After reading a few recent stories about Arnold Schwarzenegger, it should be clear to everybody by now that:
1. Arnold is a serial harasser. To the extreme extent that he honestly may not remember details of individual events, since they might all just blur together into one big harassing lifestyle.This point is hardly worthy of discussion, given Arnold’s apology. One might argue the merits of individual cases, but as Arnold himself said, “Where there is smoke, there is fire.”
2. He doesn’t really think it is really wrong. His apology, while it sounded clear and direct at first blush (“…I have done things that were not right…“), wasn’t really for having been a harassing pig, but for “offending” people.
Yes, this one is a matter of debatable opinion, but I’m pretty convinced of it. Don’t believe me? Here it is again, with emphases added:
Yes it is true that I was on rowdy movie sets and I have done things that were not right that I thought were playful. I now recognize that I have offended people and to those people that I offended, I want to say that I am deeply sorry and I apologize.
See, he’s not sorry for playing around on his wife, or groping women without permission, he’s sorry for offending people. Apparently those that weren’t really offended don’t deserve an apology. Defenders of Arnold, would you have accepted an apology like this from President Clinton? Perhaps some of you, but not others.
3. He’s not going to talk about this in detail before the election. Period. Exclamation point.
4. He’ll lie if he has to. And he has had to. Of course, I think we’ve all heard recently that lying about sex is different than regular lying, because who wouldn’t lie with their marriage on the line?
I disagreed then, and I disagree now. The only apology I would accept from Arnold at this point is one that went something like this:
I have been seduced by power since I was a young man. It is intoxicating to me and drives me in every area of my life. I now recognize that what I thought was an exercise of my power upon others was actually a demonstration of my powerlessness. I have been weak, taking advantage only of those who were not in a position to strike back. To the women who cried themselves to sleep at night because I thought so little of you, I am sorry. I know that I cannot ever truly make up for what I’ve done, but I can tell you that I have been crying myself to sleep lately, too, so I do know a little of what you’ve gone through.
My wife has shown me what true strength is. It is not something that anyone can achieve by working out, and it isn’t something exercised only against the weak. It is in taking on a worthy opponent, having the power to crush them, and choosing instead to stay with me and help me understand my weakness.
I come to you as a candidate for Governor of the great state of California, and as a broken man. If you will give me your vote, I will pour all of my passion and fury into making this a better state for all Californians, not just the strong. Seeing myself now as a weak man, I will champion the causes of the weak and work to make them – make us all strong again.
Of course, that’s not going to happen, and Arnold is still running against a truly motley crew of opponents, but a speech like that, tonight during prime time, might just give him the biggest landslide victory in California electoral history.
But only if he cries. If he doesn’t mean it, we’ll know. He’s not that good of an actor.