Arnie’s Politics

CS Monitor: Schwarzenegger has made deft moves, so far.

Interesting review of Arnold’s moves to win bipartisan support.

What I find really interesting about this whole affair – we (as in the general public, and those on the left) are always bitching and moaning about two things in politics. One is that we don’t trust career politicians, and the other is that politicians are always cozying up to big business because they need their money to support their campaigns.

Politicians and their aides, and big media, keep trying to tell us that this won’t work, that we need politicians’ know how so that they will get elected, and so that they can navigate the treacherous waters of politics, which of course lands us with politicians (that we don’t trust!).

As much as the California election was a farce on so many levels, what it shows is that there is another way to win an election that doesn’t require cosying up to big business – it took a well known personality to stand up and be counted, and the people flocked in droves. Now admittedly Arnie has yet to cough up any significant details on how he intends to actually run the state, but already he is being lauded for his bipartisan approach.

For someone in his position this is a necessity – he needs support from both sides to get his policies to work. He also has to listen to informed opinion on key issues before making a decisions. I don’t miss the irony in the inference that it is unusual or revelatory that he has put an environmentalist in charge of the EPA – who would have thought putting someone who cares about the environment in charge of the agency charged with protecting the environment would be a good idea? Certainly not the career politicians! It kinda shows up the adversarial, party system to be the crock that it often turns out to be.

But this, I think, is also something that the people want (and not only in California). None of this party line BS – lets get some good people involved, lets get people from both sides of the fence together, and gee – lets talk about the issues.

I do hope that these early positive signs grow into some real policy. But I think that it demonstrates the public want for a new deal in terms of politics and politicians, and a lot can be learnt regardless of the end result. I just hope it’s a good one for California’s sake.