Tag Archives: post-partisan

“It’s some word he made up”

Fabian Nunez yesterday took Governor Schwarzenegger to task for his behavior during the Governator’s recent swing through DC.  “I certainly wouldn’t come to Washington to tell people here how to do their job,” Nunez said, on the heels of Schwarzenegger lauding the virtues of “post-partisan” politics.

“What he’s talking about sounds good theoretically. I think in practical terms the way I read it is it’s just semantics. Post-partisanship – what does that mean? I don’t know. It’s some word he made up,” Nunez said.

“But I think he has a claim, in some ways, to that new term because last year we got a lot of things done. But you know we did it because we reached across the party aisle … Remember, everything we got done were Democratic issues.”

On the same day that post-partisanism was stung as little more than a combination of self-agrandizing deals with Democrats, Nunez is, in his own way, regaining some momentum here.  We need more of this, preferably more bluntly: Post-partisan is just Democratic issues broken by a Republican.  But it goes deeper than that.

If you want post-partisanship in action, this is it.  Schwarzenegger doing his best to look better than everyone else at every opportunity.  If you think Hillary is triangulating, she’s a rank amateur by comparison.  Nunez’s point, and it seems like a good one here, is that California really isn’t so great that it’s time to start lording it over people.  There’s a lot of work still to be done, and a lot of help that either could or must come from Washington.  To take just one example, a new government study has determined that 90% of the National Guard is unprepared to to respond to crises, and that the current course is unsustainable.  So the governor goes to DC and what happens? 800 California Guardsmen and women get mobilized for the Iraq escalation.  Glad that Arnie “lobbied the president, members of Congress and cabinet secretaries on matters of importance to California.”  Preventing death and suffering wasn’t on the list I guess.

To extrapolate further, Nunez is setting an example that several presidential candidates could learn from.  Consistently and clearly drawing a distinction between what Republican leaders (say, George Bush) are doing and what a competent Democrat in the same position could, should and would be doing instead.  Yes, when it comes time for campaigning in earnest, you talk about moving forward.  When you’re establishing the framework for a narrative of better governance coming from the Democratic Party in general, you point out the difference between Republican governance and effective governance.

While Schwarzenegger is bragging about how visionary he is and dropping names like Mahatma Gandhi, Edmund Burke and John F. Kennedy,” it’s Democrats who are actually doing the heavy lifting to improve California.  Post-partisanship is some word he made up.