Wednesday, September 24, 2003

The Recall: As usual, liberals love "democracy" until it threatens to bite them; thus can a Democrat argue for the right of felons to vote but think the recall is "just right-wing nonsense." I'm not a big fan of direct democracy. I think you can often find a majority of people who think X is a good idea, whether X equals free stuff for people who don't work, DMV forms translated into every language represented at the UN, or holiday parades that include large missile launchers rather than Snoopy balloons. In the immortal words of Rufus T. Firefly, "Whatever it is, I'm against it." I won't deny that the California recall is fun with a racing stripe, but if I actually lived there, I'd have to vote against it, vote for Gray Davis, who is undoubtedly the lowest snake in the state since Nixon left. There's enough conservative yang to my libertarian yin to be creeped out by a powerful electorate.

That said, Bill Maher was on Imus this morning, and he made a wonderfully revealing analogy. He said the problem in California is like the problem that comes up when splitting a check among numerous people at a restaurant table -- you know, when everyone chips in, but there's never enough to cover the bill. The guy holding the check, and the wad of bills incidentally, always says, "Everybody cough up a couple more dollars." Says Maher (rough paraphrase), "We don't need a recall; we just need to reach into our wallets again to solve California's problem."

Yeah, I thought you'd get this one. You're probably like me: You're the guy who had the crocque monsieur and a cup of coffee, not yet finished wondering how it was that you got about $5 back from that twenty you offered to the brother of the college roommate of your best friend's fiancee (who has so kindly offered to "do the math" on the table check), and now you're being asked to dig in for a little more cake -- you know, so the waitress doesn't end up getting too small a tip (or something; it's always something) -- and you're thinking, "How the f*ck is this snack going to end up costing $20?"

Welcome to California.

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