Early returns are in; and, contrary to intelligence and common sense and democratic principles, we went and recalled our governor and put an action movie star in his place.
But at any rate, now that Californians have proven to the world what a bunch of gullible idiots we are, I feel that I can safely voice my vision of what will happen over the next few years.
First, I predict that the California economy will improve. It won’t happen quickly; it will take a couple of years. Schwarzenegger will be governor, so he’ll be able to take the credit for it. If it takes longer than three years, then he’ll be voted out of office for being as incompetent as Gray Davis, even though he won’t be any more responsible for the state of the economy than Gray Davis was.
Remember the national recession? The fact that 48 other states and the national government are all running massive deficits, just like California? Remember the dot-bomb? Remember the stock-market crash? Remember the energy deregulation debacle which led to manipulation of California energy markets by Enron and other corporations — a deregulation which Republicans inflicted on us? Arnold says that he will put market forces to work to solve our energy problems — um, pardon me, isn’t that the kind of thinking that got us into the mess we’re in anyway? But I digress…
Anyway, the economy will go through some ups and downs. If the slump lasts longer than three years, then Schwarzenegger will be voted out of office in 2006 (which is when this gubenatorial election should have happened) and a Democrat will be voted in. Then the economy will improve again, not because of anything anyone did, but simply because that’s the way these things will work. Then the economy will slump again, and Republicans will come back.
The thing that bothers me the most about all this is that Republicans now pretty much have the state in a grip as far as the budget is concerned. True, liberal Democrats still have a majority in the Legislature, but not the two-thirds majority needed to make a budget work. The Republicans have just enough votes in the Legislature to bully the Democrats around. What bothers me about this is that we basically have a one-party system in place with regards to the budget, and that is never a good thing. And yes, I would have said the same thing if the Democrats controlled the Legislature completely and a Democrat had just been elected governor.
Frighteningly, I think that makes me a Libertarian. Except that I also believe that certain part of the infrastructure just shouldn’t be under the control of big corporations since that leads to political corruption and a weakening of the same infrastructure.
At any rate, it’s said that people get the leaders they deserve. I really wish that we deserved better than what we got.