I like Howard Kaloogian, who’s one of the leaders of the recall-Davis campaign. But I don’t agree with a recall. The political fallout is, I think, secondary to the question of propriety. The time to make the case against and to unseat Davis was last year. As for the recall as a conservative strategy: Obviously it isn’t one by itself. Just throwing the dice and hoping that Davis is replaced by someone better is irresponsible and may backfire. If the strategy is to try to elect a conservative with 22 percent of the vote, I don’t think that makes sense either–and you’d have a stronger case, in some ways, for recalling such a minority governor. Either way, the state would edge closer to banana republic territory.
Rather than look for gimmicks or celebrity saviors, the California GOP ought to be recruiting a strong challenger to Barbara Boxer. She should be beatable next year, as she will presumably not have the strong top-of-the-ticket help she got from Clinton in 1992 and Davis in 1998. Opposition to her is one of the great unifying forces in the state’s fractious Republican party, and beating her would be the first step to rebuilding.