Thursday, July 24, 2003

Politics as Spectator Sport

Once you realize that the typical person has pretty much zero marginal impact on politics, and once you admit to yourself that you are in fact a typical person, it becomes a lot easier to view politics as essentially a form of entertainment. And California is a state known for its fabulously successful entertainment industry. Think of the Davis recall as the latest in reality television.

During the whole Lewinsky drama, many people criticized Kenneth Starr for spending $40 million (or whatever it was) to carry out a vendetta against the president. Put that way, it does sound pretty bad. But then again, the National Endowment for the Arts has an $80 million yearly budget, and it’s never provided me anywhere near as much entertainment as Kenneth Starr did.

So now, opponents of the Davis recall are protesting the $35 million that it will cost to have an election. Below, Mike offers a sensible defense of that expense on grounds of improving democracy and such; but I’m willing to make a defense on the basis of pure entertainment value. Boy, it sure will be mighty fun to watch Davis squirm! As an added bonus, we might even end up with the Governator in charge. And as per usual, the West Coast provides amusement for the rest of the country.

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