Third Party & Independents Archives

Amateur Hour

The California recall is of course top news. If you are reading this site, you’re probably familiar with the basics. Conservative Republicans, in the form of Darrell Issa, have decided that since they lost the election last year fair and square that they’d just demand a new election. How Comintern of them. Granted, Davis has been about as great a leader as everyone expected, which is to say he lived up to his campaign promise of “I’m not much, but at least I’m not the other guy”. I question the legitimacy of the recall effort, but this being modern American politics the only thing that has any legitimacy is cash, and Issa funded the recall effort quite gladly.

And oddly enough he feels that the best person to replace Davis is… Darrell Issa. This reminds me of Dick Cheney’s months long search to find the perfect Vice Presidential candidate to run with GW Bush, and realized that the perfect candidate had been himself all along. Entertaining, disingenuous, and yet somehow sort of pathetic. Why not simply say “I think I’m the best” and dispense with the transparent dishonesty?

Is this really what our founding fathers wanted in our political process?

The field of candidates is like a bad Hollywood comedy full of B-list actors. A cast of thousands! A conservative actor with no political background, and no experience in any sort of position of authority. An independent former socialite turned progressive theorist with plenty of political background but a frighteningly overinflated opinion of herself. The former socialite's gay ex-husband, who has political experience in the form of spending a record amount of money to lose a Senatorial campaign. A "smut peddler who cares" who actually has real experience in running a large organization under trying circumstances. And two other men named Gray Davis who are likely running as a joke. There are over 350 people who have declared intent to run, and it is estimated that as many as 100 of them will actually meet the qualifications and filing deadlines.

Believe it or not, this is what the founding fathers wanted, at least for Presidential elections. Sort of. As originally conceived, the Presidential election was to be a horse race of the most prominent leaders of all states. There was an assumption that only nationally prominent leaders would be able to garner enough votes to be seriously considered, which would restrict candidates to members of Congress, large business owners, and perhaps some few governors. The candidate with the most votes became President, the candidate with the second most votes became Vice President. While there were political parties even in those days, they were far less organized or influential. Many of the founders also believed that more often than not, no candidate would receive a majority and that the electoral college would be bypassed and the House of Representatives would actually choose the President.

As is so often the case, reality turned out to be far different than was expected. Often to our amusement, always to our befuddlement, and sometimes to our frustration. Which of course is what is happening in California.

Posted by rev_matt_y at August 6, 2003 10:01 PM