Thursday, September 25

Gray Davis Is Sleeping Well Tonight

Arnold Schwarzenegger walked into this thing with the M.O. of the Republican party for the new millennium: expectations so low that if he says anything even remotely resembling quasi-intelligent that he'd be hailed as a freaking hero. Tonight's recall debate was supposed to be his Super Bowl, World Series and Stanley Cup Finals rolled into one. Arnold was the 1976 Buccaneers, the 1962 Mets, and the 1975 Capitals. He just plain sucked, saying absolutely nothing new since his Tonight Show announcement.

The question he never answered is the question nobody dares to ask him. Not on the trail and not at the debates:

"What do you plan to do about it?"

To wit:

"When we bring jobs back and the economy is booming, then we create more revenue and then we can afford some of the programs and pay off the debt."
What do you plan to do about it?

"The politicians make a mistake. They keep spending and spending and spending. Then when they realize they made a mistake and they spend the money they don't even have, then go out and tax, tax, tax. You guys have an addiction problem. You should go to an addiction place because you cannot stop spending."
It's "halfway house," Genius. But WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO ABOUT IT?

"I just think it is ridiculous for Cruz and for Arianna to say everything's fine and dandy and that everything is perfect. It's not ... You've got to be honest with the people. Remember one thing, in California we have a three-strike system. You guys pulled wool over the people's eyes twice, the third time now you are out. On October 7th you are out."
I have no freakin' idea what he said there, but WHAT THE HELL DO YOU PLAN TO...oh forget it.

By the way, anyone over the age of 11 who still uses "and stuff like that" to end a sentence (as Arnold did repeatedly throughout the night) should be barred from public life. No matter - Schwarzenegger spent so much time quibbling with Arianna Huffington over trivial crap, that he forgot why he was there.

Speaking of Arianna, she was punditing up a storm - which doesn't translate well in a debate for public office. Her remark about how Arnold treats women was met by a gasp with a wind chill factor of -45. But she did succeed in completely derailing Arnold's focus and that alone was worth having her there.

What is it about Green party candidates that keeps reminding me of those weirdass English teachers I had in college? Peter Camejo had all the trademarks: all the stage presence of lint, the screwy hair, and the SHEER VOLUME OF HIS VOICE. The only thing missing were the elbow patches on his jacket. The Green has replaced the Libertarian as the house weirdo of political discourse.

That leaves the only two outposts of sanity for the evening - the career politicians themselves, Cruz Bustamante and Tom McClintock. Now BELIEVE me, I'm in no way a fan of McClintock's politics, but he and Cruz both gave me a new appreciation of slick professional election-time rhetoric. Because the "plain talk" of the other three made me want to jam pencils into my skull to release the pain. I'm an advocate of "No On Recall - Yes On Bustamante" but if the Republicans talk McClintock out of running in favor of Schwarzenegger - especially after tonight - they're even stupider than I've been giving them credit for.

Finally, if you live in this state, you see Arnold's "Indian Gaming" spot ad infinitum on the tube. And all I keep hearing in my head all day like a bad song is him saying how Indian casinos need to pay "theeah feeah sheeah" of taxes. I usually say out loud, "WHATTYA PLAN TO DO ABOUT IT?" - which generally draws concerned stares (or "steeahs") from those around me.

Me? I've made my decision. I'm voting for moving to Las Vegas.

Maybe check into one of those "addiction places."