To quote Jeff Foxworthy:
“Y’all ain’t gonna believe this shit.”
Yesterday, Gray Davis made fun of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s accent:
In his public remarks to about 300 members of the Los Angeles Ironworkers Local 433, Davis suggested Schwarzenegger — whom he referred to only as “the actor” — would repeal Davis-backed union gains such as daily overtime pay and family-leave benefits, reported the Sacramento Bee. . .
Whipped into an anti-Schwarzenegger frenzy at the picnic, one crowd member screamed, “He’s a foreigner!” as Davis criticized the Austrian-born Terminator, who hopes to take over his seat in the Oct. 7 recall election.
The man who made the foreigner comment later apologized to Davis for making the remark.
Davis told him not to worry, the Bee reported, and added with a smile, “You shouldn’t be governor unless you can pronounce the name of the state,” in an apparent reference to Schwarzenegger’s Austrian accent.
Am I the only one whose jaw is on the floor?
Usually Gray Davis has a better ear for politics than this. Usually Cruz Bustamante does, too, but these guys have been sticking their foot in it since Day 1, and I’m at a loss to explain it. Maybe Arnold is such an unusual candidate that he keeps breaking their flow chart.
Democrats typically present themselves as the champions of minorities, particularly those for whom English is not a first language. But man, you scratch the surface and they are racists to the bone. This other quote from the article is odd, too:
“He can’t even speak English well. How can he govern the state of California?” Sukhee Kang, who emigrated from South Korea in 1977, asked the crowd before Davis arrived, the Bee reported.
First of all, I challenge the premise that Arnold doesn’t speak English well. Yes, he has an accent. So do a huge number of people in the United States, even people who are native born and who trace their lineage here back many generations. Accents are relative. I, for example, am from Tennessee. When I moved to California in 1979, I spoke with a ferocious Tennessee accent, compared to others here. My father still has a trace of it. Does that mean I don’t speak English? Does it mean I’m a foreigner? Does it somehow affect my intelligence (all redneck jokes aside)?
But as for Arnold’s command of the English language, I cite this by way of example (from a recent interview regarding a shoot on the set of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines):
“Everything has gone extraordinarily well, except we took a little bit more time, I think, than anyone expected because there were so many visual effects shots. It’s going to be a real spectacle because we’ve never really seen a fight scene of two people, who are actually machines, one weighs two thousand pounds and one a thousand pounds. Every move you make towards any piece of wall or door or anything immediately breaks, so everything has to be rigged in such a way. For instance, there’s a scene where I grab her by the jaw, lift her up in the air and then just throw her down on the ground. As soon as I throw her down into the ground, the tiles on the ground just break. And then I lift my foot up really high and just step down on her head and that then makes her whole head crush into below the floor of the bathroom. You have to rig all that stuff, and then you have to cut, and then you have to put the dummy down because I can’t step on her head otherwise it breaks her nose. So you have to split it up, all those things.”
Does that sound to you like a man who can’t speak English?
All that aside, I haven’t heard Sukhee Kang actually talk, but I’d be curious to know if s/he (gender is unclear in the article) speaks with anything I might recognize as a South Korean accent.
Davis makes another idiotic statement:
“He just fights in movies,” Davis said, the Bee reported. “I served in a real war to defend this country and I’ve worked hard to advance the interests of Asian Pacific Californians.”
Somebody want to tell me how military service or lack thereof affects a person’s ability to be governor?
I did a little digging about Gray’s military service. Turns out he was in the Army in the Vietnam War (1968-69). He attained the rank of Captain, and was awarded the Bronze Star*. The draft was not implemented in Vietnam until 1969, so Gray was either already in the Army at the time, or he volunteered.
That’s fine. I appreciate his service on behalf of our nation, and I respect the willingness to lay down one’s life in this way.
But I still don’t see the connection. I mean, come on. Politicians with military service include Dick Gephardt, Tom Daschle, Al Gore (an Army journalist, so I’m not sure he counts), Ted Kennedy, John McCain, Gerald Ford, Strom Thurmond, and Oliver North. I wouldn’t really call any of these people fit candidates for leadership, regardless of their actual careers.
Conversely, politicians without military service include Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush (governor of Florida), Ronald Reagan (who had bad eyesight), Rudy Giuliani, and Clarence Thomas (Supreme Court Justice). I would argue that all these men have earned their leadership, and that their lack of military service does not mean they cannot do it well.
Jimmy Carter even has this unusual distinction:
“Except for his fellow service-academy graduate Dwight Eisenhower, no President of the twentieth century spent more years in uniform than Carter.”
And yet Carter was one of the worst presidents in the history of this nation, and is an all-around Goddamn fool when it comes to international politics even now that his political career is over. He really needs to keep his nose out of our country’s affairs and go back to building houses for the poor.
What was I originally talking about? Oh yeah, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Anyway, normally I would tell Gray Davis to shut the fuck up, except that I so dislike the man, and it’s amusing watching him continue to make himself look stupid.
* “The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Army of the United States after 6 December 1941, distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with military operations against an armed enemy; or while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.” Source