The countdown to the California recall election, including Arnold Schwarzenegger’s attempts to fend off allegations of mistreatment of women, is today’s top topic. A reader also writes in about an opinion column on luxury goods for the masses.

ARNOLD AND THE RECALL

I cannot believe that Gov. Gray Davis, who is under recall because many believe he “sold” contracts (such as a half-billion-dollar raise for prison guards after their union donated $250,000 to his re-election campaign) would call for a criminal investigation on misdemeanor charges that Arnold Schwarzenegger “groped” some women over two decades ago, then try and make it sound like this was not politically motivated!

The LA Times has lost credibility for printing what seems more like an op-ed piece on the front page, the Oakland Tribune (which withdrew its endorsement of Arnold Schwarzenegger based on unproven allegations) has shown themselves to be spineless as well.

Not that print media matters that much to most people anymore. I suspect that few people give a hoot that the Oakland Trib endorsed Arnold Schwarzenegger to begin with.

Over 2 MILLION Californians voted before any of this became public. That means (if pre-election polls are accurate) Davis will have to get about 52% of those that vote on Election Day. Not likely, considering he’s running about the high 30s now.

On Oct. 8th, Davis will discover what it’s like to be with so many of his former constituents after his business-wrecking policies in California: He’ll be unemployed.
Yevgeni Stepanov
Forrester, CA

I am a 59-year-old woman, retired and not a California resident, but am bombarded daily with more information than I ever wanted about this recall thing so I feel justified in responding. Am I the only one who perceives these sexual harassment charges as pandering of a legitimate women’s issue by Democrats in an last-minute attempt to win this election for Davis? The fact that Davis is buying into it is scary, as well. I think it is an embarrassment, an insult and a slap in the face to women worldwide who have suffered legitimate sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination.

These 15 women have set their own movement back 50 years. In my opinion, the statute of limitations for responding to the kind of treatment they are alleging runs out in about 10 minutes. If I were a Californian, I would vote for Arnold just to punish the Democrats for their hypocrisy.
Mrs. Bonny Willer
Caldwell, ID

As a woman and a Republican, I am outraged by the support Arnold S. has received among women in my party who have chosen to ignore his ill-treatment of women. As a teen-ager I was sexually assaulted twice. The psychological scars from those incidents have yet to heal. So when Bill Clinton ran for president, those horrible memories compelled me to vote for his opponents (any opponent).

It is this culture that rewards the likes of Arnold which encourages more disrespectful behavior toward and abuse of women. And to the women of California (especially the conservative ones who are opting for the movie star instead of the highly respected state senator) I ask: How will you feel if and when your daughter is groped, harassed, fondled, or raped? Will you be incensed with anger and demand justice? Or are you going to tell her to just ignore it as you are doing right now by supporting a man who treats women like nothing more than a piece of meat.

If you have any self-respect and care at all about the future of women in this state do not vote for that pervert. Think about it. If our governor can behave that way with your tacit approval why can’t any other man in the state of California. Maria Shriver and Hillary Clinton may feel they have to put up with philandering husbands for the sake of their children, but we, the people of California, should have a zero tolerance policy for men who use and abuse women.
Marie Marshall
San Diego, CA

I find it amusing that many of the feminist groups defending Bill Clinton are so critical of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The most preposterous quote l’ve ever heard was the one that said the difference was because Clinton was so brilliant. They are also claiming that one of the differences was that Clinton’s sexual transgressions were consensual. I just wished that Chris Matthews, on his show last week, had reminded Gloria Allred that Katherine Wiley, Paula Jones, Juanita, etc., did not seem to think it was consensual. lt’s simply incredible that people can compromise themselves and twist what’s right or wrong because of politics.
Joseph Tsai
Red Bluff, CA

MASS WEALTH

How to fake being rich,” by Daniel Gross, hits the pulse of our new American society. I agree there is a growing desire to attain high status with “stuff” before the real work of getting truly wealthy is accomplished. We are a nation trying to live above our means; our debt statistics attest to this. The statement about buying the Polo shirt for $20 is true, I don’t see the point in paying more if I don’t have to.

Our desires for instant gratification have soured the taste for hard work in our mouths. The one that had to be sweet in order get all these “things” that were (once) only for those for which money is no object. We no longer want to “pay dues,” having and feeling as though we have at half the effort is enough for many. The quote by Lasch rings true.
Michelle Greenlee
Lubbock, Texas

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