Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 5, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

INSANE REPUBLICANS?....Justene Adamec over at Calblog has been blogging about the Republican effort to recall Governor Gray Davis for quite a while, something I orginally scoffed at. "Every governor in California has been the target of a recall effort," I told her, "and this one won't go any farther than the others."

Luckily, I don't get paid for political prognostication:

At first, the effort to recall Gov. Gray Davis looked ineffectual; now a special election seems inevitable. The team that helped Davis win reelection has assembled to do battle, and California political insiders are saying a vote to decide the governor's fate is a done deal.

....If Davis is recalled and replaced with a Republican governor, will Democrats target GOP lawmakers and engage in a tit-for-tat retaliation? Will Republicans then feel forced to respond in kind? Could a successful recall also be the kickoff of an era of even pettier and more destructive partisan bickering...?

As Justene reports, the recall forces now have 500,000 signatures and are well on their way to their goal of 900,000. Sure, we had an election just seven months ago, but it looks like we'll get another one later this year. Happy days.

This was why I had to laugh a couple of weeks ago when Megan McArdle proposed:

Jane's Law: The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.

Megan had mentioned to me a while back that evidence of Democratic insanity was the filibuster over Miguel Estrada, and my thought at the time was "Hmmm, the Republicans launched a hopeless and unprecedented impeachment attempt against a sitting president, while the Dems are trying to block a circuit court nominee. Somehow these don't seem like they're even in the same ballpark, insanity-wise."

Then, a couple of weeks ago, we all watched the spectacle of Republican legislatures in both Colorado and Texas trying to ram through completely unprecendented mid-decade redistricting efforts, and shortly we'll have Republicans in California ramming through an unprecedented recall effort against a governor who was elected a mere 28 weeks ago.

I'm as tired as anyone of Democrats who continue to obsess over the 2000 election fiasco, but when it comes to "insane" I have to say that the Republicans still have us beat by a country mile. Blocking a couple of judges doesn't come close to the bile coming from a party that already controls the presidency, both houses of Congress, and the courts, but still isn't satisfied. I'm afraid the Dems still have a long way to go in the political insanity derby if they want to measure up to the standard set by today's Republicans.

Kevin Drum 10:20 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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