Patterico's Pontifications


I Couldn’t Vote Republican This Time…Literally.

Filed under: General,Politics,Principled Pragmatism — Justin Levine @ 10:37 pm

[posted by Justin Levine — not Patterico]

I wanted to vote Republican. Honestly, I did. But in the end, I just couldn’t do it.

I admit that I didn’t follow the specific campaign for Congress in my district, but I figured that anyone has to be better than Maxine Waters. So my plan was to vote for whoever the Republican candidate was in this instance.

Imagine my surprise when I got the ballot at the polling booth, only to discover that the Republican party didn’t even bother to run a candidate against her. Not even a symbolic candidate. Nobody! Pathetic…

If I had known that, I would have run myself. (I wouldn’t have actually campaigned mind you, but I would have called up the Republicans and offered my name on the ballot just so that they could save face.)

In the end, I blindly marked the ballot for the Libertarian candidate. Pretty much sums things up…

Meanwhile, I suspect that the Libertarian party here will have one its biggest showings ever in terms of the percentage of the vote for a Congressional race.

[posted by Justin Levine]

22 Responses to “I Couldn’t Vote Republican This Time…Literally.”

  1. Well,looks like the Republican party didn’t bother to do too much work here in Calif. any way.While I grant that it would have been an incredibly tough slog running against Feinstein, the Republicans didn’t even bother to run a campaign,you might have know his name,but I didn’t know who he was until I got my ballot.

    The worst of it is that he isn’t losing percentage-wise any worse than some of the much more publisized Senate races. What might have happened if it had of really been a race?

    flicka47 (4c18f6)

  2. That is pretty pathetic, Justin. I agree with you lock, stock, and barrell. I thought you were a national party?

    Christoph (9824e6)

  3. What’s worse is that the local Republican party doesn’t even answer the phone. I live in W H’wood, so blue you’d think we all held our breaths for weeks at a time, and here there is no conversation beyond government funding for AIDS research, welfare (more of it), and Social Security (don’t fuck with my entitlement); the Iraq War is viewed as something that takes money from those endeavors. I think the lack of Republican presence is because our values are simply not wanted here. West Hollywood is best represented in the LA Weekly, and that is the truth.

    Howard Veit (28df94)

  4. As Publius of Legal Fiction says:

    Of the many things that annoyed me in the aftermath of 2004, the one that stands out is listening to pundits on TV explain how extreme and out-of-touch Democrats had become (despite winning the popular vote in the last three presidential elections and 48% of it in 2004).

    I can identify with that. But this time, you righties are going to have to suffer through the post-mortem analysis.

    Let’s see, I can’t resist… Drum makes an insightful observation:

    The American public has shown over and over that it’s operationally moderate, and I suspect that George Bush has actually pushed conservatism about as far as it can go. If you take a look at the exit polls, Republicans lost because they lost the center, not because they lost their base.

    Psyberian (edfa75)

  5. I’m in MA and I’d guess 7 of 11 seats to be voted on here went unopposed – all democrat held. I wrote myself in for Congress. I’m pretty sure I lost.

    Jane (5a66ce)

  6. I didn’t even have a libertarian alternative. In CA District 33, you have one choice: Stalin… oops, I mean Diane Watson. Gerrymandered “safe” districts might seem disgraceful. Actually, a certain number of such seats are statistically inevitable. But the real disgrace is the breadth of the consensus that government exists to transfer wealth (yours and mine) to favored client groupings within the Democratic Party coalition. The real disgrace is the perpetual gullibility of people who convince themselves that narcissism is the highest form of idealism.

    lincoln republican (efb06e)

  7. Cutting Our Nose Off to Spite Our Face…

    Did you vote to send a message to the RNC yesterday by not voting or by voting for some third party candidate? If so thank you for screwing the troops and guaranteeing that 2900 brothers and sisters in arms have all died in vain. This is exactl ……..

    The Thunder Run (59ce3a)

  8. Looks like we live in the same district. And I too was all set to vote for whatever Republican was brave enough to go up against Ms. Maxine. So the Libertarian got at least 2 votes, eh?

    lukewarmpants (37fa75)

  9. Psy,

    I’m not sure that George Bush kept conservatives, either. There were lots of people talking about not voting at all because they were angry with something about George Bush, whether it was the war in Iraq, intelligence, illegal aliens, or something else.

    sharon (dfeb10)

  10. Thunder run… what you dont care to notice it that the 2900 brothers and sisters died in vain because of George Bush who sent them into harms way needlessly…( funny how you dont even mention the wounded or Iraqis ) .Better to admit to the tragedy that has happened than send another 2900 more to their deaths..that is if you really care about them and not just George Bush lying butt..
    Maybe Republicans will realize how trully anti democratic and manipulative Bush and crew are. In any rational country he would have been impeached years ago for his reckless destruction of both America and the Republican party..

    If Bush and crew had been open and honest in the lead up to this war and we had had a fair debate and not one in which right wing pro war talk show hosts had teamed up with the likes of Bush and Cheney and Rove to bulls**T the US into needlessly starting this war, we might have escaped this war and all its tragic implications for this country..
    Well you bullied everyone into supporting this venture and now you can reap the rewards! Believe me the worst of the wars results are yet to come..sadly for us all.

    charlie (55cd2b)

  11. In my district, the choice for congressional representative was between the incumbent Democrat and a Green. The last results I saw, the Green received over 21% of the vote. I’m hardly surprised the Republicans didn’t offer a candidate.

    wheels (7cf925)

  12. This is not in the least bit unprecedented or even unusual. Hell, the Democratic Party didn’t run a candidate in one Senate race this time around… which one is left as an exercise.

    Voice of Reason (d737be)

  13. Flicka47: it wasn’t going to be a race. It’s possible, I suppose, that Arnie could have defeated Feinstein; but no other Republican could have.

    If Tom McClintock, a well-known, highly respected, conservative can’t win for Lieutenant Governor despite leading in the polls in a year in which the incumbent Republican Governor wins in a landslide, it’s clear that the state Republican party has serious problems getting its message across.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  14. Wingnut Roundup – Electoral Blame Game Edition…

    Bush turned our government into a criminal enterprise, started an unwinnable war, and polarized the nation – do you suppose the wingnuts think these things had just a little bit to do with the defeat of their beloved GOP? Ace…

    AGITPROP: Version 3.0, Featuring Blogenfreude (72c8fd)

  15. I live in MA.

    There were 22 elections on my ballot. By my count, 19 were candidates running unopposed.

    Rich (eecbb7)

  16. I had the same experience in Colorado 1, where Democrat Diane DeGette had no R opposition. I voted for the Green candidate.

    I am also considering putting my name on the ballot in 2008 if no one else does. It’ll be a good opportunity to get all the skeletons out of my closet.

    km (910b19)

  17. A constitutional limit to get rid of gerrymandering is long overdue. Whatever justification there may have once been for it is gone or by far overshadowed by its destructive effect on our political discourse, and therefore our political system. Get rid of gerrymandering first, and see what happens – – if that’s not enough to put an end to the rewarding of sleazeball politicians for caring so little for the founding principles of their country that they presume to select their constituents, rather than the other way around, then it’ll be time for term limits.

    No one should ever be able to make politics a lifetime career. The supposed benefits of experience and expertise are overrated, at least from the public’s viewpoint — the experience and expertise of a politician might benefit his reelection chances, or his district’s share of pork, but it’s hard to imagine that its overall effect is consistent with the public interest. A two party system can work, but gerrymandering and careerism among politicians are obstacles that need to be removed.

    The solutions of gerrymandering and term limits are so obvious that the only explanation for the failure to do such things is that such action would require those in charge to put their nation’s interest above their own narrow self-interest. So far, there’s not so much as a sniff of a rumor of any George Washington-like willingness to surrender political power in the city that bears the great man’s name; rather, the situation suggests, more than anything else, two pigs at a trough built for one, and it just begs for a watering of the Tree of Liberty in the sense imagined by Thomas Jefferson. Well, not literally. At least not at first.

    Back to an amendment to kill the gerrymander — as a bonus, Maxine Waters would never stand a snowball’s chance at winning an election in a district whose shape even remotely resembles a rectangle.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  18. > Imagine my surprise when I got the ballot at the polling booth, only to discover that the Republican party didn’t even bother to run a candidate against her. Not even a symbolic candidate. Nobody! Pathetic…

    Welcome to the club. I’m in Cal 31* and, although I’ve had the choice to vote for a Republican in the past, I don’t remember the last time it happened – it’s been so long.

    *Becerra. Unopposed. Not even the liberterians bothered….

    Arthur (feb5e3)

  19. Psyberian, Drum has been sniffing glue. What has W done that suggests he even remotely resembles a conservative? His policies are traditional liberal (not post-modern, left-leaning Democrat Stalinist liberal).

    The Iraq war? A liberal project. W’s immigration policy? W’s Almost-Amnesty is most definitely liberal. No small-governemnt conservative, W didn’t even make an attempt to shrink the non-national security parts of the federal government. The fact that there is still a federal department of education is proof that he’s not a conservative.

    There’s just one thing — W doesn’t favor unrestricted abortion rights from conception to end of term, as a matter of policy, and even though he knows he could never impose his personal views upon the nation as a matter of policy, he favors a construction of the Constitution that leaves out Justice Douglas’ hallucinogen-generated penumbras among which imaginary “rights” hide until their invention becomes necessary in order to avoid what would otherwise be an unthinkable acknowledgment that there are some problems which defy any judicial solution (but not necessarily legislative ones). His notion that the federal judiciary shouldn’t be the supreme branch of government with power to subordinate the others as well as the states to their arbtitrary extra-constitutional amendments of our foundational document peg him as a — gasp — conservative and therefore the evil ChimpyMcHitlerburton who must be opposed by all good liberals.

    It requires a mind-bending stretch of imagination to consider as “conservative” the President whose priority no. 1 has become the paradigm shift in US foreign policy that the Iraq war represents — not a war for oil, but one that is a crusade — the willingness to wage it requires a commitment that America is as much idea as it is place, and that defending America requires the defending of its principles, not neceessarily everywhere, but certainly in Iraq, which presented the opportunity for such a demonstration. Maybe he’s naive to pursue such a policy, and maybe he will fail (he probably would not if the Dems were a responsible loyal opposition, but that he failed to recognize them as craven and cynical suggests the naive liberal, rather than the hardheaded conservative), but it’s not conservative. Neither was his plan to rescue America from the money-pit that is social security by issuing a gazillion dollars of new debt to be paid back over decades.

    So, if you’re going to make assertions that George W. Bush is a conservative, please provde some small amount of support. The fact that some evangelicals support him might be, but then again, it might jsut support the idea that the evangelicals are repulsed by the Democrats.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  20. TNugent: please explain to me how a traditional liberal supports the Federal Marriage Amendment.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  21. Aphrael, it’s a throwaway issue — no chance of ever being ratified, even in the unlikely event that it’s passed by the required majorities in Congress. Bush might actually believe that it’s the right thing, but it doesn’t matter, at least not very much, because it has no effect on policy.

    There’s no one-size fits all liberalism just as there’s no one size fits all conservatism. Show me someone whose every view conforms to the conventional wisdom of what a liberal is and I’ll show you someone who has surrendered independence of thought and replaced it with rote.

    W’s liberalism or conservatism, if it’s to be at all meaningful, should be assessed at least somewhat objectively, considering policies rather than empty rhetoric or rhetoric that is meaningless for purposes of policy even if not necessarily so for purposes of gaining or retaining political support. The latter description is one I would use for W’s support of the never-gonna-happen Federal Marriage Amendment Political conservatives (not to be confused with evangelical reactionaries*), who might think it would fit their personal views, would nevertheless oppose it, if only because charactierizing the definition of marriage as a federal issue is a politically radical position, even if the same substantive position on same-sex marraige could be described as politically conservative at the state level.

    There’s no doubt that Bush has some following among evangelical reactionaries, but it’s intellectually lazy to assume that evangelical = conservative, and even worse to assume that because W is supported by some evangelical/presumed conservatives that he must therefore be a conservative.

    For most of our history, evangelicals have been the liberals or progressives. Evangelical Christians (or their contemporary equivalent) were the most strident abolitionists in the pre-Civil War US; and throughout our history evangelical Christians (or the contemporary equivalent, whether or not commonly called that) have been advocates of reform of one kind or another. Now the status quo of secular statism tempered by democratic socialism somehow is mischaracterized as “liberal,” as if that notion of liberalism is to be confused with one values above all the liberties most important to open and free political discourse, as distinguished from the liberalism that prizes the license to conduct one’s private affairs as one chooses without fear of censure, and is willing to sacrifice for that license the notion of liberty that allows the coupling of the right to express one’s ideas in public with a moral (but not legal) obligation to defend them against critics by means of reasoned arguments. The liberalism that will claim as its own, or at least not object too strenuously to the liberal self-identifiation of those who shout down speakers whose ideas offend them, isn’t really liberalism, nor is it liberalism whose claim to that label is supported by its official intolerance of any hint of private citizens’ criticism (gasp – intolerance!) of public expressions by other private citizens.

    *using the term in a descriptive sense (in that they are reacting to cultural conflict in accordance with their religious beliefs), not necessarily pejorative, but take it how you will.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  22. Reply to Charlie’s Screed…

    In the comment section of Justin Levine’s post I Couldn’t Vote Republican This Time…Literally, found on Patterico’s Pontifications a commenter took me to task for my post Cutting Our Nose Off to Spite Our Face. Commenter Charlie though di ……..

    The Thunder Run (59ce3a)

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