>An Austrian’s Tribute To The Governator

>Austrian blogger Josef Ertl recently posted a kind of tribute to Arnold Schwarzenegger. It overlooks a few things — one being that time when “the Governator” was being referred to more often as “the Gropenführer” (to grope someone = jemanden begrapschen); also that, for all those environmental victories, the dude drives a Hummer — and Ertl avoids mention of when Graz (Arnie’s hometown) had his name removed from its stadium. But it’s a nice send-off and so I present it here in translation:

We Austrians were so proud of him. Because he showed us how a little man from little Austria could make it on the world’s stage. Arnold Schwarzenegger made not only Austrians’ hearts beat faster, as the Terminator he fascinated movie-goers all over the world.

After his stepping down from the world of Hollywood the “Steirerman” turned to politics. As Governor of California he promised to clean up the state, which was more than ten billion dollars in debt. The Governator, as he was then called, rejected the luxurious Governor’s Mansion in Sacramento, had people call him Arnie, and would not accept the governor’s salary.

But he failed. He wanted to revive California, and yet left double the debt as when he came in. In spite of intensive efforts he did not succeed in bringing agreement between the Republicans and the Democrats, both equally strong in the State Senate, in his projects. The Republicans rejected every kind of tax increase, the Democrats (above all the unions) persisted in expectations of public entitlements. A three-quarters majority being necessary for bills to pass, the results were a fiasco. The state gave out IOUs in place of paying bills and salaries. State employees were forced to take unpaid leave, schools and universities suffer from acute lack of funds. Street conditions are so bad, that in places it was necessary to introduce special speed limits, to keep the potholes from causing accidents.

Arnie did have success with environmental protection. California is the first state in the U.S. to have limited carbon emissions. He [signed into law the state senate bill to fund] the “hydrogen highway” and passed laws for implementing hydrogen fueling stations, a first step toward the introduction of fuel cell automobiles.

Now 63, Arnie is stepping down. It will not be the end of his career. At least we Austrians hope not. Because for us, Arnie is living the American Dream.

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