Ed Driscoll

Well, The Center Is A Moving Target, I Suppose

As I wrote last month:

Remember when Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed like the opposite of Gray Davis? That was a long, long time ago. As was his speech at the 2004 GOP presidential convention, in which he claimed that in 1968 he was listening to Hubert Humphrey’s Great Society-style proposals shortly after arriving in the US:

Everything about America seemed so big to me, so open, so possible.

I finally arrived here in 1968. What a special day it was. I remember I arrived here with empty pockets but full of dreams, full of determination, full of desire.

The presidential campaign was in full swing. I remember watching the Nixon-Humphrey presidential race on TV. A friend of mine who spoke German and English translated for me. I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism, which I had just left.

SCHWARZENEGGER: But then I heard Nixon speak. Then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military.

(APPLAUSE)

Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air.

I said to my friend, I said, “What party is he?”

My friend said, “He’s a Republican.”

I said, “Then I am a Republican.”

A recent post on the Politico.com site describes the Governator thusly:

Schwarzenegger, a Republican who favors abortion rights, stem-cell research, gay rights and gun control, will give a speech at the National Press Club on Monday stressing the importance of centrism in American politics.

The irony is, Arnold’s positions on most issues would be to the left of so many of the ’68-era Humphrey.