I’ve never had the hatred of Arnold that many California Democrats do. First of all, during this entire time I’ve been far more concerned about President Bush. Arnold can’t do too much harm because he has an entrenched Democratic legislature nipping at his heels. Honestly, having a split government does have it’s benefits. Last but not least, the left-right axis in California is almost entirely along the labor/business divide. The Democrats in California are powered largely by unions, so-called “trial” lawyers (i.e. the plaintiff’s bar), minority interests, and, to a lesser extent, New Left orgs like environmentalists and feminists. The Republicans are basically a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chamber of Commerce.
In other words, as California Democrats at the state level, we are not voting on war in Iraq, gay rights, pet Christian issues, and the like. It’s not an unimportant axis, but it’s not as complex or as absolutely extreme as at the federal level. The socially conservative California Republican is a rare bird with almost no political power on the state level.
The worst thing about Arnold is that he’s a little too transparently a politico. When Bush was riding a wave of popularity, Arnold’s agenda was right wing to da max. When that didn’t last, Arnold hired a Dem chief of staff and moved back to the center. If he was a Democrat, we’d hear how he was against the minimum wage before he was for it, etc. Problem is, a guy like Angelides, who’s made a career out of state level office, isn’t going to be any different in that regard.
I will vote for Angelides. But he’s going to lose, so he’s not getting any time or money.