Conan the Governor forced an election on the state to give De Peepull of Kollyfawnya a chance to enact his "reform" agenda. I’ve struggled with whether to give in to my utter dislike for Conan and simply vote against anything and everything he proposes — the "Whatever It Is, I’m Against It" approach — or to soberly weigh my responsibilities as a citizen and vote on the measures according to their merits.
I’d like to say I’m taking the high road. But I’m not. It’s mostly because I think that at best, Schwarzenegger has appropriated the language of latter-day populism to bully opponents; at worst, he’s a demagogue. There’s a fundamental dishonesty in his carping crusade against "politics as usual" and "special interests" — the catch-all term for anyone who opposes him, whether it’s Democrats, teachers, other working people, their unions, or union leaders — while he curries favor and raises funds from the state’s corporations and business interests. There’s a fundamental dishonesty in the way he calls for fixing the state’s finances while refusing to even discuss the tax side of the equation. There’s a fundamental dishonesty in his positioning himself as a moderate Republican who stands apart from the party’s conservatives; true, he’s pro-choice, and he straddles the fence on the gay marriage question. But just remember that during the last few days of last year’s presidential campaign, he went to Ohio to campaign for Bush.
So, even having thought about some of the propositions and whether one or two might deserve support (I’m thinking of Proposition 77, which would set up a less-partisan reapportionment scheme), I’m voting no on Conan’s whole list.