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Delay Stays on the Ballot
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, July 06, 2006

Via Outside the Beltway, let's note that Tom DeLay is being kept on the Texas Ballot despite the fact that he dropped out of the race some time back.
A federal judge ruled today that Republicans cannot replace former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay on the ballot for the 22nd Congressional District race.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, a Republican appointee, ruled that DeLay must appear on the Nov. 7 ballot as the GOP nominee for the congressional seat that he abandoned last month.
In response, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said that the Courts were "denying the people of [Texas] a choice" in the election. Democrats said that "decades of state court decisions put voters' rights above filing deadlines and other technical guidelines" and that "the date merely serves as an administrative goal post to ensure smooth elections." A Democratic Chairperson said that it was a simple issue: "what is in the best interests of the citizens?"

Oh, wait. You know what? That's what Democrats were arguing in 2002 when Bob Torricelli dropped out of the New Jersey Senate race and Democrats wanted to put Frank Lautenberg on the ballot after the deadline had passed.

Since then, everything has changed. My apologies for the confusion.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
This is a bit of a leap, but this is a breakdown in our checks and balances to keep the country free.

Basically you can permit primaries to occur, then expose a scandal (real or fabricated) or arrest the opposition party candidate(s), thereby ensuring a victory for your candidate.

It’s also a failing of haveing a party system.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I wonder if you’ll similarly note that the GOP is arguing an opposite position from what they previously did (and that these two cases are in two different states).
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
...(and that these two cases are in two different states).
But the principle is the same, isn’t it Oliver?

Or do those principles only count when a Democrat is involved?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I really don’t get you guys (I even listened to your nicely put together podcast). Why do you believe Democrats should always be the party that surrenders? If the GOP slaps the Dems in the face, why is it the Dems must only meekly say "I disagree" instead of slapping them back, harder? I don’t know if I necessarily agree or disagree with either position in this situation, but the idea that when the tables are turned the Democrats should just walk away instead of fighting like the GOP did in ’02 is just kind of screwy.

I know you guys aren’t completely GOP zombies, though I know you prefer Rs over Ds, but why do you think that Dems should keep bringing knives to gunfights?
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
I’m not going to say that the Democrats ought to have succeeded here, but I must admit it does seem like a fitting end to the political career of a gerrymanderer.
 
Written By: Bitter
URL: http://qando.net/
Oliver,

Perhaps your mother once taught you a phrase: Two wrong do not make a right.

Or this one: If the Republicans went running off a cliff, you’d do the same. (But apparently with EVEN MORE GUSTO!)

Hilarious.

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
I wonder if you’ll similarly note that the GOP is arguing an opposite position from what they previously did
I considered doing so, but that’s a lot more tricky than pointing to the Democrats position. I’ve no doubt whatsoever that Republicans would be hypocritical if the positions were reversed. However, in this case, there’s the New Jersey precedent, plus the fact that DeLay had actually moved out of Texas. Republicans can plausibly claim that there solid precedential and technical legal grounds for DeLay’s removal, unlike in NJ. There are no similar rationalizations for the Democrats reversal.
Why do you believe Democrats should always be the party that surrenders?
I don’t. In fact — though it preceded this blog — I argued in 2002 that NJ should allow the Democrats to replace Torricelli. (McQ may recall that from our list-group days, when I sided with "Captin_Sarcastic" on that matter) I don’t like hypocritical positions or an unwillingness to adopt "original positions" — in the Rawlsian sense. I think it’s bad logic, bad decorum, bad character and bad democracy.
I know you guys aren’t completely GOP zombies, though I know you prefer Rs over Ds,
Actually, I’ve voted for more Democrats than Republicans in recent years. And I plan to vote Democratic in some upcoming elections, too.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
"Actually, I’ve voted for more Democrats than Republicans in recent years."
NO! You don’t say!

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I even listened to your nicely put together podcast.
Thank you.
Why do you believe Democrats should always be the party that surrenders? If the GOP slaps the Dems in the face, why is it the Dems must only meekly say "I disagree" instead of slapping them back, harder?
Because either "right is right" in principle or there are no principles and you do what is necessary to get and keep power.

If it is the former, then you should show consistency in that principle and agree the arguments used in the Torricelli case should apply to both sides.

If it’s the latter, then spare us the faux indignation when the other side does exactly the same things you criticize at the time. Since you are willing to do exactly the same thing if necessary, your criticism is hypocritical.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Oliver-

You never played with others on the playground, didn’t you? Always nursing a grudge over some imagined slight...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
It seems to me that the case is pretty clear: of course DeLay should be replaced, but it seems they’ve run smack into this problem with the way Texas, whaddya call it, law is written.
 
Written By: Mithras
URL: http://mithrastheprophet.blogspot.com
Of course I’m going to criticize the other side, but the criticism does nothing to help us right now. In case you haven’t noticed, the Ghandi position doesn’t work in today’s media sphere. I do not believe Democrats should disarm.
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Well, if you’re willing to be hypocritical and/or vile so long as it gets results, fine. That’s the gutter in which you choose to play, and while I may disagree, it’s not my place to tell you what to do.

But could you at least spare the self-righteous indignation at Republicans who do the same thing?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I’ve no doubt whatsoever that Republicans would be hypocritical if the positions were reversed.
I don’t know if you’re just saying this, Jon, but really, I disagree. I’m not a Republican and I’ve only voted for one in my life 22 years ago. But the fact is, over the course of the 20th century in Texas and most of the nation (especially in the South where I was born and raised), the Democrats pretty much ran everything and the Republicans took it. They accepted it. They learned how to lose. And lose they did, year after year, decade after decade, until one hundred years later when everyone quit being sore at them for the Civil War and Reconstruction, demographics changed, and they started to win again.

So now it’s the Democrats turn to learn how to lose. And so far, they’re failing.
Why do you believe Democrats should always be the party that surrenders?
Young Oliver, there is a difference between losing by the rules and surrendering. You’re viewing all loss as surrender. This is exactly backwards. All surrender may result in loss, but losing fair and square doesn’t equate to surrender.

Democracy is about elections, and elections are quite literally a game, a contest. And just like any contest they need rules, agreed upon before the fact, to remain fair and credible. But most importantly, for democracy to succeed, the losers of the contest must agree to lose. They must accept loss. If not, then what’s being practiced isn’t really democracy. And that means not using state courts to throw out election laws after the fact. It means not using our federal courts to destroy the legal distinction between ballots and votes, again, after the fact. It means legislators not fleeing jurisdictions to bust quorum rules and avoid votes they know they will lose.

Now I know that Democrats, who have a far greater faith in the usefullness of power in general and political power in particular than Republicans do, are more susceptible to finding political loss utterly intolerable. But that doesn’t mean Democrats get a pass. It means they must work harder to reform and regroup for the next election, with better candidates and positions more consistent with the will of the voters, not smashing and grabbing elections wherever the opportunity presents itself. That’s what’s done in Bananna Republics, where any election can easily wind up being the last.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com

 
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