The Moose observes that Arnold Schwarzenegger is attempting to position himself as a reforminator.
Arnold may be one of the shrewdest politicians in America today. You don't have to agree with him to recognize that the donkey is very fortunate that he cannot run for President.
As David Kusnet points out in the New Republic Online,
"In his second State of the State speech last night, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called for what many would consider a conservative wish list: cutting state spending by five percent across the board, paying teachers on "merit," and getting rid of guaranteed levels of pension benefits for public employees.
But he didn't sound like a right-wing ideologue. Instead, he played the part of the gutsy, apolitical reformer, just like John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and the Terminator himself. With the kind of rhetoric Schwarzenegger used last night, he just might persuade a solidly Democratic state legislature and an overwhelmingly Democratic electorate to agree to an agenda that they'd never accept if a conventional Republican had presented it."
Arnold's State of the State speech reflects political acumen on steroids. He adroitly positions himself as a reformer against the establishment. And he spoke of sacrifice,
"What I propose will demand political sacrifice from all of us, but it is nothing compared to the sacrifice of thousands of Californians in uniform. Many have left their blood and their buddies in the sands of a foreign land.
When we ask them to risk their lives for democracy over there, how dare we not take the risk to reform our democracy here!
Our troops should come home to a government as noble as their sacrifice.'
Although it is self-serving for California Republicans and his specific plan is flawed, Arnold enthusiastically embraced the highly commendable idea of redistricting reform,
"..we must make California's elections democratic once again.
When I was studying to take my citizenship test, I learned about gerrymandering and how politicians changed the boundaries of a voting area to protect themselves. For a long time I thought that was something that happened way back in the 1800's, but the practice is still alive and well today.
Here is a telling statistic: 153 of California's congressional and legislative seats were up in the last election and not one changed parties.
What kind of democracy is that?
I will propose that an independent panel of retired judges--not politicians--determine California's legislative and congressional districts.
They can draw fair, honest district lines that make politicians of both parties accountable to the people.
The current system is rigged to benefit the interests of those in office . . . not the interests of those who put them there. And we must reform it."
All Democrats who have 2008 Presidential aspirations should read and absorb Arnold's speech. If they don't plan to run as aggressive reformers, they shouldn't run.
And how about the would-be candidates for DNC Chair embracing the reform mantra? Last night, the Moose viewed a candidates forum for DNC Chair and the only one to refer to reform was Roemer, and that was done in passing.
In contrast, the Moose is a reformer with testosterone. Why not the best?