Earlier this week a disturbing tune had begun to infiltrate my conversations with friends. Both Republicans and Democrats (yes, I have pals who hail from both camps), began to express something which I can only describe as Recall Fatigue. Even though we’re being bombarded with messages by people who do not have our best interests in mind, it’s too important a time to tire.
Many of my Democrat friends, most of whom had signed the recall petition and were looking forward to voting “Yes” on the ballot, began to respond to the cries that poured out of the Democratic Party that the sky was falling and democracy would be destroyed if we, uh, used it.
Senator Dianne Feinstein began running television ads urging a no vote on the recall using that pathetic, stupid and just plain wrong complaint that the recall was “bad” for democracy. It’s unfortunate that someone like Feinstein would tell the people of California that keeping Gray Davis was a good idea when he’s virtually destroyed our state. It’s not true and she knows it.
I, for one, simply have no respect for her any longer. She was one of my favorite politicians and a favorite senator -- ‘was’ being the operative word here. And despite everything I’ve seen in politics (which has been plenty) I still feel betrayed (and rather silly) because she, in the end, was like every other politician: party first, people last.
It has been truly remarkable to watch everyone ranging from Al Gore to Howard Dean traipse into our state with the sole mission of explaining to us how we had no clue, are anti-democratic, and that this whole process was a circus, an abuse of the system, yadda-yadda-yadda. At least they dropped the "right-wing conspiracy" line when they finally realized Gray Davis’ 20 percent approval rating means everyone hates him. And Bill Clinton’s use of churches for political rallies to galvanize support for Davis was especially detestable.
All of them exposed the disdain they not only have for us, but for the system itself. We have dared to challenge their comfy status quo. And it’s about time.
I watched these people come here and work to condemn the people of this state because of their own selfish, political motives of wanting to keep one of their own in office. This is very much like the time I complained to my feminist mentor at NOW about the behavior of the Kennedy men. At some point during the William Kennedy Smith rape trial I expressed my outrage at the misogynistic behavior of those supposed liberal flameholders, like Ted Kennedy. My mentor then said with a wink, “Yes, Tammy, the Kennedy men are pigs, but they’re our pigs.”
Well, that wasn’t good enough for me then, and it’s not good enough now. I have told my Democrat friends they shouldn’t be brainwashed into believing their family’s future and the future of this state should be sacrificed for the benefit of “The Party.” If World War II taught us anything, it was that people and a nation (or state in this instance) should never again take the backseat to malevolent politicians who do not have our best interests in mind.
We deserve better than that. It is time to put party affiliation aside, recognize that Arnold Schwarzeneggar is truly independent from the system, and while he’s a registered Republican, he’s a man who can represent all the people of this state. It’s funny how Republicans, more than Democrats these days, manage to do that.
The issues here, though, transcend, political affiliation. You see, what party you belong to means nothing if you can’t put food on the table because of a tripled car tax. Kids aren’t liberal or conservative—and hungry feels the same to a kid regardless of the politics of his parents.
Not being able to find a job isn’t reserved for just Republicans or Democrats. Unemployment is truly equal opportunity and brought to you in California by Gray Davis. Absurd corporate taxes, nutty worker’s compensation costs and other ridiculous business mandates have driven businesses out of the state. Bye bye companies! Bye bye jobs! Bye bye Gray Davis!
This brings me to my last point. My Republican friends have been wringing their hands over an entirely different issue—the fact that Tom McClintock is morphing into Ralph Nader right before their very eyes. While his politics are appreciated, his refusal to do the right thing by dropping is responsible for creating a lot of high anxiety among the conservative set.
For many of them, watching Nader take votes away from Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election was fun and amusing. Now a spoiler in their midst isn’t so funny.
But McClintock isn’t just a spoiler for Republicans—if he remains in this race, he’ll be a spoiler for every Californian. During an interview, Fox News Channel’s John Kasich asked McClintock if he thought the Republican Party would ruin his career if he didn’t get out of the race (effectively handing the state over to Bustamante). That’s a fair question, but I reminded John in a later segment that it isn’t the Republican Party that would ruin McClintock’s career if he doesn’t get out—it will be the people of California.
At some point, politicians must put themselves behind what’s best for the people. If they don’t, we will do it for them. In this instance, it is time for McClintock to do what’s right for California: gracefully get out of the race, and then join Arnold’s administration where he can implement some of his great ideas and be part of our recovery.
And as for every Democratic politician who has prostituted him or herself to support a man who has virtually destroyed this state, we’ll be putting you behind us, as well.
This recall is democracy in action, as is our rejection of those who view the people as speed bumps on the road to wealth and power. We’re in the firing mood, and it will not stop with this election.