Thursday, October 03, 2002

Professor Volokh details the basis for a federal suit to overturn the NJ Supreme Court order allowing the Dems to switch candidates for the Senate. I think it's cogent.

After reading the text of the ruling, I have to wonder if this court even has to wait for a petition to change the ballots. It emphasizes that "the election
statutes should be liberally construed to allow the greatest scope for public participation in the electoral process, to allow candidates to get on the ballot, to
allow parties to put their candidates on the ballot, and most importantly, to allow the voters a choice on Election Day." (italics added) Apparently the court feels that the withdrawal of a candidate is such a serious problem that it must throw out statutory limits. If that is so, what is there to stop the court from determining on its own, that the candidates or either major party are insufficiently "competitive." Suppose nobody filed to run for the Senate seat on the Republican ticket, the court's holding that it "is in the public interest and the general intent of the election laws to preserve the two-party system and to submit to the electorate a ballot bearing the names of candidates of both major political parties" suggests that such a failure would justify the court in adding its own nominees.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

What we're up against. This doesn't persuade me that we should wait and hope that he's changed his spots. If anything, it means we'd better move.

NPR, as I type, is broadcasting an interview with Matt Rothschild, editor of The Progressive, in answer to David Brooks' piece, The Fog of Peace. I'm still not impressed. It bothers me that these people are pulling out all the old Vietnam cliches and apealling to international law. I really don't want the governed by institutions the leadership of which I have no voice in electing. Besides, I get the distinct feeling that this isn't really a debate with these people; there's really no possibility of changing their minds. They were against the Gulf War, and, I suspect, even if Saddam obtained and used nuclear weapons, they'd still probably be against doing anything about it. Brooks makes the same point:

You begin to realize that they are not arguing about Iraq. They are not arguing at all. They are just repeating the hatreds they cultivated in the 1960s, and during the Reagan years, and during the Florida imbroglio after the last presidential election. They are playing culture war, and they are disguising their eruptions as position-taking on Iraq, a country about which they haven't even taken the trouble to inform themselves.

The more I think about it, the more this prospect entices me. Why not just eliminate putting candidates' names on the ballots. Just list the parties and let them surprise us?

Bill Herbert has opened my eyes to how truly EVIL George W. Bush is. Scrappleface implies that Iraq already has thermonuclear (thermonukular) weapons.

What I don't get, forgive my ignorance, is how keeping Tom Daschle as leader of the Senate is going to help. If he had any sense he'd have already used the Torricelli gambit in his own reelection campaign for the 2004 elections.

Senator Torricelli may benefit politics and democracy in more ways than one by bowing out of his reelection campaign. From now on we won't know who the real candidate are until the day of the elections. Instead of these boring campaigns, each party will run their first choices until the polls show clearly that one hasn't got a snowball's chance, at which point the losing side will put up another candidate who it thinks will run better. This will keep up as they try to find winning candidates with the clock ticking. It'll be great to watch. Just like musical chairs or Beat the Clock, right up to election day.

This will really help the parties, because the voters won't know until they get to the polls who the final candidates are, or anything else about them. I can hardly wait.