Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Anti-Tax Tea Party Movement Scores Victory in Schwarzenegger's 'Stand for California' Push

There's really no other explanation: On top of Governor Schwarzenegger's devastating May 19th special election defeat (when voters rejected a slate of ballot measures seeking $16 billion in new taxes), there's more evidence that the anti-tax tea party movement has had a major effect on California politics.

That is the undeniable message one draws from the Governor's new political ad buy starting today, "
Stand for California":

Listen to that message: Balance the budget; no tax hikes; rationalize government by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse. This line, in pure form, has been completely alien to the Schwarzenegger administration since the recall of 2003. Yet it's the standard program among tea party patriots across the country today. We're "Taxed Enough Already," remember?

After campaigning as a fiscal conservative, the Governor has repeatedly violated his "no new taxes" promises. Voters approved $15 billion in bond revenues in a 2004 special election. Proposed by the Governor as a budget solution (complete with a "spending cap"), "
critics called Prop. 58 a ruse, saying, correctly, that it was weak and opened the way for more borrowing, spending and taxing by politicians." And when state services indeed continued to grow, Schwarzenegger failed to reform finances with his set of ballot initiatives in 2005 (see, "Voters Reject Schwarzenegger's Bid to Remake State Government").

The defeat Proposition 1A on May 19th handed the Governor his third strike - and clearly, he was out!

So now he's "standing firm for a balanced budget"! Golly Gee Willikers!!! You think?

And now it's not about whether you're a Republican or a Democrat? Hello tea party patriots! That's what folks have been saying all year. While the mainstream press and the radical netroots have hammered the "racists teabaggers," grassroots consituencies have told big goverment to take a hike.

This isn't simply a devastating indictment of the Democratic-left's hubristic calls for progressive "change." The Governor's new ad buy signals a massive victory for the grassroots protesters who have risen up around the country since Rick Santelli's rant from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade back in February.

No small congratulations go out to all the activists and
bloggers who have kept the founding spirit alive. We saw this most recently in the massive wave of anti-tax rallies that swept the nation on Independence Day. But there's more: The Blog Prof reports on a tea party that broke out today in Macomb County, Michigan, where President Obama was delivering a speech on the economy. And activists have another event planned for Friday, "July 17 Simultaneous Health Care Freedom Tea Parties from Coast to Coast."

Also, tremendous kudos go to
Michelle Malkin, Glenn Reynolds, and the folks at Pajamas Media for helping to keep the fires burning across the conservative blogosphere. There's too many more to thank in a simple blog post, but folks can be reasurred that everday Americans are taking back this country!

Leftists, of course, will reject the notion that the tea party patriots had anything to do with the launch of the Governor's "
Stand for California" public relations drive. Let 'em. The bills have already come due in California, and the voters have spoken. And Washington, D.C., must know that contemporary tax revolts start in California.

See also, "
Schwarzenegger Makes 'Stand for California' Pitch."

Related: "
The Unlikeliest Girlie Man: Arnold Schwarzenegger Gives Californians What They Want."


UPDATE: Instalanche! The second of the day ... thanks!

Also Dan Riehl links, "Is Ahnold Changing His Script?"


Johng said...

I don't think this is very fair to the Governator. The defeated 2005 proposals would have stopped or at least slowed spending. That's why they were defeated. In 2005, in the midst of the the terrible Bush Economy (ie the Boom Days) there was no pressure to control spending. That Arnold tried anyway speaks well of him. Having been resoundly defeated, it's unfortunate but nevertheless understandable that he was unable to restrain spending in the years that followed. Now it's 2009, and the reality of the spending of the past 5 years coupled with insanely high rates of foreclosure and unemployment (and therefore less property and income tax receipts) have forced Californians to reassess the true cost of the liberal wonderland they created. This is not to say that Arnold isn't a liberal republican, but that at least on the issue of spending and taxes, the 2005 ballot measures show that he was trying to follow through with his promise of controlling government, and that in the aftermath he, probably rightly, realized that the people of his state just weren't interested in what he was selling.

smitty1e said...

The Alternative.

Mark said...

Dead on analysis. The tea parties are having a massive effect all across the country at every level of government. Cap and Trade is stalled, government health care is in serious trouble, government tax and spend mentality is under pressure everywhere...and the politicians are starting to bend to the will of the American people. Become part of the solution: www.teapartypatriots.org

Ken said...

It's not that Republicans are so good ( and Arnold has been fairly bad ) but that the Democrats are worse. I might or might not vote for a Republican but I will never vote for a Democrat. Even a "conservative" Democrat will vote for someone like Pelosi and the committees will be chaired and controlled by tax and spend extremists. In Sacramento there are a few irresponsible Republicans who should be replaced but I have yet to hear of a single responsible Democrat. For the last 16 years, the hypergerrymandered legislature has refused to control any spending.

If Tea Party activists won in every district that wasn't specifically designed to be controlled by the Democratic machine, we might have a chance to hold the line. But there is no chance for improvement. Deadlock is a barely possible goal.

Ken said...

I did not want to leave the impression that I thought Ms Pelosi was in Sacramento. But no one outside California would know who Karen Bass was. Sorry if I was unclear

Anonymous said...

I agree with Johng. He really stuck his neck out in 2005. After the initiatives failed the press ridiculed him. I think at that point he said to hell with it.

Anonymous said...

Johng's recollections match pretty close to mine, though Schwarzenegger certainly never claimed to be a Jarvis-Gann-style government-cutter. He sought a public expression of support for spending cuts and didn't receive it. It took four more years of California government-as-usual, combined with a sagging economy, to finally reignite the old Prop. 13 spirit.

How long that spirit will smolder is anyone's guess, but what I've observed of my native state from afar these last 15 years leaves me extremely cautious in any glimmer of optimism.

As long as Schw is promoting smaller government, I'll root for him and hope he succeeds. If he turns again, I'll hope otherwise.