By Scott Tibbs, September 17, 2013
Dan Thomasson wrote a rather hysterical editorial regarding the recent recall election in Colorado, sounding the alarm that - horror of horrors! - elected officials were removed from office by voters who did not like the legislation those elected officials supported.
I am not a fan of recall elections. I do not like the idea of giving the voters a "do over" in the middle of an elected official's term for policy reasons. In the case of criminal behavior, impeachment and removal from office is always an option. Voters should be expected to live with their decisions and, hopefully, make a better decision the next time.
But the fact of the matter is that a number of states allow voters to recall elected officials for any reason, if they get enough signatures to force a recall election. Sometimes the recalls work, as was the case with California's governor in 2003. Sometimes they do not work, as was the case in Wisconsin a year ago.
Despite Thomasson's opening paragraph, elected officials still have the right to vote their consciences on matters of public policy. That is no more threatened by recall elections than it is by elected officials being removed by voters when they run for another term in office. That is simply the way our constitutional republic operates, and the way it was designed to operate.
Thomasson whines about the power of the gun lobby, but this was truly a battle of grassroots organizing versus monied interests. As the Denver Post reports, "proponents of the recall have raised about $540,000, while opponents have collected nearly $3 million." Thomasson even admits the huge disparity between the gun-rights activists and the much more well-funded anti-gun forces opposing the recall.
The religious imagery is amusing. Thomasson says that the National Rifles Association "helped light the fire to burn the heretics," as if removing a politician from office is the same as torturing someone to death by burning them at the stake. One would think that a Democrat's right to serve in elected office is as sacred as the right to life, and that removing Democrats from office is the same as committing murder. This type of "argument" is literally insane.
Gun control proponents (who are trying to re-brand themselves as "gun safety" proponents) lost an election thanks to a bunch of citizens who did not like the way anti-gun legislators voted - and they lost despite a huge spending advantage. That's the way it works. Playing the persecuted victim and hurling apocalyptic prophesies about the end of democracy only makes you look like a sore loser. Stop whining and get over it already.