But I guess we're going to back to two. Bill Kraus (who people have finally stopped calling a Republican) wonders if this season's recalls will be followed by a return to sanity:
Will, when this is all over, the combatants come to their senses and take a pass on the use of recalls to protest misguided (subjective) votes and procedures instead of high crimes and misdemeanors as reasons for impeachments and recalls, and revert to the more traditional representative government remedy for incumbents’ bad policies and votes--the next election?Not a chance.
I don't think that the Democrats and public employee unions will remove Scott Walker from office, but, if they do, they can expect the threat - and perhaps the fact - of recall to become the new normal.
The problem is this: There is no argument for recalling Governor Walker other than a dislike for his policies. He hasn't committed a high crime or misdemeanor. He has used the power that voters gave him and angered the party of government. he has been no less peremptory and partisan than Jim Doyle. Notwithstanding what appears to be a year and a half long proctological examination by the Milwaukee County District Attorney, we have yet to see any allegation of wrongdoing by the Governor. (And, no, even the charges that Dan Bice's scofflaw sources think are coming won't amount to that unless he himself is involved. Give me eighteen months and I can find campaigning by political appointees in any one's administration.)
While one might think that the Democrats' success in collecting lots of signatures is indicative of a belief that this is special, I'm not so sure. Given the right policy decision by a Democratic (i.e., one that outrages the conservative base), I think that Republicans could do the same thing. Look at the way that they matched unprecedented Democratic turnout efforts in the Supreme Court and summer recall elections. The public employee unions are good at this type of organization, but technology has not only made this type of mobilization easier, it has also leveled the playing field.
I don't see it happening immediately if a Democrat unseats Walker and a sufficiently conservative Democrat (think Tim Cullen) might avoid it altogether because he or she won't do anything that arouses opposition (and satisfies the left), Even someone further to the left who will rally the Republican base in opposition (think Kathleen Falk) is unlikely to face recall in what will essentially be a two year term.
But imagine a new Democrat elected in 2014 who, like Scott Walker, attempts to implement significant and substantive policy changes. Don't think for a moment that recall will be off the table.
Escalation is a game that everyone plays.
If you don't want perpetual recalls, vote for Walker.
Or support a return to two year terms.