It's fine entertainment, watching a bunch of shamelessly greedy Republicans use the system to whip the crap out of Democrat Governor Gray Davis, who, even his allies note, "has no friends."
The Republicans smell blood in the water, and they have crafted a scathing manifesto of Gray Davis' crimes against humanity.
Top on their list of complaints-the main reason the Governor should be whipped like a bad dog-is that he raised the deficit in California. On every talk show and website it's the first sin trotted out, usually with the same type of venom reserved for puppy mutilators.
"Governor Davis has now turned a record state budget surplus into a massive $34 billion deficit in less than two years," davisre
call.com proclaims in shock and horror.
This might sound vaguely familiar, especially to Republicans. Gosh darn it, didn't good ol' George W. turn a surplus into a deficit in just two years? Toss in "misrepresenting the state of the economy" and corporate devastation, and logic follows that once Davis is castrated, legions of crazed, clipboard-carrying Republicans, outraged at Bush's assault on the true-blue American balanced budget, will descend on Wal-Mart parking lots around the country to demand the ouster of the evil deficit raiser in Washington.
The Davis Haters are apparently assuming that the great, unwashed masses won't make the connection. Or maybe they just don't care.
In a land where roughly 75 percent of the people blow off voting if there is a good rerun of The A Team on TV, successful politicians don't spend much time trying to teach economics to the voters.
In launching the recall movement, millionaire Congressman Darrell Issa is tapping into the Anti-Intellectualism Movement sweeping the country, the throngs of resentful Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly fans who love football and don't like people who use big words. Issa knows the Anti-Intellectuals are not going to spend time wondering why the state will spend upwards of $25 million on a recall election on the grounds the Governor is wasting money.
Anti-Intellectuals are not the type to get bogged down by a wee bit of hypocrisy. Given a choice, they have no problem at all picking the dumb guy over the smart guy. It started with Ronald Reagan, who skewered opponents with such wicked lines as, "There you go again."
Fueled by the success of the Gipper, who tended to confuse real life and movie plots, Anti-Intellectualism was born. Far from a fluke, the movement is now the most powerful force in United States politics. Assuming the throne of Reagan is George W. Bush, who has turned Anti-Intellectualism into a political art form.
The Democratic Party, which is still the party of choice of whiny, slacker college professors who have never had a real job, has inadvertently fueled Anti-Intellectualism by relentlessly positioning themselves as pointy-headed liberal geeks who wouldn't know how to light a fart if you handed them a lighter and drew them a map.
A typical example is the recent budget debate, where Democrats shrewdly positioned themselves as "The Party Against Tax Cuts," forgetting that the average voter was already planning to spend his refund check on a new 120-horsepower lawn mower.
Democrats have made it easy for the Anti-Intellectuals, led by Bill Clinton, a big-time egghead. He could speak for hours about the economic forces shaping eastern Botswana, but, at heart, Clinton was a political weasel, crafting positions like, "I didn't inhale," "What is the meaning of "is'?" and, of course, "Don't ask, don't tell."
Clinton inspired a new wave of Anti-Intellectualists, who saw no contradiction in believing that Clinton was bad for protesting against the Vietnam war as a Rhodes Scholar, but Bush was cool for serving out his military service as keg master in the National Guard.
Davis is a middle-of-the-road weasel in the grand Clinton tradition. He seems incapable of doing what he says he is going to do, which, of course, makes him no different than a few hundred political trolls wandering the halls of California government.
But Davis is an easy target for Issa, who knows the Anti-Intellectuals won't remember that Davis was elected fair and square just a few months ago, when voters decided he was slightly less of a weasel than the best the Republicans could offer, Bill Simon.
Issa knows Anti-Intellectuals, who tend to be big fans of Joe Millionaire, won't spend any time considering that Davis will soon be out of office, with or without the recall.
Following the same logic, it makes perfect sense to many Anti-Intellectuals that the perfect person to solve the state's complicated economic crisis is a former body builder turned action movie star with a marginal command of the English language. Or, what the heck, maybe even Issa, who gets a shot at making himself governor for a few million bucks, chump change in political terms.
Issa is not stupid, but he clearly believes voters are, and that makes him a powerful force in Republican politics.
Write to MsBeak1@aol.com and editor@SDCitybeat.com.