Why I Hate It When I’m Right

Most people like being proven right. I’m one of the few who don’t.
More accurately, I don’t like being right about the things I’m right about. The past week had me taking several phone calls or e-mails from friends who said “Wow, you were right…at the time I thought you were just crazy but…” and so on.
Now, if these were predictions such as “In 3 months I shall win the lottery and relocate my operations to the beach in Brazil,” or “When I win an Oscar for a yet-to-be produced film I’m making with the cast of Stargate SG-1, I will spend the winnings on a trip to Vegas for all” don’t seem to come about.
However, other predictions, such as mine about Gov. Doofinator in California do come true, and while I enjoy the pats on the back for being “perceptive,” I really wish these things wouldn’t come to pass.
I received a lot of hackles from my colleagues when I made my “cynical” predictions as such:
Electing Arnold “Doofinator” Schwarzenegger won’t change anything in Sacramento and that he will break most of his promises once elected.
Many people are saying this in hindsight – but many pundits, and more than a few turncoat Democrats, including. A.G. Bill Lockyer, former San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan, and the assorted Democratic poltical cockroaches that supported the Doofinator were quick to say this was a cynical, out-of-touch observation. A quick scan of the headlines of the last few months says otherwise.
What is harder to figure out is why there seems to be a total lack of outcry or opposition to a guy who got elected on a platform of “reforming” California government and eliminating Evil Gray Davis’ “pay to play” style of governing, only to spend more time raising more money as an elected official than Davis did on his best day in office and passing off half-assed “solutions” which will only make us pay more in taxes and make more cuts long after Gov. Doofinator escapes Sacramento and goes back to Schatzi on Main for a nice cigar at happy hour.
Check out the latest statistics: in order to raise the millions needed to pass the “deficit bond issue” (also known as the “Credit Card Spending Act of 2004”), it seems Governor Doofinator has been raking in millions of dollars of contributions from the very special interests he assailed Davis for in the recall. The latest numbers? An “average” of $127,000 per day since the beginning of 2004 – and much of it in large $500,000 individual contributions. Cal Access can provide you with the lasted donations/outrages if you’re curious.
$500,000. Davis never asked for an amount that big (and if he did he never would have received it). Then again, when you’re talking about issuing a $15 billion bond to gloss over the hard choices we need to make to fix our state, there are lots of people out there who make money off the issuing of these bonds – lawyers, securities experts, and all sorts of percentage-based middlemen (and women). Spending $500,000 on a hapless Gov. Doofinator, with his hat in hand and cigar in mouth, is a pittance compared to the millions you make off the issue itself. Who cares if the “peasants” get stuck with the bill?
Oh, but it gets better. California law states that when advertising is produced for a ballot initiative, the largest donors to said campaign need to have their names put on the disclosure bug at the end of a TV ad or piece of direct mail. Governor “Open Government” Doofinator cleverly gets around these by having people donate to an anonymously named “California Recovery Team” fund that then gives the money to the actual campaigns – allowing the donors, many of whom are regulated by the state, to avoid the public spotlight. A clever little lawyer trick, surely within the letter of the law, but definitely counter to the image and promises made way back in October.
If the sneaky, self-serving, and dishonest fundraising methodology isn’t enough to make you vote against the Governor’s “Credit Card Spending Act of 2004,” the actual details of said bond issue should. Essentially, the “bold leadership” of our clever Governor is not to cut spending like a real Republican would, nor is it to raise taxes, like a real Democrat would. Instead, he’s doing what what a Typical Insider Politician usually does: Borrow money, at God-awful interest rates, burden you and your kids with the debt for years to come, all so Gov. Doofinator can balance the budget for the short term without upsetting anyone.
Sound insane? It should. Even crazier though, is the fact that the star-struck media lets this guy get away with a Big Lie that’s almost as bad as say, lying to the public for a reason to go to war – and we know that anyone who did something that bad would certainly be facing some bad press.
What truly boggles the mind though, is how so many Democrats have kowtowed to the Governor on this issue and who seem to be so infatuated with the concept of having a cigar with this guy that they don’t even seem to mind being played (that is if they know at all, a debatable point with some elected officials).
Watching Controller Steve Westly pathetically finish Gov. Doofinator’s sentences for him in TV ads, clearly abandoning any sense of fiscal responsibility to join in on this short term plan which will create long term problems for California, is pathetic. Here’s someone who ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility and management expertise, based mostly on his work at Ebay. PErhaps that is the problem – this smelly plan has all the makings of a corporate short-term “fix” that results in the company going down in flames years later, Enron-style. Maybe we need to rethink the idea of such a “fiscally responsible” guy in office in 2006.
The witty rejoinder to such criticism tends to be something along the lines of “Well, the cuts would be terrible, and we can’t have that, and so we’re going along with a bad idea to protect the [children, elderly, blind, tax breaks, hard working state workers, etc.]” is foolish. It’s not going to help any of those folks in the long run if we put off putting things in order for the long term just so we can get through Elections 2004 and 2006 unscathed.
Memo to Democrats: You’re going to get the shaft on this deal no matter what you do – so why go along with what is clearly one of the most morally, economically, and fiscally bankrupt ideas since the concept of Reganomic Deficit Spending? If you honestly believe you’re saving a few jobs or social programs from Gov. Doofinator’s axe-men by supporting this bond, you really need to put down the Bad Idea Kool-Aid for a moment.
Re-read that part in the “How to be a Democrat with a Backbone” manual about how going along with bad ideas like this inevitably leads to you losing out in the end. Do you honestly think a few cigars from the Governor now means he won’t be campaigning against you and your colleagues this fall? If you’re unsure as to how this works, go ask Sen. Max Cleland, or any one of a number of people who drank Bush Jr.’s Kool-Aid in 2002 – and got mercilessly slammed in the fall by the Rove Attack Squads.
It’s not easy for me to take a stand against this bond for a very personal reason: my mom, who is a hard working, dedicated public employee at my old high school for over twenty years, will most likely lose her job if this repugnant bond doesn’t pass.
Yet at the same time if it does, it is more than likely that someone will have to raid her pension in years to come when things get worse. I don’t want my mom to lose her job – but I also don’t think she should see her taxes go up and her pension raided by some corporate-style politico who has free health care and a big (raid-free) pension courtesy of the State.
Either way, my mom, who is a tremendous asset to the classes she teaches in special education, and who consistently played by the rules throughout her career, gets the short end of the stick. Meanwhile the corporate buddies Gov. Doofinator courts with his campaign fundraising will get breaks and feel no pain no matter how badly he and the Sacramento crew botch things, as their predecessors did.
Which is why when I hear Democratic politicos who claim to be the friend of classified school employees and government workers endorse this bond, I have to wonder if they have any idea what the impact of their decisions are on the people they claim to represent.
Coming soon: Endorsements, Prophecies, and Humor – oh my!
© 2003-2006 Greg Dewar | All Rights Reserved | Originally Published at www.schadelmann.com

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