USA Today (via Drudge) carries this little tidbit about the Governator prodding the GOP for leftist votes.
It would be relatively easy at this point to take another cheap shot at Arnie's ever-progressing "Kennedy Syndrome," since his marriage into the Royal Family has apparently addled his Stero-Austrian sensibilities. Heck, I've done it before. Unfortunately, his statements to a German newspaper are even more troubling than his left-center leanings.
The telling quote:
"I would like the Republican Party to cross this line, move a little further left and place more weight on the center," he was quoted as saying. "This would immediately give the party 5% more votes without it losing anything elsewhere."
So it comes to this. Politics reduced to mere bookkeeping.
I am not naive enough to believe that it's never been about how many votes you get. This is what keeps power brokers in power, after all. Politicians we happen to support don't get there without votes; of this there is no question.
I had hoped, however, that this last election would have made something clear, even to these dull-witted politicos. The campaigns of the two major parties were marked by extreme polarization - more so than we've seen in many years. The issues ranged from personalities ("I'm voting for Kerry because I hate Bush") through terrorism and down to "values." On each point there were, truly, very few middle-roaders. The middle-roaders can, perhaps, be compared to Nader's campaign. Enough to be considered "significant," but not nearly enough to swing the results of the election.
With that knowledge, and considering the fact that the Republicans did better than most analysts had predicted this election year, it seems inconceivable that the Governator would ask the party to set aside its moral backbone in order to gain another 5%.
And yet, it's not really inconceivable.
This is Arnie, the Hollywood power broker, speaking. This is a man who made his fortune because he became a commodity, and then enlarged it by being a shrewd financier. He married into what is arguably one of the most powerful and wealthy families in the United States. He parlayed the woes of a very unpopular governor into a stunning victory for the GOP, and has even been mentioned as impetus for changing that dratted ol' Constitution so his power base can propel him into the White House.
Of course he wants another 5%.
Arnie the Hollywood Power Broker© craves popularity. He will - and you can quote me here - begin playing the "diversity" card any day now. "We must reach out," he will say, "to those who feel that the GOP is an exclusive club." He will preach tolerance of gay rights, and even the worman's "right to choose," because it will attract voters from the left side of the spectrum and give him that extra 5% he craves.
The problem, of course, is that Arnie fails to do the math.
Whether or not you believe, as some party faithful do, that the GOP gained any kind of mandate in this last election, it cannot be disputed that we won by a very narrow margin. Narrow enough for politicos like Arnie to be wistfully gazing at that 5% vote margin.
Open the floodgates by asking us to set aside our moral convictions, Arnie, and you instantly lose a much larger number than the 5% you might otherwise gain. Don't forget that a very large portion of your current "power block" are unabashedly right-winged conservatives, and we will not hesitate for an instant to turn your plea for "diversity" into a political nightmare. Tolerance is fine as far as it goes, but I refuse to turn my back on the principles that have become my own "power base" - the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So here's the deal, Arnie. If you really want that 5%, do the honorable thing. Change parties and declare yourself to be a "conservative Democrat." At the moment, I think the only thing lacking is an actual change in your registration. You'll find the paperwork online, I believe, at the web site for the Secretary of State.
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