The oddest thing about the Governor's one-minute yawp against the the scourge of increasing taxes to fill a budget deficit is that legislative Democrats essentially already scrapped the plan to raise taxes on cigarettes and oil extraction two weeks ago. Vowing to not raise taxes polls well for the Republican base, of course, but by vowing to resist something on which the Governor has no resistance, the Governor can basically declare victory on at least one front of his series of stands on the budget.
Does that mean the other stands are in trouble? The Governor has taken a political hit for his comments about smoking a stogie in a Jacuzzi regardless of the suffering of California's citizens, and the rumor of suspending Prop. 98 has set off a frenzy among groups who supported Arnold in his failed special election. The claims of rampant fraud in social services programs has lacked evidence.
Obviously, the topline belief from Schwarzenegger's team, one assumes, is to just show him on a fake set that looks like the Governor's office talking tough. But I'm wondering if this isn't a climb-down, an effort by the Governor to plant a flag and say after the fact that he didn't raise taxes, at least. I wonder if he knows he'll lose on his shock doctrine efforts.