Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Insert another "I'll Be Back" joke here: So the recall is back on schedule. I'm happy with the decision just for the sake of getting the recall over with. And since I safely reside on the opposite coast, I can enjoy the entertainment without having to suffer the consequences of living with someone like Gov. Schwarzenegger.

I don't know exactly what Gray Davis did to screw things up. Apparently many Republicans and Democrats concur that the sitting governor made terrible decisions during the economic boom and has dug the government into a budgetary hole.

I think it's funny that the same Democrats that defend Davis as a victim of a nation-wide economic collapse are quick to blame Bush for screwing up the economy even though it faltered before Bush came into office.

Regardless, California should take this recall mechanism off the books as soon as this is over. Elected politicians should be allowed to fulfill their terms and then face the electorate. It's bad enough when the news media runs a poll every time a politician mumbles. We need some stability for government to work. If an officeholder does something too egregious, that's what impeachment is for.

But the recall is legal now under California law, and the law should be followed until the game is over -- just like with the 2000 elections (if you don't like the Electoral College system, amend the Constitution). Using cheap arguments and saying the current voting machines are illegal is just an attempt to subvert democracy. Those were the same voting machines that got Davis elected. So to take that argument seriously, California would have to remove him and all other elected officials today.

But the ACLU led the charge to put off allowing California residents to vote in the recall. As much as I would like to support an organization like the ACLU, I can't help but notice how partisan it acts. According to its Web site, the group is ardent in supporting free speech and privacy, with which I wholeheartedly agree. But when it comes to defending our rights under the Second Amendment of the Constitution, the group skirts the issue, saying, "The question therefore is not whether to restrict arms ownership, but how much to restrict it. If that is a question left open by the Constitution, then it is a question for Congress to decide." Well, deciding how much to restrict freedom of speech (slander, yelling fire in a crowded theater) is an open question, but I wouldn't trust Congress alone to decide that.

The ACLU should be working to empower the people in California. Instead it's working to protect the governor. The group's job is to defend all the freedoms of all Americans, not just those of liberal Democrats.

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