THROW HIM OUT: I thought I was being clever Thursday when I contrasted the Democrats' take on Florida 2000 (stopping an election is bad!) with their line on the California recall (stop this election!). Then I learned the recall-bashers hadn't forgotten Florida -- in fact, they're warning that we might see its worst moments repeated, with corrupt and/or incompetent election workers barring likely Democratic voters from the polls. As Matt Welch notes, this would be a lot more plausible if the coming contest wasn't to take place in a state run by Democrats.
My take on Florida 2000 was that both sides were trying to steal an election so close that any victory could be chalked up to theft. Bush won, so the Gore partisans get to grumble that their man was robbed; if Gore had come out on top, the die-hard Bushniks would have been just as entitled to bitch. The legal battle merely underscored how well distributed the rot was: a state Supreme Court dominated by Democrats bent the law to help Gore, and then a federal Supreme Court dominated by Republicans bent the law even further to reverse the earlier decision.
The recall, on the other hand, is a salutory burst of populism -- and with the Republican vote likely to be split among several candidates, it's hardly certain that it's going to end up pushing the state to the right. (This is one reason why the left's willingness to parrot the DNC's anti-recall line is so embarrassing. As Marcelo Rodriguez points out, this saga could conceivably end with California getting a Green governor.) Part of me doesn't care who get elected, partly because I don't live in the state anymore and thus don't have to face the consequences (nyah nyah), but also because just about anyone, left or right, would be an improvement over the sleazy bastard running things now. Yes, even Larry Flynt.