Total Recall

With the recall looming, it's time to consider which Republican is best suited to lead California into a bright future of moral and fiscal discipline.

Bill Simon? Everything in his life, except for his disastrous campaign for governor, was handed to him by his rich and powerful father. He should be ashamed to call himself a Republican. There's no room for a spoiled rich boy who owes everything to his daddy in the party of George W. Bush.

The Issa family, on the other hand, encouraged a do-for-yourself attitude in its boys, with only one of the Issa brothers going to prison as a result. And it wasn't Darrell, who's never been in jail longer than it takes to be booked. Even so, Darrell's doing-for-himself has attracted the attention of so many police departments and insurance-fraud investigators it can sometimes be confusing to remember which allegation against him you're dismissing as unimportant. To help, I've composed a little song to the tune of "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things":

Arson and car theft and threatenin' employees, Suspected, indicted, but never convicted, Except for that one time involving a gun, But no shots were fired, so why should I care?

As impressive as Darrell Issa's do-for-yourself spirit is, I'm not sure he has the discipline to restore order in Sacramento. True, Issa did turn a longtime interest in car theft into a thriving car-alarm business, but Arnold Schwarzenegger has done something far more difficult. Arnold has taken a thick Austrian accent and the acting abilities of a robot, and parlayed those handicaps into a successful movie career playing a robot with a thick Austrian accent. How? In a word, discipline. In interviews for his latest robot-with-an-accent movie, Arnold credits his late father with instilling in him the discipline needed to succeed at any task, robot-related or otherwise. And Arnold's father, Gustav, knew discipline: say what you will about the Nazis, but they were a disciplined bunch. According to documents in the Austrian State Archives, Arnold's father wasn't just a Nazi party member; he also joined both the stormtroopers and the army, reaching the rank of sergeant major in the military police. Even though Arnold says he didn't know any of this until after his father was dead, imagine the sort of discipline a Nazi MP can pass on to his son. Thanks to the recall, we might get a taste of such discipline in Sacramento.

Fortunately, a Nazi in the family is no drawback in today's Republican party. After all, when President Bush invokes the noble sacrifices of the "Greatest Generation," no one is rude enough to mention his grandfather Prescott. No one except James Ridgeway of the Village Voice (the mother rag to this rag), who noted that during WWII: "Under the Trading With the Enemy Act, officials seized Bush stockholdings, charging that 'huge sections of Prescott Bush's empire had been operated on behalf of Nazi Germany and had greatly assisted the German war effort.'"

If it's not a problem for Bush, it won't be for Arnold. Arnold will be free to use his father-given discipline to do for California what Bush has done for America. And a Governor Schwarzenegger would even have one distinct advantage over the president: his English is better.


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