Wednesday, June 6, 2012

800 Words: Wisconsin Recall Thoughts by 2nd Anonymous Guest Blogger

I won't be writing any sentence in all caps, as my argument is meant to be provocative and extreme in every single way.

This whole recall not just mindless partisanship (though it was, since the whole point was to flip the legislature and the governorship instead of beating the bill); it wasn't just unbearably stupid (though it was, since the unions could've guaranteed a higher turnout if they had waited until November with Obama on the ballot); it wasn't just undemocratic (because it came about for the sole purpose of undoing what the 2010 electorate put in place); but it was unrepublican, a term that isn't thrown around often enough nowadays.

The recall mechanism, which is often paired with the reforms of the progressive era in order to provide an electorate a means to remove corrupt officials, is a horrible, dreadful, no-good device that sabotages the very republic upon which we're based.  It, along with its filthy, repugnant cousins Referendum and Initiative, are particularly popular in the West.  Want to ask California how those are holding up, where three-quarters of the budget is determined by initiatives and the legislature has to fight a two-thirds requirement to raise taxes?  All these tools are designed to give the public an end-round alternative around elected legislatures and governors.  Guess what?

We're not a democracy.  Deal with it.  

We elect representatives to make the decisions we, as an electorate, can't make on our own, because we don't have the time or resources to educate ourselves on the proper public policy to weigh benefits and costs, or because we're fucking cowards when it comes to making tough decisions, or because we don't really care.  When we elect them, we make an implicit deal: yes, you can implement the programs you seek to put into place, but if we don't like them, we'll kick you out the next time elections come around.

Also implicit in this bargain: Short of doing something criminal (and getting caught, and convicted), we'll let you see your term through.  

So you know what?  I'm glad he didn't get recalled.  Just like I didn't want Gray Davis to get recalled in 2003 (my first ever time voting).  You know why?  Because as big of a flabby dick as Scott Walker is, he's still an elected official, and that means he gets to push through the legislature whatever he can get away with it.  If the people of Wisconsin don't like it, kick his ass out when his term is up.

Not before.  Living in a republic means that representatives shouldn't have to live and die based on public opinion polls (no matter how much Frank Luntz would love them to).  They get a little breathing room when it comes to their actual elected positions.  I'm not saying we have to shut up and take it, or that we can't organize against a piece of legislation, or that we can't organize to replace his allies in the legislature with others when their terms come up.  

But no.  I'm drawing a line when it comes to actually removing them from their positions because we disagree with something they're trying to do.  If it's unconstitutional, the courts will strike it down.  If it's unworkable, the electorate will replace him and his ilk with those who will move to restore what he cut.

If this line isn't good enough for you, you should move to eliminate the whole republican system and move for a 50 percent plus one vote for everything.  Because that's the only natural solution for recalls that will assuage the mob rule mentality being tossed around so brazenly in the name of social justice.

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