The Left supports flexibility when its goals are unpopular — e.g., using the courts to override elected legislatures that won’t support gay marriage or abortion on demand or other holy causes. But let voters threaten the influence of the political class, as with the California recall, and lefties are suddenly for interpreting procedures in the strictest, most literal manner conceivable.
Ignore the words and watch the behavior. It’s all about power.
CORRECTION & UPDATE: Rereading this post I see that its argument is illogical, since in the first paragraph I impute different responses by the Left to essentially identical political situations. I think it would be better to argue that the Left is consistent in using any means at its disposal to oppose challenges to the power of the political class.