California’s Raw Deal
“If I can sell tickets to my movies like Red Sonja or Last Action Hero you know I can sell just about anything”
Nearly lost in the torrent of post Hurricane Katrina news and spin was significant activity by current California Governor and former action movie hero Arnold Scharzenegger. Despite recent troubles regarding falling public approval ratings, sleazy deals and an unpopular special election designed to further weaken state Democrats the former Mr. Universe just announced that he would indeed seek a second term in Sacramento. A flurry of pandering to the extremist right wing base was followed up with the official announcement on Friday.
With growing public unrest over his stalled agenda and his attacks on teachers, firefighters, nurses and state employees who he has derisively referred to as special interest groups, Der Schwarz was faced with poll ratings that were sinking faster than Cyberdine Systems stock after their Los Angeles research facility was destroyed in Terminator 2. The Austrian ass-grabber, still reeling from embarrassing revelations of an unseemly $8 million deal with musclehead body building mags that sold so-called nutritional supplements (similar to the ones that he in his official capacity had recently vetoed a bill that would have regulated such substances) and the ensuing conflict of interest charges that ultimately forced him to cancel the arrangement after a torrent of negative publicity has taken one body blow after another, becoming even more unpopular in the state than George W. Bush himself.
Faced with the prospect of serving out the remainder of his governorship under a pall of shame, or even worse being the subject of a Total Recall himself, Der Schwarz did what any other Rove era Republican would do in a similar situation: he resorted to gay bashing. When state lawmakers passed a bill to officially make same sex marriage legal in California, he announced that he would veto the bill, therefore pandering to the very same intolerant theocratic bigots that have terrorized the country with reckless abandon over the past four years. Gay activists were understandably outraged at the latest maneuver of this calculating political chiseler, other than his denouncements of opponents as ‘girly men’ there is absolutely nothing to indicate that Der Terminator himself possesses any hostility toward gays and it is obvious that he is only seeking to curry favor with the dumbest segment of the populace that is the hard core Republican base of bitter and deluded haters.
Thusly, the self proclaimed moderate was running to the right so quickly that he was threatening to lap Hillary Clinton and her DLC cronies. Not only has he not been overtly anti-gay but when considering some of his past comments as well as his early choice of a career in a profession where manly men admire each others muscle tones and where there is a history of a notoriously sinister homosexual undercurrent he wouldn’t seem to fit the mold of a typical angry white gay hating male at all but would more likely be sympathetic to homosexuals. According to an infamous interview that a much younger and less ambitious Arnie gave to OUI Magazine in 1977 he spoke openly of participating in orgies like “..the guys who can fuck in front of other guys” did, he also was photographed by the late Robert Mapplethorpe whose explicit homoerotic artwork was the cause of national outrage, in the run up to the recall election some alleged explicit pictures that had never been released did not materialize despite rumors that they would appear in the days prior to the polls. The Gropinator also can’t hide behind the so called ‘protection of the sanctity of marriage’ shield either given his extramarital exploits and reputation as a giant horndog so the attack on the gay lifestyle is a strictly political as it is cunning and caluclated which are the two consistent traits of this ongoing retelling of the tale of the American dream.
When looking at Arnold’s political career it needs to be recognized that it was all built on fraud and chicanery. The egomaniacal former body building honcho saw an opportunity to one up former Predator co-star and Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura and damned if he would let it pass. Der Governator has seen his meteoric rise to GOP celebrity status floundering in the same manner that his Hollywood action hero career did after the succession of increasingly cheesy and hackneyed box office bombs that drove him into politics in the first place. The entire saga is permeated by shady back room deals, a maniacally sleazy national party backed usurpation of a sitting governor who was guilty of no criminal or ethical breaches of the public trust, corporate greed, the tawdry sleaze of celebrity, betrayal and hubris. The Bush-GOP machine, knowing all too well the fawning idiocy of the general public had their eye on Arnie for quite some time as there were private meetings arranged with their future real life action hero with Kenny Boy Lay from early in 2001. The agenda would be two pronged, first to allow the sleazeball Houston energy brokers to slither off of the hook of accountability for paying back the money that they bilked California consumers out of and secondly to put the state into play for GWB in November 2004. Republican power brokers determined that they were going to do whatever they could to get California to jump for George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election they realized that they had to get rid of one obstacle, the recently reelected albeit unpopular Gray Davis and what better way to slime him than to play the blame game by hanging the rolling blackouts around his neck…all that was missing was a patsy. To run Schwarzenegger outright would have been too obvious so Rove and company needed a dupe to initiate the recall and they could hardly have found a better candidate than the ambitious greaseball Darrell Issa to initiate the recall movement and then to be left holding a flaming bag of dogshit when his own gubernatorial dreams would be later dashed by Der Terminator.
The reign of Arnold has been a circus from the outset, cementing the idea for many Americans that the Golden State was indeed the U.S. capital for the bizarre. The Gropeinator played coy until using the nationally televised platform of longtime GOP sycophant Jay Leno’s Tonight Show as a jumping off point by announcing that he would indeed be running and was just the right man to come to the rescue of the public:
“The politicians are fiddling, fumbling and failing. The man that is failing the people more than anyone is Gray Davis. He is failing them terribly, and this is why he needs to be recalled and this is why I am going to run for governor.”
And it was with this sliming of Davis that the ambitious muscle man officially threw his hat into the ring where he would run as a populist ‘moderate’ Republican. The recall election was a garish spectacle, 135 candidates were on the ballot offering a veritable potpourri of freakitude with far more flavors than Baskin Robbins. The choices included a former baseball commissioner in Peter Ueberroth, a smut peddler in Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, a porn star in ‘actress’ Mary Carey, a washed up child actor in Gary Coleman, a commentator in Ariana Huffington, a sumo wrestler and numerous other disreputable opportunists seeking their fifteen minutes of fame. The rest as they say is history as Schwarzenegger’s name recognition, bankroll and Rove led backing allowed him to easily exploit the recall and to leave a slime trail along his way into the Governor’s mansion where his first term has been a collection of sleazy p.r. stunts, bad one liners, capitulation to right wing special interests and big time self serving promotional appearances like the one at the 2004 GOP convention in New York City where his muscle flexing was relegated to second banana status by the hateful and incoherent ravings of Zell Miller.
One wonders why the Gropinator is even bothering with the effort to retain his starring role, considering that his wheeling and dealing and influence peddling would have him fast tracked for a highly influential position in the House of DeLay were he to not run for reelection and instead chose to buy his way to a likely easy win for a congressional seat and an increasingly visible role in national government that he could use as a springboard to bigger things…like the White House which would likely be successful due to the power of celebrity on flake nation, he wouldn’t even be the first fraud of a bad actor from Hollywoodland to occupy the Oval Office and most likely and even more tragically wouldn’t be the last.
Not to accuse Governor Schwarzenegger of being an out and out Nazi because partying with Kurt Waldheim, acknowledging a one time admiration of Adolph Hitler and prancing around to Wagner marches while clicking his heels (albeit in his younger days) as well as having a father who actually was a real member of that most infamous of German regimes would be traits totally unbecoming of an American with big time political aspirations. Now if he wanted to pass a ballot initiative requiring that all California gays to wear pink stars on their lapels tomorrow he could be certain of sending armies of right wing Republican extremists goose stepping to the polls in November 2006 where the combination of celebrity and bigotry will likely be a winning formula for the GOP.