Reached a couple of minutes ago on the floor of the Assembly, Tom Ammiano said that Californians who woke up this morning and were shocked by the news that the budget stalemate has resulted in billions of dollars of anticipated savings being whisked away should not be angry with Republicans. Ammiano suggests directing anger toward a Republican -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"In the Assembly, we had good, bipartisan support for three bills that would have stopped these IOUs," said the San Francisco Assemblyman. "But they were hung up in the Senate becuase the governor said he'd veto everything and that had a chilling effect. The governor keeps piling on other demands; he wanted the Democrats and Republicans to sing Cumbaya -- and we did that in the Assembly; I have to credit my Republican colleagues."
And yet, still, Schwarzenegger is "saying he'll veto any bill."
When asked to explain the governor's obstinacy, Ammiano conjectured that Schwarzenegger was concerned with his legacy: "What legacy? His legacy is in the toilet."
If there's any light at the end of the budget tunnel -- and if that light turns out to be a train -- could become clearer even within a matter of hours, according to Ammiano. In the meantime, this Assemblyman is ready to vote the governor off the island.
"Maybe he could go take a hike along the Appalachian trail, if you know what I mean," said Ammiano. "Then we could go on without him."
We have to object to at least one of Ammiano's points: To us, Schwarzenegger's legacy will always be tied to uttering one of the most brilliant lines in the history of cinema in Conan the Barbarian:
Mongol General: "What is best in life?"
Conan: "To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Mongol General: (dramatic pause) "Yes, that is good."