The most we can hope for now is that Schwarzenegger will not slobber and pander to his hard-line Republican supporters as much as Davis did to his anti-recall allies. Perhaps I’m reaching for straws, but I was heartened that in his inaugural speech, the new governor, in vowing to repeal the measure, referred to it by its bureaucratic moniker of S.B. 60 and refrained from mouthing either of the hot-button phrases “illegal alien” or “illegal immigrant.” When the tempers of the recall cool and a year or so from now the nativist petition gatherers retreat back into their bunkers, let’s hope that Schwarzenegger and the Latino Caucus are wise enough to agree on an acceptable compromise.
In the meantime, all those undocumented who do most of our work for us and who had briefly entertained the illusion that this coming January they could at least come into legal compliance as drivers, need to brace for the certain and immediate repeal of the law. As they continue to drive, licenseless, with one eye peeled for the cops, they can also ponder the long and still growing list of those responsible for their current predicament: Pete Wilson, the GOP caucus, Cruz Bustamante, Rescue California, Arnold, the more reckless among the Latino Caucus, and . . . yes . . . Gray Davis.