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  • The California ACLU and the Gubernatorial Recall

    Posted by Jonathan on August 18th, 2003 (All posts by )

    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.

     

    4 Responses to “The California ACLU and the Gubernatorial Recall”

    1. Yehudit Says:

      Speaking of “the power of the political class,” I was amused today to read several posts on a list I’m on – from the usual suspects – sneering at Arnold for apparently having a mail-order college degree. Obviously this makes him unfit to be governor of California. They all seemed to be unaware of his reputation as a savvy businessman. One woman (who usually posts links to Hesiod and Fisk and the like) sneered at his bodybuilding, apparently unaware that he has a very successful acting career (!).

      I replied: “Arnold is well-known as an astute businessman, for which an academic degree is often less important than life experience. These days he’s much more well-known as an actor than a body-builder, and actors going into politics isn’t new. The point I was making with my father [I had sent a previous email noting that my father didn’t get to finish high-school due to having to flee the Nazis, but built a successful business and was very cultured and well-read in 5 languages] is that lack of an academic degree says nothing about a person’s intelligence, life-savvy, integrity, sensitivity to social inequality or the arts, ability to make an honest living, learn from mistakes, or anything else.

      I am surprised that people who I would expect to be on the side of openness and accessibility in politics would insist an aspiring politician have a certain kind of academic degree. Do only certain professions (not bodybuilding, real estate, investing, teaching, acting, and PR – Arnold’s demonstrated competencies) fit one for public office? Are all the politicians competent and trustworthy who have college degrees and learned how to administer government through “climbing the ranks” and being groomed by their parties?

      I guess – as a Frank Capra fan – I like the idea that political office is open to outsiders.

      Having said that, I have no idea whether Arnold would make a good governor. He should be evaluated just as one would evaluate a job candidate who has an unusual resume. Sometimes a candidate from outside your “system” is exactly what you need. Just as such a candidate would (see all the Parachute books, etc.) , Arnold needs to convince the employer (the CA electorate) that his experience and competencies transfer, and even add something special to his ability to do the job. He especially needs to convince people that his executive experience will transfer to running such a large economy. That’s a big if. But starting out as a poor immigrant bodybuilder who worked hard, successfully switched careers several times, and built up a successful business, shouldn’t be an automatic disqualification.”

    2. Jonathan Says:

      Well, we all know what a good president Adlai Stevenson was.

    3. Ricardo Says:

      In high stakes, anything goes, California politics, it is SOP for the socialists that dominate the legislature in Sacto, to use underhanded court tactics to overturn the will of the voters. With equal finesse they know how to use the press to push their propaganda onto the people of this formerly great state. As for Arnold being qualified as the next Governor, I think our Legislature may be too far left even for him regardless of his alleged qualifications. In the end, this recall will cost the voters millions and net us nothing. I am not a surporter of Gov. Davis but even a blind man can see recalling him is not the answer to this States problems. Let him finish his term. Place the blame where it belongs, directly on the socialist legislature. They are running California into the ground with their preposterous social spending programs and total disregard to fiscal responsibility. If the Davis recall committee wants to help get us out of this mess, recall 2/3 of the Legislature (I can provide the list of names) and we’ll will be on our way. California needs representatives with character and honor not some hollywood freaks,studs and Lesbos looking for a good time at taxpayers expense. We deserve better from the highest taxed State in the Union. Perhaps the Government of this state has too much money to spend and needs a taxpayer revolt to see the light.

      Note to the ACLU: I prefer a hanging chad to the new fraud-easy electronic machines. Go punt!

    4. Noel Says:

      Just so. For example, Senators insist judicial nominees respect precedent…but only for cases they agree with such as Roe.
      The Courts & bureaucracies are their favorite means of imposing their agenda, as the public usually rejects it when given a say.