Debra J. Saunders

The schemes have one thing in common -- they're hatched in the belief that it is permissible to trample on the rights of people in the other party. Many recall advocates not only believe that they have a right to throw Davis out of office, but also that the minority of California conservatives should dictate exactly what the California state budget looks like. No negative consequences. No tax hikes. No program cuts where they don't want them.

Oddly, these Republicans got the recall on the ballot with the help of other voters who think they can keep electing very liberal Democrats to most state government offices, and never have to pay for the big-spending programs they approve. Many voters really believe that state pols can increase spending by 37 percent in four years, and they won't have to cut any programs when the boom-time revenues dry up. Rich people can just pay higher taxes to keep it all going, you see.

Then, when you don't like the budget situation, you can recall the old governor and elect a new guy to take care of the mounting debt without cutting the programs you think are important.

Well, at least these dreamers aren't writing opinions for the Ninth Circuit -- yet. Still, in the Monday ruling, the three judges showed a lack of pragmatism and principle. These robes apparently believe they can postpone the election without creating big, ugly problems. Not likely. Stern, a goo-goo (good-government type), said if the recall election is postponed until March, there could be two ballots -- one for the recall, one for the regular primary. Lines at the polls will be longer. And, said Stern, "new (voting) machines tend to break down ..."

Great -- and each problem can spawn more election lawsuits.

There will be court rulings instead of vote counting -- a little law, but lots of legal technicalities.

And with every election, voters from one party or the other will have a new reason to believe that the outcome wasn't because their side didn't have the votes, but because the fix was in.

Debra J. Saunders

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