Arnold: 1, California Democrats/Unions/Liberals: 0

Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t exactly my kind of Republican. He’s squishy on a lot of issues I care about. He seems a little too concerned with the opinion of some in the media. All that said, how can you characterize the news today that California political leaders have reached a budget deal as anything but a crushing win for the Gov? No new taxes, deep budget cuts, some reform to the state’s welfare system AND access and fees for offshore oil drilling?! [insert Conan joke about lamentations]

SRSLY? Holy crap.

Don’t get me wrong – the deal’s not perfect by any means. And folks with many more accounting degrees than I will find reasons to object to some of the shifts of both revenues and costs. And don’t forget – the very existence of the budget standoff that Arnold just won is a direct result of the failure of several of his key ballot initiatives.

But as I was driving to work this morning, listening to NPR lament the deal as one of the sharpest contractions in government anywhere in the country in recent memory, I couldn’t help but smile. When the chips were down, Arnold held firm. Well done, sir.

If this means (to steal the phrase) that Arnold’s back on the juice – can we pass it around at the next RGA meeting?

P.S. And meanwhile, across town – while Arnold was winning almost every concession he asked for..the SEIU is authorizing a strike. Good luck with that.