ScrappleFace has an amusing parody about the bid to recall California Gov. Gray Davis. How Davis got re-elected, given his utter incompetence and lack of integrity, I can not understand. I certainly would have voted for virtually anyone running against him were I a California resident. That said, this movement strikes me as dangerous. It’s one thing to recall a politician who has committed a crime or some other serious breach while in office; it’s quite another to use it to get a second bite at the apple. Even if unsuccessful, this will cost the state a sizable amount of money and distract the elected officials, especially Davis, from doing the jobs to which they were elected. And, if successful, this will create a dangerous precedent similar to the Senate’s defeat of Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 1986. From now on, this will be considered a legitimate tactic for one party to attack a weak politician of the other party. Republicans were rightly upset by New Jersey Democrats for flouting the state’s election laws by swapping a losing candidate for a winner at the 11th hour; they should oppose this flouting of the spirit of California law just as vigorously.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.