Arnold Just Chillin’ Like A Villian While Bass Fights A Multi-Front War

PhotobucketAs the budget crisis seemingly finds ways to get worse every day, there isn’t a lot of progress being made. However, ain’t no thing but a chicken wing for the Governor. He’s got his stogie and his jacuzzi. What more could a “steely-eyed, sword-wielding strongman” ever want.

Meanwhile, as Arnold shifts the goalposts of the budget deal, rumors about Speaker Bass getting deposed flitter about the Assembly. At this point there is no clear challenger to Bass. A few names have been linked with the job in the past, including Assembly Members Fuentes and Ma, but if anyone has been pushing, they’ve been quiet about it.  But there are some skeptics even while Bass discounts the precariousness of her situation:

“I will be shocked if she’s still around by Sept. 1,” said one longtime legislative staffer.

Bass brushes off such assessments as “the nature of the beast.” Coup rumors have bedeviled her since May 2008, when she became the first African American woman in U.S. history to lead a state legislative house.

“When it comes time to leave, it will be in a natural order” and not before early next year, Bass said Tuesday in her ornate office hugging the Capitol’s northwest corner.

I, however, am inclined to agree with Speaker Bass that nobody will try to depose her.  At least certainly not while this budget mess is ongoing.  You want job security? Try having a job like that, where no matter what kind of compromise you make, somebody will hate you.  Nobody will steal that job, trust me. It’s like stealing radioactive waste.  Woot, we made it through all that security, our reward is…cancer!

UPDATE by Robert: Karen Bass has learned the lesson of the film WarGames – “the only winning move is not to play.” It’s the same lesson card players learn after a session with a crooked dealer, or kids learn with friends who conveniently ignore the game rules. When you’re faced with someone who rigs the game to their benefit, you can no longer win by playing their game. You have to say no.

It’s a shame that Darrell Steinberg has yet to learn the same lesson. There is nothing to be gained by negotiating with Arnold as long as he insists on a shock doctrine strategy. Take a page from Lynn Woolsey and the Progressive Caucus – the word “no” has an immense amount of political power. Karen Bass has learned this. Steinberg still deludes himself that a deal can be cut with the dishonest.

Because as Naomi Klein pointed out, the lesson of the shock doctrine is the same as WarGames. The only winning move is not to play.

And the picture in the upper right is by Miles Kurland. It’s a brilliant encapsulation of California in 2009.

UPDATE by Brian: One more thing. Apparently the Governor’s people are little concerned about another blockade of their office, after the Wheelchair Warriors made their point yesterday. They’ve roped off a corridor now. We’ll see how that works for them.

5 thoughts on “Arnold Just Chillin’ Like A Villian While Bass Fights A Multi-Front War”

  1. When two parties are in the end stages of working out a carefully balanced, multifaceted deal and Party A suddenly tosses out a new item that is termed a dealbreaker, s/he does so believing that Party B has no choice but to cave in and agree, or walk away without a deal.  And Party B’s only two choices are, in fact, to cave or walk.  That is what the Governator did last week by demanding a two tier pension system, and the biggest mistake Steinberg has made since then is to continue to try to negotiate.  Because everything that he has done since then is a slow-motion cave.

    I went to law school with Steinberg.  We probably took the same negotiations class (different years).  He’s a nice, earnest, bright guy, but we need a Rahm Emanuel.  And we need someone who will walk out.

  2. “Caving” is praised as “bipartisan” in the corporate-run news media. “Walking” is characterized as “stubborn”, , “extreme”, “captives of unions” etc.

    We want our elected officials to be sensitive to public opinion, right? I agree that we also need leaders who have the courage to shape public opinion, too.

    But they’re up against talk-radio, suburban newspaper editors, Jarvis-Jihadis and teabaggers. We have to do everything we can to back them up in the battle for hearts and minds.

    I got a letter to the editor published in the Ventura County Star today that squarely blames the ‘Pubs for the State’s woes. I’ll be royally flamed for it, but I just got fed up with all the cartoons and editorials safely criticizing “the legislature” for everything.

    It’s not much, but I’ll still send copies to my reps… and Bass and Steinberg too.

    BTW. I couldn’t have put that letter together without the resources of Calitics. Keep up the good work.


  3.   Call for the convention Dem leadership–California is a failed state.  This puts us on the side of reform.  Then when the Reps reject, support the recall against Schwartz.

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