Tag Archives: John Fund

WSJ’s John Fund is wondering about that Schwarzenegger legacy

Never one to miss a bandwagon, John Fund decries California's apportionment process for legislative districts. It seems he's still under the impression that Schwarzenegger is a visionary leader, but he just needs to make that one final move to prove his goodness:

The ability to vote out incumbents has proved to be far more effective than selectively enforced “ethics” rules. If gerrymandering is allowed to become more sophisticated, voters and defenders of good government will have to become more tenacious in fighting it. It’s time for Mr. Schwarzenegger to decide whose side he is on–that of the Sacramento power brokers he railed against when he won the historic 2003 recall election, or the people who will be increasingly disenfranchised if gerrymandering isn’t brought under control.(WSJ 10.15.07)

Some more funny Fundisms over the flip.

Here’s a classic one, seriously I almost fell out of my chair:

It was after that election that Mr. Schwarzenegger proposed a measure to have districts drawn by a commission made up of former judges, whose work would be approved by the voters. He put it on a 2005 special election ballot as part of his “Reform California” agenda. But he ran an unfocused campaign that was outmatched by his public employee union opponents, and all of his ideas were defeated.

His unfocused campaign? Really? Or perhaps the ideas were dumb. Just plain bad ideas. Prop 77 didn’t actually reform anything, it was a mid-decade Tom Delay style redistricting. It used old maps to redraw lines by people who were totally unaccountable to anybody whatsoever.  Well, the maps were subjected to votes that would complicate the system by making YOU (yes, you!) the gerrymanderer! Yay!

John Fund is buying into the GOP myth circa 2003 of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Perhaps he should have talked to his right-wing brethren here in California that now see him as selling out the right and who practically booed him offstage at the Republican convention. The mythical Arnold is gone, never to be seen again. Now we merely have a man who is trying to find a base, any base, of support for his initiatives.  And right now, he’s not finding it.

Perhaps that’s because of all of his great ideas.

CA-04: When You Lose John Fund…

The S.S. John Doolittle just got a little lighter today, as The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund becomes the latest rat to desert the sinking ship.  The opening line is devastating:

It’s sad when someone you’ve known for decades gets in trouble and you’re not surprised.

It gets worse from there, and if you read closely, you can almost hear the tiny chorus of the world’s smallest violin section.


…political observers back in Mr. Doolittle’s hometown of Sacramento agree his congressional career is over. Last year, publicity about his ties to Mr. Abramoff caused his popularity to plummet. He won re-election by only 3% in a district President Bush carried by 24% in 2004. Now he is almost certain to face a primary challenge from a local GOP state legislator, as Republicans scramble to make sure the seat stays in their hands.

That’s new information there… even if he sticks around, he’ll be primaried?  I’ll believe that when I see it.

This is the part where the Vasoline gets smeared on the lens and Fund takes you back to those halcyon days when Doolittle was just the Conservative Mack, man!

It will be a sad end to a political career that began with such promise. In 1980, when I met Mr. Doolittle, he was a 30-year-old lawyer and political upstart and I was a California college student. Mr. Doolittle had just defeated an incumbent Democratic state senator in Sacramento County, which had elected only one Republican to partisan office in the past generation (and she soon switched parties).

Mr. Doolittle, a confirmed Reaganite, inspired an entire generation of local Republicans to take advantage of demographic changes in the state’s capital. Today, Sacramento County often votes for Republican statewide candidates, and outside of the central city elects only Republicans to the Legislature and Congress. In the state Senate, Mr. Doolittle amassed a solid record as a fiscal conservative and championed ethics reform in the wake of an FBI sting operation that sent several legislators to jail. In 1990, he ran for and won a seat in Congress.

He was such a good man!  He fought corruption and everything!  Until some sort of Satanic bacteria got in his water (probably some liberal concoction out there in DC), John Doolittle was the finest public servant the world has ever known!

The rest of it is kind of hilarious, as Fund does what conservatives always do when faced with a corrupt or incompetent member of their own party – claim that they’re not a true conservative.  See, he didn’t support term limits and he once talked to Maxine Waters:

When Mr. Doolittle went to Washington, he clearly didn’t intend to sacrifice much. True, he gained headlines as a member of the “Gang of Seven,” a group of reform-minded freshmen who tweaked Democratic leaders for their abuse of the House Bank and Post Office. But at the same time, just two months after taking office, the ostensible reformer teamed up with Democrat Maxine Waters, a left-liberal firebrand with whom he’d served in the Legislature and who went to Congress in the same election as he did. Together, the two proposed a wish list of new perks that would make even European Union bureaucrats blush.

Conservatism never failed, it’s just never been tried…

The truth is that John Doolittle did what every Republican in the 109th Prison Basketball Team Congress did; he got himself on a powerful committee and used it as leverage to personally benefit himself and his family.  And he did it while being a rubber stamp for every conservative cause he’s ever voted on.  Here’s another example of this neat little trick by Fund, where he claims essentially that no real conservative has ever written an earmark.

Fiscal conservatives will shed few tears over Mr. Doolittle’s likely departure from Congress. Ever since he joined the Appropriations Committee in 2001, he has been preoccupied with shoveling pork back to his district, telling one reporter he had adapted his small-government principles to the system Congress had created to spend money: “You work with what you’ve got.” In conversations with me, he would marvel at how well Democrats and Republicans got along on the Appropriations Committee because “we so often have the same priorities”–namely spending other people’s money.

Bullshit.  The problem is that the GOP Congress sought to run a criminal enterprise out of the Capitol building because they have no interest in doing anything else.  Doolittle was perfectly following the conservative script – fight any effort to make government work while making it work for his bank account.  It’s true that there’s nothing conservative about it; but don’t give me this fiction that he’s not a “real conservative” because of it.  Because if that’s true, then there are no real conservatives in the whole Congress.

We shouldn’t let anyone get away with this dodge.  John Doolittle is as conservative now as he’s ever been.  The movement is trying to jettison him because his days are numbered.  But in truth the conservative movement only serves to destroy government and reward friends.  Which is all John Doolittle has ever done.

P.S. Oh yeah, come to our blograiser for Charlie Brown.