Sand kicked in face of strong-man governor

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has relished the role of the fearless “Terminator” armed for battle against an army of special interests, is suddenly looking more like Gulliver — besieged, tied down, and overrun by his opponents.

Arnie, Arnie, Arnie. “The Terminator” was a movie. A fantasy. Not real life. In real life, especially in politics, you need to play well with others, build coalitions, and actually listen to what others say. The belief that you can do it all alone and thus slay your opponents is just lunk-headed macho delusion.

And no wonder: After months of campaigning, fund raising and warning of a Nov. 8  special election he insisted was “guaranteed,” the governor’s team blinked this week. Campaign adviser Mike Murphy floated a trial balloon — most likely to gauge Democratic Party as much as voter reaction — with Friday’s public acknowledgement that Team Schwarzenegger has discussed the impossible: dumping the much-heralded special ballot altogether.

Democratic strategist Garry South said there’s hardly an outpouring of pity for the GOP action-hero-turned-governor with this latest development. “He’s gotten himself into this pickle,” he said. “This was all about testosterone, and we’ll have to see whether his glands outduel his brain on how to get out of this mess.”