Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Emanations from Tookie's execution

I doubt I need to fill you in on the fact that, after Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to grant Tookie Williams clemency, so that the multiple murderer was executed, Ah-nuld's hometown of Graz expressed disgust with Ah-nuld's conduct. In a stunning move of intelligence and decisiveness, Ah-nuld wrote to Graz and told them to get his name off their stadium by the end of 2005. Mark Steyn takes this already inspiring story, and lets us know that it has even deeper meanings than a one-sided fight between a petty township and a governor with no small amount of integrity:

Schwarzenegger is no conservative, and has been a disappointing governor. But his letter is magnificent, and the pleasure it affords was only heightened by the hilarious Guardian headline to its report on the "controversy": "Schwarzenegger Faces 'Tookie' Backlash In Austria." No, he doesn't. With one typewritten sheet, he's ended the whole damn backlash, and usefully offered a good basic template for US-EU relations that recognizes the basic differences between the two: Americans have responsibilities, Europeans have attitudes. Indeed, the EU has attitudes in inverse proportion to its ability to act on them. It's able to strut and preen on the world stage secure in the knowledge that nobody expects it to do anything about anything. If entire nations want to embrace self-congratulatory, holier-than-thou gesture politics as a way of life, why not give them a hand? The politicians of Graz want Tookie to be a domestic political issue? Now he is, if only for the tourist industry.
I agree with Steyn that Schwarzenegger has been a disappointing Governor -- although as a Californian I know the almost impossible job he has dealing with the California legislature -- but he's certainly proven himself a mensch (a real person) with this step.