Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Walters: If Schwarzenegger can't do it ?

In today’s Bee conservative columnist Dan Walters offers some speculation on “If Schwarzenegger can’t do it, A Democrat’s luck might be no better. May 11, 2005.
Regular readers of the Bee know Walters to be the more conservative of the two major columnists. Weintraub – conservative,corporate view; Walters- more conservative.
However, Walters is worth reading because he usually does an honest and open analysis of data and demographics.

Today’s essay posits 1) perhaps Arnold may not run for re-election,
2) if a Democrat were governor things would be equally incoherent.
The basis for the Walter’s assertion is analyzing the failed term of former Governor Gray Davis, not looking at prior Republican governors.

The argument is well made as far as it goes. But, it is important to consider what is not said.
Walters describes the failures of the Davis Administration and its defeat. He chronicles the ways that the Democratic majority in the Assembly and Senate forced a liberal agenda on the usually moderate Davis.
What he does not describe is how Davis was brought down by two Tsunamis.
First, the collapse of the dot come economy brought an economic crisis to the state. In the crisis liberals refused to cut social services and conservatives refused to raise taxes. Thus, the state fiscal crisis.
Second, Walters forgets about the energy crisis, when a few corporations led by Enron looted the state treasury and caused energy blackouts.
Beyond these two major issues, Walters presents an intriguing way to analyze the success or failure of administrations. I, for one, have never been able to understand why the Schwarzenegger Administration was willing to settle the Williams case (school funding) while the Davis Administration fought it using state resources.
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