Could Arnold reshape the Republican Party for the better?

I’ve been mulling over a thread idea that I originally wanted to title “FIX THE REPUBLICAN PARTY”. As an alternative, I’d like to explore whether Arnold’s brand of Republicanism is a step in the right direction. It’s not my ideal case, but it’s not too far off, and I think he has a better chance of getting his agenda in front of the American people than I do.:slight_smile:

Arnold Schwartzenegger is running as a Republican. He certainly seems to be fiscally conservative, but many of his views on social issues would more comfortably fit in either the Democratic or the Libertarian parties. He stands to capture a large number of traditional Democratic votes (most polls show him picking up somewhere around 25% of registered Democrats) despite a well known and fairly traditonal Democrat, Bustamante, being on the ballot.

Could Arnold reshape the Republican party along those lines? Will other more libertarian leaning Republicans get a boost from Governor Schwartzenegger? On a national level, if such candidates could pick up 20 – 30% of the Democratic vote, could they not survive the loss of the hard core “religious right”?

And I’ll admit I’m sticking my neck out a bit by posting something about “Governor Schwartzenegger” on the eve of the election. But I think it’s safe to say that if he isn’t elected tomorrow, he’ll be the favorite in 2006.

You’ve placed a lot of hopes into a vessel that looks fairly empty to many of us. What groundswell of popular support for his political worldview do you think he brings that isn’t more simply attributable to celebrity factor? What makes him more of, or even as much as, a leader to be reckoned with than Jesse Ventura? I don’t see it - please expound.

politics is up the duff. it’s pregnant with idiotic, selfish people. why not vote for a big lug like arnie? just think of all those future fumbles, and the daily cartoonists would have a field day.

Some good questions.

  1. I provided a link to the policy statements on his web site. It seems to contain at least as much detail as one would find on the web sites of other pols. Take the time to read it, and see if you still see an empty vessel.

  2. Don’t discount the celebrity factor. I see it as a plus that allows him to expouse a libertarian-ish brand of Republicanism that mainstream pols are afraid to embrace themselves. I think that philosophy has a broad appeal to Americans.

  3. As for J.V., firstly we’re talking about CA, not MN. I may be biased, but I think CA has a bigger influence in the rest of the nation than MN does. Also, JV did not run as a Dem or a Pub. He ran as an independent outsider, and was no real threat to anyone in the party outside of MN.

God help us all. It beggars belief.

If you mean “fix” in the veterinarian sense, I’m with you all the way.

Ahnult brings nothing of value (save the dubious asset of celebrity) to the table. His vapid sound bites and scripted (in the very worst and completely appropriate sense) responses smack of the most pre-packaged sort of window dressing since Ronald Reagan and his Hollywood crew.

Running a restaurant and starring in movies does not qualify someone to manage one of the most powerful nation-states in the world. You don’t hire an electrician to reroof your house.

I get the joke in the thread title, “reshape.” Heh. :wink: “You flabby- bottom-conservative religious weenies, drop and give me 20.”

The larger point has some validity. I know a lot of people with conservative fiscal views concerning government: they rightly see it as a fiscal black hole. But, they tend “liberal” on other, mostly social, issues.

The Republican Party leadership sound more clergy than politicians sometimes. Not everyone wants their politics with a huge serving of fundamentalist Christianity. There is a huge schism in the group of people we would ordinarily call conservative. Libertarians and Republicans are often lumped together, wrongly I think.

The “new” Republican Party (since 1984, when Reagan first sucked up to the Moral Majority) turns a lot of people off. The old Republican Party used to actually have the Libertarian Party come to their caucuses, preference primaries and such. Without the libertine and libidinous tendencies among the Libs, I doubt the conventions are much fun any more. Unless, gasp many of those guys are hypocrites. Not that I know any examples of that personally, or I do.

I dunno. We’ve got a Republican governor here in NY State and a Republican mayor of the largest city and a Republican ex-mayor who’s practically a God in the rest of the country, all of whom hold positions roughly similar to what you describe and it hasn’t much helped.

I’d love nothing more than to tell the religious right to get fucked and go start a third party or join the Democrats or whatever it is they’d do, so if it helps a little that’s better than if it helps not at all.

What’s the story on Jindal – is he a good guy? I think a few wins by the good guys down in the south would help more than wins on the coasts.

I’m a republican that is very socially liberal, but very fiscally conservative (much like arnold AND Jindal). I’d love to see Arnold and others like Jindal rock the “boat” and drive some change in the republican party. I agree with you wholeheartedly…I too would love nothing more than to tell the religious right to get bent. With the right leadership…I’d bolt for a third party that more closely identified with my viewpoints.

Sorry, but the guy’s a serial groper and so on. He’s exactly what’s not needed in the Republican party.

John, just because there are policy statements on a candidate’s website, that does not mean that anything of the sort will actually happen, or even that the candidate has read them. The “empty vessel” remark referred to his level of understanding and his capability and determination to actually achieve any of it.

Your comment about the appeal of libertarianism also seems pretty hopeful. That stuff has been around long enough to establish its true level of appeal, yet it’s still never gone beyond the fringes.

The Ventura factor isn’t as disconnected as you make it sound, either. His main attraction, seems to me, was his being outside the party structure in a way many thought would shake it up. That seems to be roughly the effect you’re hoping Arnold will have, except for his not having taken that one final step outside the party walls. Ventura did, however, show a real understanding of the problems of the job and an ability to speak plainly and candidly about them that Arnold has, so far, not.

Interesting topic, though.

najniran and manhattan, everything I’ve seen about Jindal is that he is part of, or at least solidly pandering to, the religious right, unfortunately. Granted, that’s probably the only way he has to win, especially not being white, but the portents are ominous so far.

I dunno if he can “fix” the party, per se.

I think he can help with the issues (as I’ve heard them here on the right coast…), facing California. Or at least the top 10 Davis troubles.

I, too believe in the “Ventura factor”. Although I’m not convinced that it doesn’t fractionalize the party, especially in lacales where it can cost the election.

I think the single, most important problem with the R candidates is the fact that they want to be “gentlemen”. Not dropping the “night-before-the-election-bombshell”, not “taking the gloves off”, and such. I saw this in our last gubernatorial election. Brett Schundler lost to Jim McGreevy because he was, well, just too damn NICE!

Are you prying into his “private, personal sex life”? Those are “old, unsubstantiated” allegations. There is clearly a “(left)-wing conspiracy” out to discredit the Pres… uh Arnold.

Hey, maybe the Pubs are just trying to level the playing field with the Dems.:slight_smile:

I honestly think the whole “groping” thing is going to die a natural death. If some woman wants to step forward and file criminal charges, that’s when we’ll see if there’s anythink substantial in these allegations. Until then, it’s just a great gossip story.

Clinton survived much worse claims, incuding actual rape. For better or worse, he had to blaze the trail thru that sort of story, and the country is to a large extent tired of that line of attack. ANd probbably no more so than in CA.

I think Arnold’s great, and hold the opinion that the primary reason that there’s such an upswell against him is because A: he’s a Republican, and B: he stands a significant chance of bitch-whomping the Demmy’s little loverboy.

Frankly, I think that more Republicans need to oppose the Religious Right, which I consider to have too great an impact on the party. We socially-liberal Republicans need to show that we won’t tolerate any old Jeezer that comes down the pike.

And besides, if Arnold loses, he’ll be back.

There’s a wee bit o’ difference between consenting acts between two adults, and one guy grabbing a woman’s breasts against her will. And with the list of victms now in the double digits, and some incidents as recent as 2000, it’s hard to claim all the allgations are “old” and “unsubstantiated.”

In any event, I do wonder sometimes how many folks who support Schwarzenegger were also breaking out the torches and pikes for Bill Clinton. Because both in terms of political views and sexual appetites, IMO they’re rather similar.

My bolding. There sure is. Just ask Kathleen Wiley, Paula Jones or Juanita Broaddrick.

Probably no more than the number of folks who were silent about Clinton and now are screaming against Arnold.

Clearly both sides are equally guilty. Hey, it’s poltics, right?

I felt much the same way you did, John, when Arnold first announced. I must admit I’m not a big fan of any of the candidates, but I figured at least if we were going to get stuck with one of these guys, Arnold seemed to be less uptight on social issues than most politicians. Since things got rolling, however, I’ve been really disappointed in how deliberately and unflinchingly vapid his campaign has been. No debates or specific talk about platforms or policy. Just a lot of holding up brooms and quoting lines from Kindergarten Cop and smiling.

One of the taglines from his latest commercial was, ”For 25 years I’ve been an advocate for the children.” I’m not trying to be deliberately obtuse, but what the fuck does that mean? Is Cruz Bustamante promoting some sort of adolescent thinning program?

My concern is that a Schwazenegger victory will change politics. Not in terms of issues, but in terms of presentation.

John, you might try some examples of “allegations” that weren’t disproven almost immediately. No, truth and lies are not the same, and both sides are not equally guilty. That false moral equivalency that we’re seeing from the more foamy-mouthed partisans who’ve been forcibly confronted with their own hatred and hypocrisy is bad enough, but to have it seized upon by normal people willing to be cynical about public service instead of simply facing facts is even worse. You disappoint me.

Kinda like Rhonda Miller’s claim, right?