Jewish World Review Sept. 18, 2003 / 21 Elul, 5763

Michael Graham

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Recall democracy | How can a group so openly hostile to democracy get away with calling itself the "Democratic" Party?

In Iraq, they're ready to abandon ship and return 23 million people to the merciless clutches of the "popularly elected" (99.6% of the vote!) Saddam Hussein and his regime. In the Middle East, liberals like Howard Dean insist we not take sides between Israel (one of the few Mideast country where Arabs are free to vote) and the Palestinians and their beloved leader Yasser Arafat, whose last election campaign went so smoothly he almost let his political opponents out of jail for the election.

And in California…well, what to say about California that hasn't already been said about old Soviet Union?

A three-judge panel has ruled that the punch card voting system used by some 44% of California voters is "intractably afflicted." And I absolutely agree. Californians used the same machines to re-elect Gray Davis, and any system that elects such a hopeless dope to high public office obviously doesn't work.

The judges have, as of this writing, stopped the election cold. The California constitution says the voters can have a recall, and more than 1 million voters signed petitions to get one, but three men-all Democrats-have told the people of California to stick in their Sunshine state. For some unstated reason, the same ballot boxes that re-elected Gov. Davis last year aren't fit to un-elected him today.

The judges claim their partisanship had nothing to do with their decision, that they had to side with the ACLU because punch cards are just too unreliable. However, the ACLU's own legal expert said that only about 1.34% more ballots are lost using the punch cards than other technologies. And that's before any steps are taken by the election officials to remind voters to check their chads.

Donate to JWR

So the problem isn't technology. As is so often the case with the Left, the problem is democracy. They just don't like it.

When Republicans choose a nominee for president, for example, it's done entirely by the ballot. You win the most states, you win the most delegates, and you get to give the big speech at the convention. But the allegedly Democratic Party relies on "super-delegates," about 800 party hacks and special interest stooges who are can vote for any candidate they choose. Sen. Lieberman could win 2,000 of the 3,520 "pledged delegates" through primary elections, and still lose the nomination to a super-delegate backed Howard Dean. As Mayor Daley might say, "That's the Chicago way."

For weeks, liberal groups like they wildly misnamed "" (They might find it easier to "move on" if they stopped chanting "Selected, not elected!" at every meeting) have been protesting the California recall as, and I quote, "an assault on democracy." I asked one of their spokesflaks to explain to me how millions of Californians going to the polls and freely casting their votes for governor could be anti-democratic.

In between his repeated insults against President Bush's Iraq policy, I gleaned that he was upset because a rich person contributed money to the recall election. No, not corrupt-millionaire-Clinton-supporter-turned-pardon-recipient Marc Rich, just some guy who happened to BE rich.

So rich people participating in elections, according to liberal Democrats, is an assault on democracy. Someone needs to break this bad news to Sen. John Kerry quick, before he spends any more of his wife's money.

President Bill Clinton has been stumping across California attacking the recall as unfair, too. He told Democrats that recall elections are only for removing corrupt or criminal politicians. I can only imagine the uncomfortable stares he got after that statement. Clinton went on to say he didn't want California "to become a laughingstock."

Clearly a man speaking from experience.

But how can the people of California be viewed as anything but buffoons when their own court system says they're too dumb to operate a punch-card ballot? Every year for half a century, Americans have cast ballots with punch cards with few ill effects. If the Democrats and their ACLU allies truly believed these machines didn't work, why did they agree to let Californians use them to elect Davis in 2002? Why don't they simply ask for paper ballots to be given to any person who is uncomfortable with the punch-card machines until they can be replaced?

For the answer, let me re-ask the question: If Gray Davis were leading with 75% of the vote, would the Democrats have ever taken this case to court?

Of course not. Because Democrats don't see democracy as an end in itself. They see it as a means to an end. If they can get a majority to strip away your property rights and confiscate your taxes, fine. But if they can't, then they'll get a judge to order it, or some faceless bureaucrat to enact a regulation. Either way, you're going to pay, and they're going to have the power.

By the way, I don't support the California recall election because I don't believe the granola-eating goofballs who elected America's most incompetent governor should get off the hook so easily. I'm from the "You Danced, Now Pay The Fiddler" school of politics.

But only a shameless hypocrite would claim that stopping a free and fair election is a form of democracy. And you won't hear that from me. You'll only hear that from the Democratic National Committee.

Every weekday publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Michael Graham is a talk show host and author of the highly acclaimed "Redneck Nation: How the South Really Won the War." To comment, please click here.


Butting heads
The sweet and down load
07/15/03: Keep your eyes on the lies
07/08/03: ‘LIBERIALS’
07/01/03: Our Strom
06/24/03: Like white on Rice
06/20/03: Security begins at home
06/16/03: DEAR HIL—
06/11/03: Madame Hillary's Lessons for Young Ladies
06/03/03: War games
05/28/03: A few small reparations
05/22/03: Springtime for Hitler?

© 2003, Michael Graham