How about less macho, more action? |

How about less macho, more action?

The governor’s visit to a mall to call Democratic lawmakers “girlie men” is only the most obvious manifestation of what is happening in Sacramento: A governor trying to create a budget from smoke and mirrors, and a Legislature determined to ensure that special interests continue to feed at the taxpayer trough. Gee, where have we seen this scenario before?

When voters threw out Gray Davis last year just after re-electing him, they must have thought Arnold Schwarzenegger was like the characters he plays in the movies. They thought he’d growl a line of dialogue, like “You’re terminated,” or “I’ll be back,” and his political foes would cower and give in.

Schwarzenegger apparently thought so, too. By threatening to go to the voters and push ballot measures, he racked up early victories, which then encouraged him to cut unilateral budget deals with local government, educators and Indian tribes.

It’s becoming apparent that, like in “The Wizard of Oz,” the cigar-puffing muscleman behind the curtain is pulling a lot of levers but nothing’s happening. Ballyhooed deals are unraveling, and we seem to be left with the same gimmicks and posturing we had before the recall.

We thought Schwarzenegger was going to get rid of “politics as usual” and give us straight talk for a change. But his waffling over the budget, his assurances that everything is “fantastic,” and his resorting to name-calling is a Hollywood act that is wearing thin.

Is there a politician and statesman behind the makeup? If so, he’d better show himself soon.

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