Xrlq - Columnist
is proprietor of the blog damnum
absque injuria and
a sometime attorney. [go to Xrlq index]
Least He Doesn't Pronounce it "Aztlán"
In the waning moments, the Governor is desperate to prove
he really is unfit to serve...
Up until now, I've
been trying to keep an open mind about the recall, and entertain
the arguments about why Gray/Gris/Joe/José Davis
should not be recalled. This is so even though, as far as I'm
concerned, all debate about the merits of the recall among
Republicans ended when the election itself was certified.
an old saying: "if you strike at a king, you must
kill him." Fortunately, our "king" doesn't have
to be killed literally. Even so, having struck at him through
an unprecedented recall, we'd best finish the job in political
terms, or else face 3 1/2 years of an even angrier, more vindictive
version of Gray Davis than we've faced in the past.
however, the Democrats' "he's not that bad" counter-argument
remained a valid one, if not convincing to me. All that changed
on Friday, when Joe Davis renamed himself "Gris" and
signed SB 60. SB 60 is the bill which, if not subjected to a
referendum, will soon allow illegal aliens to obtain driver licenses
that falsely imply they are legal residents.
Set aside any counter-arguments
for why it might be a good idea to adopt this particular bill
or some alternative licensing measure
(I have no problem with an alternative licensing system that
licenses everyone who passes the test, but conspicuously
identifies illegals either as illegals or as persons who have
lawful residency to the DMV's satisfaction, which SB 60 does
not do). All that matters, as to Davis himself, is that he knowingly
signed into law a bill that he himself believed to be bad for
California, simply because he thought it would be good for his
personal career ambition.
Signing a bill you believe to be bad
for the state but good for your career is an unconscionable,
unpardonable violation of the
public trust. Anyone, of any political persuasion, who does such
a thing unfit for public office, and should not be allowed to
work for any government at any level.
My objections have nothing
to do with the merits of SB 60 itself. Those who think it's good
for the state should vote to recall
Gray Davis and replace him with any of the numerous candidates
who feel that way also (e.g., Peter Ueberroth, Cruz Bustamante,
Peter Camejo or Arianna Huffington). But no one should be supporting
someone who does only what he believes to be expedient for his
At this point, the
best thing Davis can do politically is to resign. Unfortunately,
doing so now would introduce new
into the legal system that could lead to Florida-style lawsuits
over who should be the governor if the recall vote fails, or
who should be the Lt. Gov. if the recall succeeds and Bustamante
does not win. For this reason, Davis should resign immediately,
effective October 8. And of course he won't do that, so instead
it's up to us, the voters, to "resign" him.
SB 60 alone did not make Gray Davis unfit for public office,
cheap shot at Schwarzenegger's accent certainly
does. Interesting, isn't it, that, accents aside, Schwarzenegger
pronounces California exactly the way most Mexican immigrants
do: /'ka li 'for nja/? This is also the correct pronunciation
in Spanish, the language that actually gave us the name "California."
leaves only two possible interpretations as to what Davis meant
when he claimed people who "can't pronounce the name
of the state" should not be governor. Both, in my view,
are equally vile:
1. Anyone with an Austrian accent should
not be governor.
2. It's OK for illegal immigrants to get licenses to drive
to and from menial jobs, but it's not OK for legal, naturalized
to hold any of those "better" jobs we real 'Mercuns
It's possible to share a good-natured, friendly
laugh at anyone's accent. But this statement doesn't seem
to be humorous or good-natured
at all. It's just downright nasty -- if not overtly xenophobic
-- and certainly the kind of remark that would have elicited
endless yammering from the Los Angeles Times, had a Republican
been unkind or unsensitive enough to come up with it.