Big Daddy

Ask Big Daddy

Hey Big Daddy,
Have you been watching the Arnold vs. Sarah feud? What do you think?
— Glued in Goleta

Hey Glued,
Have I been watching? All I can say is this smackdown has helped me forget about this year’s USC football team. Almost. But watching Palin vs. Schwarzenegger play out on Facebook, or in the Financial Times, is the best clash of the titans since Godzilla versus Mothra.

Which one is Mothra and which is Godzilla, I’ll leave for you to decide, gentle reader.

For those of you who are otherwise engaged, a quick recap: Schwarzenegger said Sarah Palin was a knuckle-dragging cro-magnon woman who was refuting obvious science because she was running for President. Mdme. Palin retorted by blaming Schwarzenegger and his environmentalism for California’s budget and unemployment woes, and claimed Scwharzenegger just wanted to act “greener than thou when talking to reporters.”

If you’re scoring at home, I believe that’s Palin: 1, Schwarzenegger: 0.

In the interest of trying to end this inter-party skirmish, let me just say they’re probably both right. Palin is in fact saying whatever she needs to sell books and boost her approval ratings among GOP primary voters, and Schwarzenegger is simply solving crises that are 50 years away because he can’t seem to manage the heap of them that are on his plate today.

There. Everybody happy?

Look, I like a good cat fight as much as the next guy. But I gotta say, I don’t see this ending well for Arnold. What’s he going to do, call Sarah Palin a Girlie Man? Unless the governor brushes up on his winking, I see this ending badly for him in a pile of Fox News blather.

But perhaps these two political figures really do represent something larger. Something different than an oversized reptile and an insect that threatened to devour Tokyo. These are the two poles of the Republican Party. On the one hand, you have a national GOP that seems hell bent on blaming environmentalism for the current economic recession.

Just this week, we saw the Air Resources Board roll back its diesel regulations, citing the economic impact. And the party is sharpening its attacks on Barbara Boxer as an out of control Green Crusader. And Palin seems right in line with these folks.

On the other side you have Schwarzenegger who seems to have picked a hell of a time to try to convince Republicans to start working on their image.

But you’ve gotta hand it to Arnold. He has named himself king of the “sub-national governments” club in Copenhagen, running around with any department head or territorial prefect that will sign a non-binding agreement in front of a zillion cameras. And the cameras eat it up. Every single time.

Maybe Sarah Palin has something to learn from Schwarzenegger after all.

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