Thursday, August 21, 2003

Don't Get It

Mark Kleiman doesn't understand why many of us Dems think that it's imperative that Gray Davis keep his job. Leaving aside the question of whether he WILL manage to do so or not, I really don't understand Kleiman's attitude. It reminds me of (some of) the lefty-left's response to the Clinton impeachment: Sure, the blowjob wasn't important, but he should be impeached for a) he didn't pardon Mumia, b) Aspirin factory! c) Welfare reform! d) insert pet issue here.

The reason to reject the Clinton impeachment, which was of course legal (aside from some of Starr's and the media's extralegal shenanigans which brought us there), was that there was something wholly repugnant about the people and process behind it all Taking an opportunity to get your revenge on a guy you didn't like much, for reasons even more illegitimate than the stated reasons, by embracing a corrupt and frightening movement is ethically indefensible.

Now, it's possible Mark thinks that Davis has committed some severe ethical transgressions I'm not aware of, but otherwise he's simply accepting the idea that it's reasonable to try and overturn the results of an election simply because you didn't like them. Nothing changed between the time voters pulled the lever for Davis and the beginning of the recall process. While the recall process is legal, it's also extremely bad law and very anti-democratic.

Kleiman's critique of Davis's completely legitimate election strategy also confuses me. Davis didn't make Bill Simon the candidate - Republican primary voters in California did. I've always doubted that Davis's ad campaign had much to do with it - the California Republicans love the circular firing squad more than the national Dems. Even if it did, this wasn't the new and unique campaign tactic the media pretended it was.

Regardless, voting no on the recall is about rejecting a process, not supporting a candidate. Davis may be a stinker, but he's the duly elected stinker of the state of California. If Governor Bill Simon were being recalled right now, I'd (if I were still a CA resident) vote against that too.