Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Terminator Heads to Supreme Court

Arnold Schwarzenegger is used to blowing things up. Now, the former action hero and Ex-California Governor is taking on something vastly less cinematic, but no less daunting, Redistricting Reform.

“In the movies, you solve this problem very quickly,” Schwarzenegger said. “You go in the room, you break the door down, and you see all these guys mapping out the district lines and all this stuff, fixing the system—you just go blow up the room, burn the maps, throw everyone out the window, and your job is done.”

Some days, he meets with Lawyers and hashes out Legal Strategy for the Supreme Court Case coming in October that could lead to the End of Partisan Redistricting.

Schwarzenegger is preparing to throw himself into a Public and Behind-the-Scenes Campaign to build Momentum around what’s become a defining cause of his Post-Gubernatorial career. He has a Terminate Gerrymandering Crowdpac that he’s pledged to match Dollar-for-Dollar.

He’ll be appearing at Events, meeting with Lawyers, having his Team jump in to Rewrite incomprehensible Charts of the “Efficiency Gap” and other Technicalities ahead of Gill v. Whitford, the Wisconsin Gerrymandering Challenge that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called “the most important” Case of the Supreme Court’s Next Term at an Event at the Duke Law School. Redistricting Reform Advocates think Anthony Kennedy, meanwhile, is looking for a way to be with them, though they’re not sure.

Former President Obama's National Democratic Redistricting Committee, led by former Attorney General Eric Holder, supports the Challenge but isn’t counting on it as central to its own efforts.

Schwarzenegger hasn’t been in Office for 6 1/2 years, but he’s still self-consciously a post-partisan Politician, an Ideological chameleon whose skin-changing ways have been compared to Trump’s.

He tells the Story of how he came to care so deeply about Afterschool Programs as a Hollywood Star in the 1980s: “I learned about issues, and I learned that there is no straight Republican philosophy or Democratic philosophy." His Dueling Political impulses, he says, are like those movie scenes with a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, with a Tirolean twist. “So there’s the Austrian Arnold and the American Arnold. The American Arnold, the Republican, says, ‘You’ve got to go. Don’t help those kids. The parents should go home and they should do their job,’” he said. “So then it’s the other Arnold, the Austrian Arnold, that says, ‘No, no. That's not the way we would do it over there.’” “They fight all the time. All the time, it’s wild. People think that you argue with other people, but I mostly argue with myself, because I was raised in Austria, so I have that still in my brain, right?” Schwarzenegger said. “And in my mind. And then it was recreated over here. That’s why I always say, ‘Born in Austria, made in America.’”

Schwarzenegger draws a straight line between the Election Reforms he oversaw in California, the Redistricting Commission and the Open, Top-Two Open Primary System, and what’s happened since. No better example, he said, than the Eight Republicans in Sacramento who voted last week to Expand the Landmark Global Warming Law he’d originally Signed in 2006 with only Democratic Support.

Schwarzenegger’s Committed enough that he flew to Washington to see the California Redistricting Commission get a Harvard Kennedy School Award. For a full two hours on Friday afternoon, surrounded by Hill Interns lured by the promise of Free Sandwiches, he sat in the front row, most of the time trying to look like he was paying attention to a Panel Discussion that nearly had even the participants nodding off.

It’s still a little crazy that the man famous for “I’ll be back” and “It’s not a tumor” was the Governor of California for seven years, longer than George W. Bush had the job in Texas. It’s also a little crazy that he’s gotten used to not knowing whether he’ll wake up in the morning to a new Attack from President Trump, whose reality TV show he hosted for one disappointing Season. “I think he maybe sees me on the same level, or he feels threatened by that. I could not even tell you,” Schwarzenegger said when asked why he seems to get so deeply under Trump’s skin. “We’ve got to support the president, and I wanted to be supportive of him, and then, all of a sudden, he started talking about me at the Prayer Breakfast, about my ratings. Excuse me, right?”

He tries to avoid talking about Trump, except when he doesn’t, snapping back at the President on Dividing America and cutting Afterschool Funding, or trolling him on Climate Change in an off-center iPad selfie video he shot with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

Schwarzenegger uses only his iPad and makes only FaceTime calls, so anyone he calls gets a screen full of his face. But he also isn’t one of those Never-Trumpers making a clean break with the President, whom he still thinks has “really great potential, because I think that people still like him and I think that people want him to do well, especially his constituents.” Trump can win over Converts “by just making some adjustments,” he said.

For all their disagreements, he said he won’t let Trump chase him out of the GOP, as happened with MSNBC Host Joe Scarborough. “Remember, there’s love it and leave or love it and change it,” he said.

He’d like to see a Third Party rise in America but is cautious about Pledging Support. “I would have to see who is involved because a lot of times, you see those independents and those are wacky guys also,” he said. “So you’ve got to be careful who you bring to bed with you.”

Asked whether there are any Politicians currently in Office he respects besides California Governor Jerry Brown, whom he supported on the Climate Measure, or Ohio’s John Kasich, whom he Endorsed for President last year, Schwarzenegger said he doesn’t have anyone to name. But he heaped praise on former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, his frequent Partner pushing for action on Climate Change, laughing that the two of them together looked sort of like a remake of Twins, though “I didn’t tell him that because, otherwise, he feels like he’s the short guy, and Michael Bloomberg doesn’t like that.”

Whether it was announcing his Run on "The Tonight Show" or fully owning his Persona through seven years in Office with constant Terminator and “girly men” references, Schwarzenegger was a Groundbreaker in Celebrity Politics, and it’s not too hard to see the line from the Governator to Trump. Asked about the possibility of Kanye West, Kid Rock, and Caitlyn Jenner making good on their threats to Run, though, he demurs: “Everyone has their own path. There’s many ways to Rome, as you know.”

But Schwarzenegger said he’s done Running himself. He can’t run for President, though he clearly wishes he could. He can’t run for Governor again, “except if they would change the Constitution, then I could think about it.”
As for the Senate Rumors that flare up every few months, he’s not interested. “Why would I run for Senate?” he said. “To be one of 100 here? That’s not my style.”

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1 comment:

richardwinger said...

I wish he would explain why all 14 California Republican congressmembers voted in favor of the Trump Care bill when it passed the House a few months ago. There were 20 Republicans in the US House who voted "no", but none of them from California. Mostly they were from states with closed primaries and semi-closed primaries.