April 13, 2024

Schwarzenegger, Renaissance Man

Arnold “I’ll Be Back” may be headed into terminator-mode in California as he tries to chop the state Republican Party’s platform down to size. From the Orange County Register:

California Republicans are heading for a showdown over the direction of the party.

Governor Schwarzenegger wants the state GOP platform boiled down to as little as a single page focusing on lowering taxes, limiting the size of government and building a strong national defense.

But conservatives say he’s attempting to undercut party positions on everything from support of traditional marriage to immigration.

State Republicans begin work this weekend on a new platform at their fall convention. The governor is circulating a letter that calls for a trimmed-down platform. It does not mention abortion or gay rights.

Fox says:

Republican moderates in the state have long argued that the party needs to shift to the political middle or risk becoming an afterthought in a state known for its increasingly diverse population and Democratic leanings. The legislature, for example, is firmly in Democratic hands.

Schwarzenegger’s re-election last year was largely attributed to his move to the political middle ground, a decision that created a rift with the GOP right wing.

A party-wide shift toward the center certainly wouldn’t hurt Republicans’ representation in the state legislature. It also might help bring California’s electoral votes back into play for the first time in forever.


A centrist, the actor-governor describes himself as a “post-partisan” who wants to bridge the political divide that often leaves the state capital of Sacramento gridlocked.

Schwarzenegger…says the platform should be distilled to a page or two of concise principles echoing those held by Ronald Reagan.

Can Schwarzenegger take on the state party and win? Why not? He’s the only Republican of consequence to come out of California in recent memory.

Should he try? That’s a more interesting question.

Still more from Fox:

“There’s a move afoot to make sure the Republican Party stands for nothing,” said Michael Spence, president of the conservative California Republican Assembly. It’s “a direct assault on Republican Party principles. They think they can reduce the party to a few lines or sound bites.”

Actually, I’d call Schwarzenegger’s a move toward a political reality in which things that make sense might have a chance of getting done and political cliques, the bane of modern politics, might be diminished in power.

The issues that Arnie wants to remove from the platform – gay rights, gun control, and abortion – are no-win issues for Republicans in his state. Moreover they are losers with the growing number of minority voters who, although they have no real stake in these issues, identify more strongly with the “oppressed” gay and abortion rights advocates than with the conservative crowd.

But overturning Roe v. Wade is an issue of principle. How can Republicans withdraw from that position?

Perhaps by remembering that the Republican Party stands first and foremost for limited government, both fiscally and socially, and placing this fundamental principle above all others, even if it means sacrificing some of the party’s sacred cows.

Cross-posted at The Van Der Galiën Gazette.


Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

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