By Geoff Metcalf
October 10, 2003
The day after the historic California Recall election I had lunch with a long time Sacramento political insider. I asked him, "What is the correct political terminology for 'ass whooping?'"
He smiled and replied, "The technical accepted terminology is 'ass whooping'".
The people of California have spoken. And they SCREAMED a message that seems to still elude certain democrats who remain deep (DEEP) in denial.
According to the hysterical mumblings of Sheila Khuel and Bob Mulholland the overwhelming majority of California voters are just wrong, wrong, wrong…and it is incumbent on the enlightened minority of democrat sycophants to run the state from the Senate.
The numbers are staggering and exceeded all the expert prognostications. Knuckle dragging democrats to fail to comprehend the cruel and stark reality check will do so at their own peril.
Winners and Losers:
The Arnold campaign was masterfully executed (covertly) by veteran political consultant Joe Schumate (despite previous claims to the contrary).
The McClintock Factor:
It may take a while before it is acknowledged (if ever) but Senator Tom McClintock is a big winner.
I confess I was frightened that his recalcitrant, stubborn refusal to step aside for the good of the party and state, and that his apparent pigheadedness could have cursed the state with Cruz Bustamante.
However, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, it was Tom McClintock that established, managed, and maintained the debate throughout the campaign.
Without McClintock's persistent harangue of fiscal responsibility and religiosity to once upon a time republican principles, team Arnold may have made tragic errors. Without McClintock Arnold may have pandered to the pro-abortion, gay rights, liberal elements anathema to many republicans. The ultra conservative McClintock kinda/sorta kept Arnold focused on the important issues and prevented him from potentially making campaign mistakes.
So what about McClintock? Had he been the Ralph Nader/Ross Perot 'spoiler' that cost Schwarzenegger (and republicans) the election the conventional wisdom was he would be a radioactive pariah. However, that didn't happen. Arnold won handily WITH McClintock taking about 13% of the vote. Frankly, when the two republicans are combined, over 60% of a traditionally democratic state voted republican…and more people voted for Schwarzenegger and McClintock than voted against the recall.
The governor-elect's win is significant in and of itself. However, when combined with the McClintock base it represents a real mandate for fiscal change.
Much of what follows will be mitigated by personalities and management of power (real and perceived). There are elements in the Schwarzenegger team (mostly veterans of Pete Wilson's administrations) who don't like McClintock. However, for the good of the party and the state, all would be well served if Governor Schwarzenegger found a significant role for Senator McClintock in his administration. It may not happen…but it should. I have even heard of some GOP types who may attempt to make McClintock's political life more difficult just for sport. Talk about eating your own…..
Meanwhile, there remain democrat elements that are 'Jonesing' to show the new kid ('The Terminator') how 'real' hardball politics is played. They would be wise to take a deep breath, shut up, and sit down. The thought (and $3-million allegedly banked) for a Recall Arnold effort has got to be the most petty, myopic, self destructive brain fart since King George was persuaded excessively taxing tea was a cool idea.
Democrats need to lick their wounds, analyze the numbers and recognize there is a sea change afoot in California. They can either continue to remain the nexus of the problem or they can (even if only temporarily) attempt to set aside the 'our team' versus 'their team' horse excrement and work with their partisan opponents to fix what many presume to be the unfixable fiscal challenges of California.
I don't have much hope reason will win out over petty visceral mean spiritness. Senator Khuel and party hack Mulholland have already demonstrated the worst of the democrat dementia. It is yet to be seen of reality and fear can compel them to do what is needed (rather than what they want).
© 2003 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved
"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's Web Site: www.geoffmetcalf.com. While you're at it - pick up a copy of Geoff's latest book! E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Democrats need to lick their wounds, analyze the numbers and recognize there is a sea change afoot in California."