|President Barack Obama embraces Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009. In the photo, then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) is standing in the background. The Terminator is fed up with his party's extreme positions.|
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The former governor of California is coming to grips with his own party and their pandering to extremists.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican nominee for president. Romney will be moving away from his moderate positions to cater to the conservatives within the Tea Party. The Republican nominee will say or do anything to defeat President Barack Obama. His allies in the conservative movement are working in overdrive to make this a referendum on the president and his handling of the economy.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, is an actor, director, and once served two terms as the governor of California. He won in a recall election in 2003, against embattled Democratic governor Gray Davis. During his time as governor, Mr. Schwarzenegger faced harsh criticism over his handling of the economic turmoils that California was facing.
He allied with President Barack Obama when it came to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Stimulus) in which it helped California through a major budget crisis. The former governor was considered a moderate. As a moderate governor, he managed to work across party lines to solve some of the problems of the state. The former politician has openly spoke out against the Tea Party and those in the Republican Party. Unfortunately during his term as governor, Mr. Schwarzenegger left his successor Democratic governor Jerry Brown a bigger hole to dig out of!
And already, the perennial Mr. Brown, serves as governor California once again to fix the mess his Republican predecessor left.
Life after the governorship was kind of rough for the former bodybuilder Mr. Schwarzenegger. He's facing a divorce from his wife Maria Shriver after news broke of an illicit affair with his housekeeper in which he bore a child.
Being an unlikely ally to President Barack Obama, could cost a politician their job, according to many in the Tea Party. And the way it's going, the Republicans are hunting RINOs. The acronym RINO stands for Republican in Name Only.
According to the conservative movement, RINOs are members of the Republican Party who are have views that are considered liberal or moderate.
Republicans who view themselves as pro-choice, anti-war, gun control, legalizing of drugs, tax and spend law endorsing, and the ultimate sin, supporters of President Barack Obama, are facing the backlash of the Tea Party. And yes, the Tea Party has managed to scalp heads.
Many Republicans are facing primaries. The conservative movement wants to purge all moderates out of the party.
Senator Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) are facing tougher opponents within their own party. Senator Lugar and Senator Hatch have worked with Democrats in the past, and now they could be facing a defeat in the primaries.
Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) is retiring from the senate after express disgust with members of her own party. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) is retiring from senate.
Other moderates include: Senator Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts), Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), Senator Dean Heller (R-Nevada) and Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois).
They are shifting positions further to the right putting the Republican Party in the position of extreme.
In 2009, Senator Arlen Specter endorsed the Stimulus. He was the first of many Republicans facing a tougher reelection bid. He faced Pat Toomey in the Republican primary and was slated to lose. Senator Specter defected from the Republican Party. But unfortunately the Democratic Party wasn't interested in keeping him among the party faithful, so he lost in the 2010 Democratic Primary to then Congressman Joe Sestak. But the Democrats ended up losing the seat to Toomey, a fiscal and social conservative who once held title as president of the Club for Growth organization.
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was facing a primary against Joe Miller, a Tea Party backed candidate.
She was defeated in the Republican primary. Senator Murkowski was able to manage a successful write-in campaign against Miller and ended up winning the election as an independent.
The Republican Party ended up recapturing the House of Representatives, and gaining seven senators who managed to be the sole opposition of President Barack Obama.
The Democrats are having a rougher time trying to keep their moderate members of the U.S. Senate.
Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut), Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska), Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia), Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico), Senator Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota) are among the many Democrats who are getting out of Congress. They feel that too much partisan gridlock and the extreme positions of both parties have isolated them from the needs of the American people.
In an opinion piece from the former governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger criticizes the positions of the Republican Party. He fears that the pandering to extremism will cause the Republicans to lose in the general election.
Schwarzenegger wrote in the Los Angeles Times that:
[He was] bothered by the party's recent loss of two up-and-coming Republicans: San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher, currently a state assemblyman, and former assemblyman and current Congressional candidate Anthony Adams, both of whom left the party to become independents. On the one hand, I respect their standing up for principle. On the other, I hate to see them go.
I'm sure they would have preferred to remain Republicans, but in the current climate, the extreme right wing of the party is targeting anyone who doesn't meet its strict criteria. Its new and narrow litmus test for party membership doesn't allow compromise.
I bumped up against that rigidity many times as governor. Not surprisingly, the party wasn't always too happy with me. But I had taken an oath to serve the people, not my party. Some advisors whose opinions I respect urged me to consider leaving the party and instead identify myself as a "decline to state" voter. But I'm too stubborn to leave a party I believe in.