The L.A. Times ran a story yesterday complaining that a qualified judge was unseated by a candidate whom the editors obviously feel is less qualified:
The rare defeat of a highly regarded sitting judge ousted from the bench Tuesday by a bagel store owner who’d barely practiced law in the last decade sent a jolt through Los Angeles County legal circles, leading some to question whether the system to select judges needs overhauling.
Now, it may be true that the bagel-lady candidate was less qualified than the sitting judge who lost. And if that’s true, then on a small scale, that seems like a shame.
But in a larger sense, my reaction is: Boo-hoo.
Less qualified people beat more qualified people in elections all the time. I know more than one judge who ran against someone more qualified, but won because he or she had more money. In California’s recall election, Tom McClintock lost to Arnold Schwarzenegger. And if you think George W. Bush is the most qualified guy in the country to be the President, hand me some of what you’re smoking, because it must be awesome stuff.
Why did the paper pick this judge to write a sob story about?
And does all this really mean that we need to question whether the system to select politicians needs overhauling??
Sure, I’d prefer that better qualified people win elections. But when they don’t, the answer for them is: join the crowd.
And stop whining.
UPDATE: On reflection, it’s probably a bit harsh to say “stop whining.” My point is this: the less qualified candidate wins all the time. It’s not a good thing — but it’s a natural result of elections, because many voters just aren’t that informed.