Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Left Talk

The overwhelming victory of Ahnuld in the California gubernatorial recall election has many lefty bloggers quite upset. I was hoping against hope that the "no on recall" vote would pass, as Ahnuld's ascension would be meaningless had that happened, but I guess I'm not really surprised that he won. As Robin observed, people like to vote for a winner, and Ahnuld's public image has been that of a winner for a few decades now, despite (or perhaps, for some perverse supporters, because of) his propensity for sexual assault and other power trips. That doesn't make the voters idiots, at least not in my opinion. And can't we possibly make any cogent points about our disappointment with the outcome without calling them morons?

Over at TalkLeft, Jeralyn Merritt has the opposite situation - she writes of the election, among other things,
Arnold gave a great victory speech. He reached out, he was sincere and he had a good message. And he had Maria, his biggest asset. We give his speech an A.

He wanted this job, he campaigned like crazy for it, and he earned it. The good cheer on the stage was infectious. We hope he maintains his passion and does great things for the state of California. We know we'll disagree with him on certain issues, particularly his support for the repeal of the law granting drivers' licenses to undocumented residents, but there isn't any politician we'd agree with on every issue.

Finally, we're glad the smear campaign failed. It was irrelevant, trash politics. We're glad he won. Congratulations, Arnold, you earned this.
Well, this engendered one of the more controversial backlash comments section I've seen in awhile, with at least three people informing her that her entry has led them to drop her from their blogrolls or un-bookmark TalkLeft.

I guess this is understandable - after all, I too disagree with Jeralyn dismissively characterizing the public discussion of Schwarzenegger's criminal behavior once he declared his candidacy as a mere "smear campaign." I also disagree with her asking people to give her money or a computer so she can carry on her hobby, as well as with her deletion of my Labor Day comment taking her to task for same (prompting this), and hey, I even find her use of the first-person plural (the royal and/or editorial "We") pretentious. But you know something? TalkLeft isn't about me. It's about what Jeralyn finds important to discuss, and it's got at least one item that I find of vital interest just about every day. To me that's more than worth an occasional rolling of the eyes and shaking of the head. I guess every lefty blogger needs to decide things like this for him or herself, but various clich├ęs leap to my mind involving forests and trees, babies and bathwater, and cutting off noses to spite faces, not to mention the immortal words of Frank 'N' Furter when Janet Weiss expressed a lack of attraction for men built like Der Terminator: "I didn't make him for you!" Not everything on TalkLeft is "for you" or for me, but I still find enough there that's "cherce" to retain Jeralyn on my blogroll for the foreseeable future.

Essentially, it's called agreeing to disagree.

Update: Some nice ruminations on the California recall election by Peter David and Barbara O'Brien and Julia H.