Monday, November 21, 2005

Special Election Blues

An opinion came up among scholars and commentators, as in a letter to the Union on Oct. 21, during the special election. It was bemoaned that millions were being spent and that the Legislature was being run-around.Of course, Arnold was using the special election to play “chicken” with the California Legislature and make the inequity of political access between the poor and rich even more radical.But there is something disturbing about this argument, found among liberal commentators, that shows how tepid their critique is. It is that, well, democracy just isn’t that worth it, certainly not worth millions of dollars (out of the billions in the state budget alone). We even hear that the initiative process needs to be “reformed” because people are too involved in their democracy, and that the fox (state Legislature) should be allowed to watch the henhouse (initiatives that would undermine their interests).This same difficulty shows in the Democratic Party’s inability to describe the elections in Iraq for what they are: a colonial front, itself won by popular resistance. Instead we hear about WMDs endlessly, a worthy topic to be sure, but not the one that the Iraqi people, our victims, care about.


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