I signed up for an absentee ballot and set aside some time this morning to do some research and fill out the ballot so I could get it in the mail today. It took a really long time to figure out my votes. The issues are pretty complex in some cases, especially when it comes to the state propositions. It’s disturbing to me that so many election decisions will be made based on TV/radio commercials and pithy phrasing on glossy flyers. That being said, I consider myself pretty well-educated and well-informed and although I did some diligent research, I can’t say with confidence that all of my choices were the right ones — but I voted nonetheless.
Now, on to nutty California stupidity. . . .
I’m not a fan of the current presidential administration by any means, but city measures like this one on the Berkeley ballot where I live are just plain stupid and embarrassing:
Measure H: Shall the City of Berkeley petition the United States House of Representatives to initiate proceedings for the impeachment and removal from office of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney and call upon the California State Legislature to submit a resolution in support of impeachment to the United States House of Representatives?
Oh, please. I voted “no.” Regardless of how I feel about the current administration, I would appreciate it if the Berkeley City Council would focus on things like recycling and fixing street lights, and leave constitutional matters to more appropriate governmental channels. On a practical political level, I can only imagine that Berkeley City Council support for such a resolution would only make it less attractive for the rest of the country, whose support would actually be meaningful.
Despite its frequent stupidity, Berkeley remains strangely loveable. Michael Chabon’s essay “The Mysteries of Berkeley” explains the love/hate relationship one can have with Berkeley far better than I ever could. He really nails it when he calls the Berkeley City Council “that august tribunal of collective neurosis.” Overall, Chabon’s essay is the best single piece of writing on Berkeley I have ever read.