first place. In my opinion, if you want to put an additional, ostentatious, larger than neccessary, gas guzzling, insurance rate driving, alleged farm vehicle on the road, you should expect to pay more. One of the next thing on Arnie's agenda was to lower the number of days (from 7 to 4, I believe)an animal stays alive at a shelter. This was done for budgetary reasons. Now tell me, do you really think he can make up what he lost eradicating the luxury tax by saving money on dog food? That's just plain evil. Plus, although I don't really know enough about it to comment extensivley, his dealings with Ken Lay are just plain shady. I'm with Arianna on that one.
 
The California automotive thing is just plain crazy, I've spent two weeks out here, and in the end, I don't give a damn what they do, it's their state, and he's representing the majority, it's what they want, really. As far as the dogs go, that's a sad story all around. It's endemic. It's the irresposibility of dog owners that causes that problem, and Arnie had to make some cuts, he chose cars over dogs, and that aligns with how the left coasters live, they care only for their cars, it's sick, but it is.
 
That would be fine with me too, if only others' pursuit of silly cars did not effect the rest of us so much. In this day in age when oil is as much of a catalyst for war as religion is, and American soldiers are dying at an alarming rate (while we all sit at home and pretty much ignore the fact that our country is at war), why does our own government, both federal and state, do so little to promote conservation of oil. On the contrary, it seems to me like all efforts are put forth to get us to consume more. It's time to start legislating common sense. Let's start with making Californians aware that their dogs are more important than hummers... I mean big cars.
 
There's a great scene in "Last Temptation of Christ" where Pontius (Bowie) tells Christ the reason he's so dangerous is that he wants to change the way people think and feel, the people won't have it. Careful Clarkie, I don't want to see you nailed to a tree. Lead by example - ditch your own car.
 
Personally, I see it all as another example of the hypocrisy that is our fine country. When people make choices that directly affect others, be it to smoke, to drive a ridiculous car, or not to neuter their dogs, they are held to an ever changing standard. We'll outlaw smoking in bars because of its health risks, but turn around and make it easier for people to drive dangerous vehicles (you don't want to get in an accident with Arnold's Hummer if you're in a little fuel efficient car). We'll write tickets if your dog is off his leash but not if he's left in a shelter because of convenience. We'll do little for kids in broken homes but keep stable gay couples from marrying. We'll put a guy in prison for smoking a joint but sell alcohol at drive thrus. The list goes on-it's our very choices that create such opportunities, and as balances of power shift, so do our values. But even tough choices are better than no choices, just ask those poor Canadians who are forced to have health care.
 
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