Shades of Gray – Davis, That Is

by Robert Arvay 

After nearly five years as governor of California, Gray Davis was ousted from office in a recall election in 2003. While many reasons are given for the citizen outrage that dethroned him, chief among them is the fact that many voters felt that the governor had deliberately misrepresented the state’s financial condition. On the day before his reelection to a second term, Davis was still saying that the state was solvent. On the day after the election, he revealed that, oops, the state was essentially bankrupt. As one commentator put it, the reaction of the voters was, “Hey, wait a minute – you lied to us.” 

Ten years later, a sitting US president is in a similar fix. His unqualified promise that under his Affordable Care Act, “you can keep your health insurance [and your doctor], period,” has now been altered so that the word period means, “and if you believe that, I can sell you a bridge to nowhere in Brooklyn.” 

The citizen outrage against Davis took political shape in the form of a movement that has since been compared to the modern-day TEA Party movement. It was not, however, a unique or original phenomenon. Many grassroots movements had come before it. The recall election was noteworthy in that it mobilized a largely liberal voter bloc to reject a largely liberal governor whom they had reelected just days before. They would probably have turned him out of office only days after the reelection, but the recall process took about ten months. 

Barak Obama now says that he “could have been more clear,” in his promise about keeping your insurance. Hmm. Let’s see, now, oh yes. He could have been more clear by adding the word, “not,” after the words, “you can.” 

Gray Davis could have been more clear about California’s fiscal condition by adding the words, “and we’re broke.” 

Neither of these men were clear. Liberals do not deal in clarity. They consider it intolerant to use ‘clear” words such as the word, “truth,” which to them is all but a matter of personal opinion. 

They prefer, instead, to use words that are ambiguous. To liberals, there is neither good nor evil, neither truth nor falsehood, neither right nor wrong, but only shades of gray – as in Gray Davis.

 Robert Arvay is a Contributing Writer to The Bold Pursuit

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