Cartoons in State Houses

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the action-figure-come-to-life Hollywood icon Governor of California, is running a weak fourth in the gubernatorial headline regatta, even with stories like this.

Golf course owners and some of their customers are teeing off on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. So are veterinarians, auto mechanics and amusement park operators. The Republican governor is proposing to tax rounds of golf, auto repairs, veterinary care, amusement park and sporting event admissions, as well as appliance and furniture repairs.

He may be glad to escape the heat for a while, but he’s also missing the light. Times are tough all over. Still, how is it that three others have taken the spotlight? Because they have discovered a way to out-Hollywood Schwarzenegger. No real-life roles for them; they all have turned into cartoons.

Rod Blagojevich of Illinois has found salvation playing Daffy Duck, eternally buzzed and never right:

The list of elected officials who have ruined their own careers through hubris and greed and lust and sheer stupidity is endless…. Blagojevich, however, may have brought this pattern to a new low. He challenged the world to tape his phone conversations… exactly one day before U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald filed a criminal complaint against him based upon wiretapped phone conversations.

David Paterson of New York — keeping to species — plays Donald Duck, hapless and incapable of making a rational decision, let alone a wise one:

After a small cart of muck was pointlessly tipped onto Caroline Kennedy last week as she was pulling out of consideration for the United States Senate, Paterson denied that the leaks came from his administration. The denial was so preposterous — it is likely that any reporter within earshot had received some version of the leaks from members of Mr. Paterson’s administration — that the governor immediately backpedaled.

Then we come to Sarah Palin. Ah, Sarah. Jessica Rabbit, albeit without brains, self-awareness, or moral compass. Michael Tomasky, editor of Guardian America, offered what is still my favorite commentary on the Governatrix.

Never in my adult lifetime has one politician so perfectly embodied everything that is malign about my country: the proto-fascist nativism, the know-nothingism, the utterly cavalier lack of knowledge about the actual principles on which the country was founded.

If you’re interested — you shouldn’t be, but what the hell, people always slow down to gawk at the scene of an accident — Sara has a new gig. It’s SarahPac, as in Sarah Palin Political Action Committee. Take a look, and make of it what you will.

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