Who Will Win?
The "Pragmatic" choice:
Vote "yes" on the recall, then vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Schwarzenegger isn't a convincing limited-government guy, even when he talks, in a compelling way, about his love of freedom, hatred of communism and disgust with the European welfare state. In fairness, his Wall Street Journal op-ed last week provided more reassurance that he believes in the general principles of limited government.
He left Austria, he has said repeatedly, after his friends had no more desire in life than to get a good government pension. Still, his thinking often is muddled, and sometimes is downright wrong.
He's smart, and there's nothing wrong with his knowledge of specific issues, but his instincts are often wrong when he gets away from generalities. Did you hear him spout all that environmental garbage about government subsidies for hydrogen cars?
Nevertheless, his conservative supporters say, Schwarzenegger can win because he draws moderates and liberals, who make up a large percentage of the California electorate. He would veto the craziest stuff coming from the legislators, and would be good on some things, such as matters regarding budget and business climate. Besides, conservatives are sick of losing, and at least with Schwarzenegger they believe they could win. That would allow the GOP to rebuild, and pave the way for a stronger candidate in the future.
The "Leninist" choice: Vote "yes" on the recall, then choose Cruz Bustamante.
OK, Schwarzenegger won't really fix things given his views on the environment and education spending. McClintock can't win. So the state isn't quite ready for the radical surgery needed to fix it. As this thinking goes, the best way to gain real solutions to an overgrown government is to crash the system by allowing an even more liberal, big-spending governor. Eventually, the thinking goes, Californians will get the message. (Perhaps, but by then this state will resemble North Korea with good weather and palm trees.)