Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Arnold Goes Acrostic

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

I have written about acrostic poetry before - poems in which the first letter of each line spells out a special message, a message that usually adds some degree of depth to the basic message of the poem. Lewis Carroll, for example, used an acrostic poem in Through the Looking Glass to reveal the name of the very real little girl whom he modeled "Alice" of Alice in Wonderland after. I also used this blog to show an acrostic sonnet that I wrote - many years ago - that poked a little fun at Petrarch for not completely structuring his highly structured sonnet form.

Now Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California has gotten into the act. It seems the guv likes to attach a personal note to bills that he signs or vetoes - and then send the bill back, with the note, to the bill's author. That is very courteous, and I am certain that his mother would have been pleased at her son's thoughtfulness. But, being a mother, she was probably also very aware of what a rascal her little boy was.

Or did he turn into a rascal due to all of those steroids over all of those years?

Whatever the reason, the governor of California did pull a good one recently when he sent a note to Tom Ammiano, an assemblyman from San Francisco who had submitted a bill in the legislature that passed unanimously - a bill that would have economically revitalized part of the Port of San Francisco. Unfortunately for the bill and Port of San Francisco, the governor chose to veto that bill - hence the governor's personal note to Assemblyman Ammiano.

Did I mention that the assemblyman had heckled Governor Schwarzenegger at a San Francisco event earlier in the year?

So what was the personal message that Arnold sent to Assemblyman Ammiano along with the veto letter?

(Unfortunately, I can't get Blogspot to format the way that Arnold's letter was formatted - so here is the text with the first letter of each line in bold:)

"For some time now I have lamented the fact that major issues are overlooked while many unnecessary bills come to me for consideration. Water reform, prison reform, and health care are major issues my Administration has brought to the table, but the Legislature just kicks the can down the alley.

"Yet another legislative year has come and gone without the major reforms Californians overwhelmingly deserve. In light of this, and after careful consideration, I believe it is unnecesary to sign this measure at this time."

Schwarzeneggar has vetoed six of eight Ammiano bills this year, with five of those six coming after the assemblyman heckled the governor.

Way to go, Arnie! Your clever rebuke puts me in mind of the words of another great American, Dick Cheney, when he told Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (on the floor of the U.S. Senate) to "go fuck yourself." You Republicans sure can turn a phrase - and get even!

And isn't that what government is all about?

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