I don’t like recall elections, but I would vote against Scott Walker if I had the chance
On several occasions over the past 15 months or so, I’ve argued here that recall elections are an unworthy feature of the political process in the states where laws allow for them.
Granted, the liberal in me can’t help but be gratified by the prospect that Scott Walker, the union-busting governor of Wisconsin, might be recalled from office. And if I lived on the other side of the Cheddar Curtain, I would vote next Tuesday for Walker’s ouster.
That’s not hypocrisy. That’s just playing the hand that’s been dealt. If my choice at the ballot box is between a right-wing Republican and a liberal Democrat, I’ll take the latter every time.
But I still don’t like statutes that allow for recall elections. On that score, I’m pretty much in agreement with THIS ARGUMENT from Andrew Rotherham:
Elected officials who violate the law or otherwise abuse their office should obviously be removed by recall or impeachment. But that’s not the issue in Wisconsin. The argument there is about policy issues — public sector collective bargaining and benefits — about which reasonable people can disagree. But as is clear from our increasingly broken politics, we’ve lost the ability to work with those with whom we disagree, or to respect elections and the process of governance enough to let it run its course.
Besides, we have regularly scheduled recalls: They’re called elections. And for our democracy to work, they have to mean something. So after the recall vote next week, the citizens of Wisconsin may find themselves with a better governor. But they shouldn’t confuse that with having struck a blow for better governance.