Who’s the Girlie-Man Now?

Back in July 2004, when the California legislature was 17 days late in voting on the state budget, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger mocked Democratic legislators by calling them“girlie-men.”

385px-hercules_in_new_york_movie_posterThe Democrats, Schwarzenegger said, were “part of a bureaucracy that is out of shape, that is out of date, that is out of touch and that is definitely out of control in Sacramento… They cannot have the guts to come out there in front of you and say, ‘I don’t want to represent you. I want to represent those special interests: the unions, the trial lawyers.’ … I call them girlie-men. They should get back to the table and they should finish the budget.”

With his political muscles still pumped from his 1.3 million vote margin of victory in the October 2003 recall election, Schwarzenegger made a series of highly publicized appearances across the state, threatening the Democratic legislators who had not approved his budget in language taken from his Hollywood persona: “I want each and every one of you to go the polls on Nov. 2nd,” he told the voters. “That will be judgment day. I want you to go to the polls. … You are the terminators, yes!”

All that now seems as long ago and far away as Schwarzeneggar’s epic Hercules in New York.

With a $42 billion budget short-fall, the worst credit rating in the nation, schools and social services on the verge of collapse, infrastructure crumbling, state offices closed, more than 200,000 state workers on forced unpaid furlough, and no new budget in sight, our Action Hero Governor has gone into hiding.

The blustering larger-than-life Hollywood hero riding across the state with his machismo exploding and his political guns blazing has turned into a pathetically meek mendicant, crouching under his desk and writing letters to Washington begging the president for federal charity.

When Arnold The Terminator arrogantly (and homophobicly) called Democratic legislators “girlie-men” in 2004, he meant to say that they were weak, impotent cowards, incapable of standing up to the special interests in their party for the good of the state.

Now it is the Republicans who are making it impossible for the state to pass a budget, throwing a tantrum and holding their breath until the state turns blue.

And it is Arnold, the has-been hero, who lacks the political cojones to stand up to the special interests in his party.

Who’s the girlie-man now?

Michael D. Fox

Michael received a B.A. degree in philosophy and literature, magna cum laude, from Queens College, and a J.D. with honors from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he was an editor of the Wisconsin Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He also received an M.F.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. Following law school, Michael served as law clerk to the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, then as an appellate attorney with the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., and as a national staff counsel for the United Steelworkers Union. He has successfully briefed and argued numerous cases before the federal and state appellate courts. He has also taught communications, speech, acting, and dramatic literature at the University of California, Irvine, Long Beach City College, and the Laguna College of Art and Design. Among his publications are books and articles on topics ranging from economics, real estate and labor relations to Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett, and contemporary drama. As a theatre director, Michael has staged more than 50 plays. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Moving Target Theatre, which produces socially conscious plays in cooperation with activist organizations and presents them directly in the community. He is also a member of the Executive Board of the Democratic Party of California, president of The Duck Club Democrats, and has received an AFL-CIO Award for Meritorious Service for Commitment to Human Rights. Michael is married and has one son, one dog, two cats and five guitars. 

Tags:

  5 comments for “Who’s the Girlie-Man Now?

  1. bobbieg
    February 7, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Taxes in CA are TOOOOOOO excessive!
    Highest gasoline tax, highest income tax, highest sales tax.
    Government in CA is TOOOOOO costly!

    TIME TO TRIM THE FAT!!

    • Michael D. Fox
      February 7, 2009 at 7:48 am

      Bobbieg: Thanks for commenting. The reason our state income taxes and sales taxes are so high is because of Prop 13's cap on property taxes — and the fact that in California all property is taxed at the same rate — that is, it doesn't matter whether the property is a small owner occupied house or a giant apartment complex or an enormous office build. Also, because Prop 13 allows Republicans to veto any legislation that might increase state revenue (even when Republicans are not in power), most of our state taxes are regressive (like our sales and gas taxes) and hit the middle class much harder than the rich. I agree that government in California is "toooooo costly" — for the middle class!

  2. Li'l Truth
    February 7, 2009 at 3:46 am

    Govt. should not be everyone’s mom. It shouldn't be doing what it isn't mandated by law to do. If you took out all the budget items that are not specifically mandated by law as a responsibility of that govt. I would bet not only would it cost less, but it would do a little better job at what they do. Taxes which as much as I hate them are a necessity, should be a low as possible to get the job done that's mandated. Growing govt to be everyone’s mom isn't good for anyone. Each of us needs to be more responsible for our own wellbeing and work with charities to help others who are incapable of helping themselves.
    At the very least smaller govt is less of a burden to carry with each of us daily.
    Bigger isn't better either, especially when they can't stay within a budget.

  3. February 7, 2009 at 1:21 am

    Bobbieg – you're close but not quite on target. There are 36 states with gasoline tax rates higher than ours. We do rank number one on sales tax (looking only at the state, not county rates) and number 3 on income tax (looking at the highest bracket in each state, the average rate would be lower but I don't know how to calculate that). To look at charts with those tax rates and others, have a look at the Federation of Tax Administators web site.

    To get a clearer picture of where we really stand, we must look at the overall effective tax rate paid by Californians. Simplfied, this factors in all the taxes paid by all Californians. For that we rank 11th overall, nationwide. We rank 15th in the effective rate for federal taxes paid and 13th for state taxes. The chart is on page 5 of this report by The Tax Foundation. To be clear, there are 10 states whose overall tax burden is greater than ours.

    Truth is, I might rather be number 41 instead of 11 but that begs the following question. Do we get good value for our taxes, irrespective of rank.? Do we get better government when we pay fewer taxes?

    Smaller government is not necessarily smarter (or better) government.

  4. February 23, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I despise this man to the bone.

    Nazi-background, steroid-pumping, women harassing scum who somehow married into the Kennedy family trying to dictate the people by playing politics.

    You would enjoy this image:
    http://www.blables.com/comics/?id=23

Comments are closed.