Home > posts > The Price of Soft “Bipartisanship” – Schwarzenegger Departs With 22% Approval
January 3rd, 2011 11:11 am
The Price of Soft “Bipartisanship” – Schwarzenegger Departs With 22% Approval
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In October 2003, tough-talking optimist Arnold Schwarzenegger unseated bland public union yes-man Gray Davis as Governor of California in a revolutionary special recall election.  Today, Schwarzenegger departs with a depressed 22% approval rating that serves as a warning for Republican newcomers in Congress and across the 50 states against the perils of go-along-to-get-along “bipartisanship.”

During his first two years in office, Schwarzenegger maintained a confrontational demeanor that California desperately needed as it hurtled toward its current disastrous state.  In March 2004, for instance, he famously ridiculed California’s milquetoast political class as “girlie-men.”

Unfortunately, four common-sense and ultimately necessary ballot initiatives that he supported failed in November 2005.  Instead of sticking to principles, Schwarzenegger opted for “bipartisan” political expediency and personal survival.  What followed was a shameful litany of global warming bills, ObamaCare-like proposals, lack of leadership and tax hikes.  His capitulation provided a short-term payoff via reelection in 2006, but ultimately proved disastrous for himself and the state.  Today, despite Schwarzenegger’s early promise, California is in even worse shape than when he entered office.  And jaded voters witnessed yet another sad example of a politician who promised to change the political culture, only to allow the political culture to change him.

Schwarzenegger’s failure, however, provides a helpful cautionary guide for incoming Republicans this new year.  Namely, sacrificing the principles that got you elected at the tempting altar of “bipartisanship” will only deepen our nation’s current difficulties and eventually doom you politically.

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