The Corner

More Defense of Arnold

From a reader:

Dear Jonah,

With all due respect, It’s pretty easy for you to call Arnold voters hypocrites when there is absolutely no chance you’ll be helping us out with our tax bills under Bustamante.

I think the hypocrisy charge is particularly off base since there is no primary in this race. Would I vote Arnold over McClintock in a Republican primary? No way, but that isn’t the choice I’ve been given. You’re “sticking with McClintock?” Good for you and your principles, would that be in the D.C. or Maryland primary?

As someone who is going to have to pay for the decisions of California voters out of my own pocket, I reserve the right to decide that Arnold’s piggish behavior is in the past. The man apologized to his accusers, he didn’t lie under oath and then send his political attack machine out after them.

I wish Bill Simon and Tom McClintock, both good men, were better politicians but they aren’t. Your accusation of hypocrisy costs you, umm, hmm…nothing, unless you decide to rebate some of my NRODT subscription as a result.

A Gov Bustamante and a dem legislature would cost me and my family a lot.

Best Regards, but a little ticked off,

[Name withheld]

My response: Frankly I think this guy makes a very, very good point. If I were voting in California, I would have to weigh more variables than I do now. I have two criticisms though: First, I think this reader — and many, many others on both sides of the spectrum — make a fundamental mistake when they assert that Bill Clinton’s character problems were only on display by the Lewinsky scandal. The fact is Bill Clinton’s infidelity was an issue from at least his “60 Minutes” interview onward. And I’m fairly certain Republicans and conservatives alike complained about Clinton’s behavior well before they ever heard of Monica. So, yes, Clinton lied under oath and made things worse around the time of Lewinsky scandal, but it’s not like that was the first we heard of his woman problems.

Second, I think you can make the case that Schwarzenegger is the best of a bad situation and vote for him without completely conceding that character and womanizing matter. I’m just not hearing many pro-Arnold Republicans do that. Of course, this is a difficult time to start saying he’s the hold-your-nose-candidate. But why that should mean I can’t make that case is beyond me. After all, as the reader notes, I’ve got nothing to lose.

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