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February 22, 2003

Recalling Davis, Impeaching Bush (pinch me, I must be dreaming)

Who says Americans are a bunch of apathetic lame-o sheeple? I beg to differ. Hearty movements are engaging in efforts to displace the leader of the U.S., and that of the largest state in it.

If anything could be said to be the very opposite of voter apathy, a recall election is it. Gray Davis, the pathetic Governor of my home state of California, is looking down the barrel of that particular weapon of the people as we speak, and if he has a brain in his head, he's not liking what he sees. His approval rating is...wait for it...twenty-four percent!

Daily Standard: Total Recall

LA Times: Taking Gray Down

KCRA-TV, Sacramento: Group Mounting Davis Recall Effort
State Republican Party Steering Clear So Far

LP of California: Libertarians Resolve to Recall Davis

It's none too soon for me, I tell you what. I don't want to get too deep into it right now, because I don't really want to hurt Gray's feelings, but let's just say I have absolutely nothing good to say about him. I look to politicians to see what they do right, and how they do it, but whenever I look at Gray, I just feel a commanding urge to look away -- to avoid any possibility that I might accidentally emulate him in some way.

My biggest complaint with him is his abysmal "representation" of the will of the voters in respect to medical marijuana. Not only did he and Attorney General Bill Lockyer allow local authorities to enforce the law (or not) as they saw fit, which ended up being willy-nilly, but they've allowed the federal government -- mainly the DEA -- to just stomp all over clinics, patients, and growers left and right, arbitrarily and with impunity. It's spineless, pathetic, and wrong. A real Governor would protect his citizens from these violations. His handling of the budget and the energy crisis are deplorable too...oh, right, I wasn't going to get into a Bashing Gray fest. OK, no problem. Plenty of time for that as this recall effort moves forward.

One interesting tidbit I picked up from those stories that was of some interest to me was this:

Under state rules, voters would be asked at the same time to pick a replacement. The winner would be the candidate with the most votes, meaning someone could win with as little as eight or 10 percent of the vote.

It's almost enough to make a guy think about running for Governor. Winning Governor of California with 8 percent? How often does a chance like that come up?

The KCRA website's online poll shows 85% of respondents would support a recall of the Governor. No doubt it's spiked by frothing CA conservatives and Republicans, but it's still sitting there, pointing at Davis, on the website of one of his local TV stations.

It doesn't look good for Gray. Which is nice to hear. Can I vote him out tomorrow? Give me a ballot.

And of course a worldy, informed reader such as yourself has heard of the effort to impeach our fearless and deeply lost leader? The man in whose honor we've been covering up upsetting paintings and cancelling upsetting poetry symposiums? The man with the very scary plan? Squasher of evildoers? Emancipator of law enforcement? Friend to the environment? 43?

You know, I really truly have been trying to cut Bush some slack. I don't really know why, but I have. I did the same for Clinton too, actually. But after enough strikes, they're out, and I'm done with President Bush. The siege on civil liberties, the new foreign policy drive to dominate the globe indefinitely, the irrational push for war in Iraq (and all of the disturbing loops within that topic)...there's more to it, but by the time I get that far, I'm so nauseated that I can barely stand to keep looking for more.

I think it has finally come to the breaking point through my process of considering the impeachment effort, and whether to sign on in support of it. I take the signing of things very seriously, and this in particular is an item which could come up in the form of a question in the '08 campaign. "Lance, did you really sign on with that partisan effort to remove Bush from office in the midst of his epically righteous struggle to wipe out evildoers from the face of the earth? Are you anti-American?"

I mean, it's not like my signature will make the big difference or anything. If the impeachment goes forward, it's not going to depend on one measly name on the list. True, I could make a bigger difference if I actively promote it and work to help the campaign, but the risk, politically, is pretty big. If Bush somehow manages to come out of this looking good, or happens to actually rid the world of terrorism or something, then the people who supported the impeachment are going to look like lame whiny losers, and scaremongers to boot. Kinda like the people who supported Clinton's impeachment look, but much worse in a lot of ways, because of the "Anti-American" thing. Nobody really got too much into questioning people's patriotism over the Clinton impeachment, but with the Bush one (such as it is), it's already on the table, and will likely become the key wedge used by Bush supporters the whole way through (or however far it develops). Unless the case gets a chance to get shown, proven, and supported, a big chunk of America will probably consider the impeachment supporters to be, at least at some level, traitors. And even if it's successful and seen as generally justified by most, there will still be a smaller chunk of die-hard Republicans who will hold a grudge about it forever.

And yet I find myself wishing there was a way to stop Bush, because I think he's unduly endangering our country, both on a day-to-day level and in the abstract sense -- i.e., endangering the foundations of our country. And I certainly think he's abusing his power. And those sound a lot like "high crimes and misdeameanors" to me.

And I read the Articles of Impeachment proposed by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, and I find myself nodding-- a lot. In fact, I find myself almost completely in agreement with all of them.

I'm still thinking about it. I'll keep you updated.

Posted by Lance Brown at February 22, 2003 10:41 PM | TrackBack
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