Saturday, May 15, 2010

Thanks, Arnie, Where Have you Been?

California's lame duck governor threw all his dwindling onto the green felt yesterday with a much-touted speech outlining a lot of much-touted budget cuts. Jennifer Steinhauer in the Times offers context:
As a practical matter, the Governor, a Republican, tends to propose large cut to services that the Democratic-controlled Legislature has no intention of brooking. A compromise--one that still reduces services greatly--is no doubt in the offing, along with a hefty dose of accounting tricks and the infusion of some federal money...
Well, I suppose that passes the giggle test, but with important qualification. One, yesterday's outline probably does count ss more assertive and challenging than any budget initiative the governor has taken before. And two, it is even more doomed to failure. I'll repeat what I (think I) have said before: Arnie piddled away a golden opportunity at the beginning of his term by (apparent) laziness and lack of focus. If he had really tried to do something dramatic then--when his numbers were still stratospheric, and when he still had a whole term or two ahead of him--he just might have proved a history-maker. He can be ambitious now--now!--because he knows that nobody has to pay much attention to him.

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