Here's a classic example of David Broder's fetish for bipartisan cooperation. He frequently decries irresponsible deficit spending at the federal level, but the Era of Good Feelings in California has him swooning for Arnold:
A year after he took office, following the voters' recall of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger is riding high in California. A recent Los Angeles Times poll put his job approval rating at 66 percent, and his efforts to break through the political paralysis that had contributed to a serious fiscal crisis in state government have won commendation across the spectrum.
But what about this serious fiscal crisis? Oh yes, the way Schwarzanegger has dealt with it is by putting off California's fiscal problems for the future, primarily by unloading them on future generations through new debt offerings. And the state still has a major structural deficit brought on by its insane governance procedures. It's easy to cooperate when you avoid tough decisions!
Broder finally acknowledges the problem in a single sentence: "[D]espite an improving economy, revenue is still expected to fall short of expenditures by an estimated $8 billion to $10 billion next year in a $103 billion budget." But then it's back to happy days: "The 'changed climate' that President Bush promised but did not achieve in his first term in Washington is on display in Sacramento."
There's no question that Schwarzanegger has broken the strangehold Democratic interest groups have held on Sacramento, and that's a good thing. But the jury is still out on the merits of his policies, particularly with regard to that nagging fiscal crisis. The fact that he's working with Democrats is not proof of anything in and of itself.