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“IN THE PHOAMING”

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is making clear statements
to people who prefer the fumes.

The California state budget has been hung-up every year in the past due to party politics in the state and this year it seems that because it’s been that way over years past, the State Majority Leader, John Burton, thinks it should just stay that way: “it’s always been this way, so why is there a problem with it being this way (not passed, overdue) again?” is my paraphrasement of what I’ve read has been said by the Democrats through their spokesperson, Burton.

In a speech about the State Budget woes this year — I reprinted the article below (“SPEECH TWO“), although it’s from the “L.A.Times” (see link, but you’ll have to register to do so) — Governor Schwarzenegger describes the delay tactics by the Democrats in the state as them “acting like children” (they are, they do, they have, but they’re the majority party in the state of California and they are used to acting that way, in my experience); in a day-earlier speech in the State (also reprinted, following) (“SPEECH ONE“), Governor Schwarzenegger said that the people responsible were “girlie men” — they are, in full definition of that expression from whence it originates (a “Saturday Night Live” comedy routine from years ago, “Hans and Franz,” that mimicked Arnold Schwarzenegger, which Arnold seems to have found to be entertaining, as do almost all people the world over) — and now the foaming begins.

Governor Schwarzenegger is being called “homophobic” — other attempts to label him as being responsible for one prejudice after another are also being lobbed to and about him by various groups in the state (and nationwide, apparently, no surprise there) for the use of the expression, “girlie men,” about the Democrats in the State who are resolute and consistent in their efforts to hold up passing another State budget.

It (the “girlie men” definition) is a comedic expression — it is to me — but to some people, the use of that comedic expression indicates a “homophobic” person or statement, as is being applied in this instance to Schwarzenegger and how he used the expression the other day. The really insulting expression here is to attempt to label anyone “a homophobe” or “homophobic” at will by persons largely Democrats, and it’s an expression worn thin to the point of ineffectiveness, but, more importantly, it’s now becoming the often and overused insulting pejorative from the left, about anyone else. Hey, remember the budget?

So, again, who is “phobic” of what? We used to say “lighten up” in California when anyone was so intense as to be bumming everyone else out, but that became a source of protest for people who said it was a racist statement (it wasn’t). Now, we have people foaming about Schwarzenegger (or, chose your Republican here) being “homophobic” when, in Schwarzenegger’s case at least, this very funny line from a “Saturday Night Live” routine was used by the man who was parodied in that routine, about people who really are behaving badly, need to get the lead out, and, oh, yeah, move on.

You’d think these phoamers would be quite so concerned and upset about the budget, but, apparently not.

SPEECH ONE:

SCHWARZENEGGER STANDS BY ‘GIRLIE-MEN’ LINE
Democrats Say Schwarzenegger’s ‘Girlie-Men’ Comment Sexist, Homophobic; Governor Won’t Apologize

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – July 18, 2004 — A spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Sunday that the governor would not apologize for calling lawmakers “girlie men,” despite criticisms from Democrats that the remark was sexist and homophobic.

Schwarzenegger dished out the insult at a rally Saturday as he claimed Democrats were delaying the budget by catering to special interests.

“If they don’t have the guts to come up here in front of you and say, ‘I don’t want to represent you, I want to represent those special interests, the unions, the trial lawyers … if they don’t have the guts, I call them girlie men,” Schwarzenegger said to the cheering crowd at a mall food court in Ontario.

The governor lifted the term from a long-running “Saturday Night Live” skit in which two pompous, Schwarzenegger-worshipping weightlifters repeatedly use it to mock those who don’t meet their standards of physical perfection.

Democrats said Schwarzenegger’s remarks were insulting to women and gays and distracted from budget negotiations. State Sen. Sheila Kuehl said the governor had resorted to “blatant homophobia.”

“It uses an image that is associated with gay men in an insulting way, and it was supposed to be an insult. That’s very troubling that he would use such a homophobic way of trying to put down legislative leadership,” said Kuehl (Chairman of very special interests, go read the article)…

“It’s ironic that the governor would try to find a metaphor for weakness when his real problem is that we’re being too strong,” she added.

Schwarzenegger’s criticism of Democrats stems in part from their support of one bill prohibiting schools from contracting services with private companies, and another giving workers authority to sue their employers to enforce labor laws. Each side accuses the other of caving in to special interests.

At a rally Sunday in Stockton, the governor gave a speech almost identical to the one he delivered in Ontario but without the “girlie men” remark. Spokesman Rob Stutzman said the line was dropped because Schwarzenegger had already sent the message he wanted to send, not because he regretted his remarks.

“It’s a forceful way of making the point to regular Californians that legislators are wimps when they let special interests push them around,” Stutzman said. “If they complain too much about this, I guess they’re making the governor’s point.”

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, a Democrat, said that while he wasn’t upset by the remark, his 13-year-old daughter was.

“She’s a young girl who knows the governor and really likes him a lot and didn’t find the term to be a positive term, and finds it to be derogatory,” Nunez said. “It was no question a very, very insensitive comment to make. I personally am not intimidated or threatened by it, but I think it really is beneath Gov. Schwarzenegger.”

SPEECH TWO:
July 19, 2004
GOV. SAYS LAWMAKERS ‘ACTING LIKE CHILDREN’
Schwarzenegger also tells a Stockton crowd that special interests are ‘dug in’ at Capitol ‘like Alabama ticks, and we cannot get rid of them.’

By Jordan rau, Times Staff Writer

STOCKTON — Wrapping up his weekend blitz through three swing legislative districts, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger condemned lawmakers Sunday for “acting like children” but passed up an opportunity to fault the state Senate’s most vulnerable Democratic incumbent on his home turf.

The governor prepared to return to Sacramento to resume negotiations over the stalled state budget, with only a week before two significant deadlines.

On July 28, the state is expected to make its first payments of the fiscal year to schools and community colleges, and many Democratic lawmakers would like to be able to leave Sacramento to attend the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

The day after Schwarzenegger called legislators “girlie men” in remarks in Ontario, he told a crowd gathered in the food court of Stockton’s Sherwood Mall that trial lawyers, unions and other “special interests” were “dug in” at the Capitol “like Alabama ticks, and we cannot get rid of them.”

For all his recent rhetoric about “terminating” lawmakers if they continue to hold up approval of his $103-billion budget, when Schwarzenegger pointed out Stockton’s Republican mayor, Gary Podesto, to the crowd, he did not mention that Podesto was running for the state Senate this fall against a Democratic incumbent.

“Where’s Gary? He’s right over here,” said Schwarzenegger, who had attended a Podesto fundraiser in May. “Give a big hand to Mayor Gary Podesto, my very good friend, a great, great leader.”

Rob Stutzman, the governor’s communications director, said in each of Schwarzenegger’s recent trips to districts where Republicans hope to gain legislative seats, “he hasn’t identified [any Democrats] by name.”

In Stockton as well, Schwarzenegger refrained from singling out Podesto’s opponent, state Sen. Mike Machado (D-Linden).

“There’s a level of Defcon we haven’t gone to,” Stutzman said.

Barbara O’Connor, director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and Media at Cal State Sacramento, agreed.

“He’s not declaring war,” she said. “I think it’s more [of a] ‘I can do this if I want to’ threat.”

Sunday’s 13-minute speech seemed more carefully calibrated to increase pressure on lawmakers without alienating them.

The “girlie men” comments — which Schwarzenegger borrowed from an old “Saturday Night Live” routine that poked fun at him — had drawn rebukes from Democrats and female activists who said the phrase was sexist and demeaning.

Stutzman called the reaction overblown and said that Schwarzenegger saw no need to either apologize or repeat it Sunday. “I think everyone heard it pretty clear yesterday,” he said.

Schwarzenegger rallied the Stockton crowd by deputizing the several hundred audience members as fellow “terminators” and urged them to vote Democratic “obstructionists” out of office in November.

“Now, all of a sudden, now when we are doing the most important business of all, which is the budget, all of a sudden they’re falling back to their old ways,” he said. When the crowd jeered, he said: “That’s right, boo, that’s right.”

Like “girlie men,” the “Alabama tick” line had its genesis in Schwarzenegger’s career as an actor. The line comes from Schwarzenegger’s 1987 movie “Predator,” and is uttered by another governor-to-be, Jesse Ventura, who served one term in Minnesota. Schwarzenegger last used it in public in June, then referring to his efforts to get more federal aid from Washington.

In a telephone interview, Machado, whose Central Valley district is viewed as one of the few with close enough numbers of registered Republicans and Democrats to guarantee a close race, said the governor was justified in “expressing his frustration” and emphasized the areas on which they agreed.

Machado said he sent an aide to listen to Schwarzenegger’s remarks because “I was busy working at my farm and trying to get things ready for tomato harvest.”

Don’t apologize, Arnold. No need.


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