Saturday, August 16, 2003


I'd love to recall George W. Bush.  Hell, he wasn't even elected.  I'm appalled by his policies which make me, a generally optimistic person, feel more uneasy about the country's present and future than at any time I can remember.  He has sullied our reputation in the world community.  His trickle down economic solutions seem to have had little impact upon the economy while burdening us again with disastrously large deficits, a Ronald Reagan legacy that we thought had been cleaned up by those much maligned tax and spend Democrats.  Another poor Democratic President is likely to take the rap for raising taxes in the years to come to keep us afloat. 

I'd love to recall George W. Bush, but we can't.  Nor, and this pains me no end, should we be able to mid term.  Recalls aren't democracy in action, they are anarchy in the making.  Perhaps I'm overreacting.  After all it's California where all this craziness is going on and you know how they are.  Well, I don't buy it.  I expect maturity and responsibility from a mega-State whose actions impact the well being of the entire nation.  Sure they have a boring and even unlikable Governor.  Tough.  Sure their economy sucks, but hello, is the New York economy booming?  But all that is beside the point.  The idea that we can just recall our public officials between elections because we don't like them is preposterous.  It may be legal in California, but that doesn't mean it passes either the smell or the sanity test.

Of course it does make for good TV which may be all that counts these days.  The Networks on and off Cable have already anointed a successor, the actor Arnold Schwarzenegger – their kind of guy.  You may have missed it, but Arnold is a man of unquestioned credentials — a proven fiscal manager who clearly has the experience required to solve the enormous problems of a giant state where, due to other spontaneous voter propositions, a Governor is left with virtually no options or powers.  Right!  Details, details.  Arnold debuted his candidacy on Leno with a few good movie character jokes.  What happened to policy-rich announcements on the steps of a public building or historic site?  What happened to seriousness.  And Arnold is not alone, there are a multitude of other self proclaimed neophyte wannabes running who just aren't muscular enough to gain media attention but are nonetheless part of the show.  If this is democracy, perhaps it's time to opt out.

And one final thing.  Firing a sitting governor should not a moment of levity or bravado.  If noting else, it is overturning the will of the electorate, a de facto Impeachment absent reasonable cause, trial and due process.  Impeachments are not happy moments.  I'll never forget the day that the House committee voted to impeach Richard Nixon, someone who had really and criminally abused his office.  When the clerk called the name of Chairman Pete Rodino, a Democrat, you could hear the cracking in his voice as he cast is "aye" vote.  This had to be his saddest and most profound day of public service.  What has happened to that kind of decency, that kind of gravitas in our country? 

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