Rather than talk about the California recall results directly—a topic I can add little to the existing discussion on anyway—I’ll just point to my August post on how recalls are compatible with representative democracy. And if California Democrats want to try to kickstart a new recall election against Schwarzenegger immediately—something they can probably gather enough signatures for to qualify for the ballot, but will probably have major problems attracting support from the voters (and which probably will be an unneeded distraction in a year when the party will need to focus on getting out the state’s vote for a Democratic nominee)—more power to them.
Kevin Drum also thinks an Arnold recall would be a distraction from the Democrats’ 2004 campaign.
Just speaking for myself, the more whining I hear out of Democrats about “stolen elections” the more likely I am to vote for Bush just to spite them—bearing in mind that now, frankly, I could probably easily be convinced to vote for a sane Democrat like Joe Lieberman or even Serb-warlord-coddler Wes Clark. So, yes, California—and the maturity of Democrats’ response to having an ineffectual, embarassing governor of their own party who was a willing captive of Old Left interest groups quite deservedly tossed from office—will matter for me, and many other fence-straddlers, in 2004.