Friday, July 27, 2007

More On the Political Monopoly

#273 More On The Political Monopoly

Guy serves in the legislature for a gazillion years and decides that’s tiring so maybe he should become a judge. In Nassau, New York, that would be pretty easy. Here’s what they’d do.

The guy would go to the Republican Party boss and say “boss, I would like to be a judge.” The boss would then say one of three things: (1) Sure. (2) Nah. Or (3) let’s see how contributions are coming in from your district and then we’ll talk.

Meantime, if the answer was (1,) they’d find a judge who was nearing retirement, ask him to step down early – which, of course would help his retirement plans, this being one of the few places and jobs where early retirement is seriously rewarded, and then they’d get the Rep. appointed to fill the unexpired term. Happens all the time. And not just with judges.

In Moote Pointe, PA, things are a little different.

They have actual primaries here. Looks like an exercise in democracy. The bosses say “You want this job? Go out and fight for it.”

So our Guy runs in a Republican Primary, spends a boatload of money and wins. So far, so good. He’s the candidate.

The guy who thought he was going to get the Republican nod runs in the Democratic Party primary and wins. So now we have two Republicans, one running as a Republican (our Guy,) and the other running as a Democrat.

Our Guy, as it turns out, is not a lawyer. But around here, that’s no problem. All you have to do is take a course at Famous Judges’ School of The Judiciary, pass a simple test, and then get back to your real job, electioneering.

One day, a few months before the election, he calls the area’s reporter together (that’s not a typo) and announces he’s not running, after all. Gives no reason.

The reporter reports.

This leads to all kinds of speculation. Is he dirty? (Most questioned don’t think so.) Is he sick? (Most questioned don’t think so.) And we have none of the usual clichés to play with – things like “I want to spend more time with my family,” and “I want to explore other options.”

A bit later, Our Guy thinks he needs to explain what he’s doing. So he adds to the story by saying he’s gotten a better offer and then names the offer, which is one of those non-jobs, those vague things that political types do and are well paid for and you never know quite what it is.

Meantime, the smoke-filled-room speculation is the guy flunked the Famous Judges’ School of the Judiciary final exam.

But, of course, that cannot be.

The school’s run by a bunch of politicians of every stripe. If a guy flunks out, they probably give him the option to drop out retroactively. And the exam, as Nixon would say, gets deep sixed.

Like it never happened.

Now, the Republicans choose someone to run in Our Guy’s place. And you get to choose which Republican you want for judge, the Republican Republican or the Democratic Republican.

Ah, democracy.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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