Saturday, July 16, 2005

Arnold Knows His Stupid Voters

Here is the pattern in how our political leaders perceive us. They think we are stupid. In fact, people just may be too busy to pay close attention to all the prevarications from politicians every day.

The short memories of American voters is what keeps our politicians in office--Will Rogers

Bush and his team lied about the reasons for invading Iraq—that Saddam had ties to Bin Laden and the 9/11 events, that there were weapons of mass destruction ready to do harm to US citizens—and now they lie about the lies which were proven lies, and they assume we are all too busy to pay close attention so we don’t do anything about it.

Now it has come to light that major body-builder, movie star, and replacement Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger thinks we are stupid too. As reported over the last few days, the governor was enmeshed in a stunning conflict of interest deal, and now that he got caught, he claims that his “stance has nothing to do with my connection to a fitness magazine. It has to do with me, Arnold." He could have added, "You dumb bastards."

Two days prior to his inauguration as governor, Arnold closed a contract with American Media Inc.The company publishes Muscle & Fitness and Flex magazines, as well as the tabloids National Enquirer and the Globe.

The pact, formalized two days before the governor was sworn
into office in November 2003, guaranteed, over five years, a minimum of $5 million, though the company estimated that the figure probably would be more than $8 million. He also received an equity stake in the publishing firm, granting him a 1% portion from any sale of the company, or about $5.2 million under an estimate in the contract.The conflict-of-interest concerns arose because Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill last year that would have imposed
regulations on the nutritional supplement industry.--Gov. Cancels Magazine Contract, L.A. Times July 16, 2005
The point is obvious, and the partisans have taken sides with the predictable excuses to justify Arnold’s ridiculous position as not being at cross purposes with his public service. Then Arnold cancelled the contract just to prove he wants to be perceived as an honest guy, if not a little arrogant. I would like to be perceived as an intelligent voter, but in Arnold’s eyes, I am stupid. Must be, or why would he take part in such a transparent case of duplicity and open himself wide to charges of bias and recklessness? One comment on the Huffington Post about this story may explain more than meets the eye:

I was informed a few years ago when Arnold Schwarzenegger first signed this magazine deal with these two fitness magazines (sister magazines to "The Star Magazine," and " The National Inquirer") That it was to stop the publications of articles on all the many women that he had sexually assaulted, and were coming forward, and, also to stop his on going sexually harassment lawsuit in court, in the UK right now being covered here in the USA.--Posted by: J. Silver at July 16, 2005 12:20 AM

Evidently commenter J. Silver doesn’t think I—a reader of the Huffington Post blogs—am stupid.

Some politicians in California are very forgiving, and applaud Arnold for canceling the contract:

The cancellation of the pact — two days after the contract amounts were reported by the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee — brought praise from lawmakers and other critics who saw a link between vetoing the nutritional supplement legislation and Schwarzenegger's American Media paycheck.

"It had to happen. I applaud the governor for doing the right thing," said state Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), author of the 2004 legislation and a critic of the nutritional supplement industry…

…Assemblyman Ray Haynes (R-Murrieta) said he didn't think Schwarzenegger's magazine deal constituted a conflict, but he understood why the governor extricated himself."I think it's a
noble thing to do," Haynes said. "Noble but unnecessary. To remove any question is a good thing to do. It's a lot to do, but if anybody had any concerns, then it's settled."--Gov. Cancels Magazine Contract, L.A. Times July 16, 2005

Rather than describing a contest in nobility, I tend to side with the mother who lost her son who had been ingesting “supplements:”

"I think it's what he should have done a year ago," said Denise Garibaldi, a Petaluma psychologist who testified at a hearing led by Speier last year. Garibaldi's 24-year old son, a USC baseball player, killed himself in 2002, and she blamed the suicide on his use of steroids, which have long been illegal.Schwarzenegger has opposed taking steroids but has actively promoted the use of nutritional supplements.An advocate for Speier's legislation to regulate supplement use among high school athletes, Garibaldi said she thought Schwarzenegger's financial ties to the fitness magazines prompted his veto last year.--Gov. Cancels Magazine Contract, L.A. Times July 16, 2005

Least noble of all, are the California voters who recalled an ineffective governor in a costly election and substituted a multi-national celebrity icon to do the same job, just as ineffectively, but with a lot more gloss. Maybe the politicians are right, we voters are stupid, or really busy. Or maybe Will Rogers asked the right question years ago:

If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?

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