Election Anxiety

Friday, January 11, 2008
Over the last several days, I've been thinking about the primaries. Colorado recently decided to participate in Super-Duper Tuesday on February 5, after being marginalized in the primaries for many years.

Which means my primary vote might actually matter this year.

I'm a registered Democrat, not because I have any special love for the Democrats, but because I want some input earlier in the election process. Registering as an independent essentially means you get to choose between Asshat "A" or Asshat "B" in November, with no input as to which Asshat is on the ballot. That's not good enough for me anymore, so when Colorado changed their primaries to Super-Duper Tuesday, I registered as a Democrat.

In the last 20 years, voting for me has increasingly become a necessary chore - more important than doing the laundry, but about as enjoyable. I vote in every election, because I take my franchise seriously, but my interest is entirely related to duty.

Since my first choice in the Democratic field has dropped out of the race , if I had to vote today, I would cast my ballot for Barack Obama. The reasons are many and varied, but suffice it to say that based on what I know today, I think he would do the least amount of damage to our country.

My Smart Man is a registered Republican, and he's having a much harder time. It seems to us that the Democratic field is a bit stronger (or least less offensive) than the Republicans. Huckabee scares us to death (YEC in schools, anyone?), Romney's inconsistent, Giuliani may be a nut job, and McCain's too old. Bleh. He hasn't made up his mind.

What scares us both is the idea that Hillary will win the Democratic nod, and then some equally unappealing Republican will run. Huckabee versus Hillary? The mind boggles.

So I want a Democratic candidate to get the nod that middle America can support in opposition of a Republican Whack-Job. Unfortunately, "anyone but Hillary" seems to fit the bill. I'm scared that if Hillary ends up on the ballot, moderates may vote a whack-job into office simply because they're "not Hillary." That's really not good enough for me. So Obama, I'm behind you. Because if I end up having to write about "President Huckabee" in November, my anxiety may turn into despair.

16 comments:

Nathan said...

There's not a Republican in the hunt who doesn't scare the crap out of me.

I can live with Clinton, Obama or Edwards (in no particular order).

I honestly think Bloomberg is going to enter as an independent and I'll give him some serious contemplation. Watching him as Mayor, the biggest thing you notice is that the man is practically the definition of competent.

Oh, and 35 comments yesterday? You go girl!

Janiece Murphy said...

Nathan, I was going to ask you what your thoughts were on Bloomberg, since you're much closer than the rest of us. If he throws his hat into the ring, I'll give him serious consideration, too.

He may suffer from Ross Perot comparisons, though.

And yes, everyone had something to say about on-line relationships. Which is what I wanted. Yay, Hot Chicks and Smart Men!

Nathan said...

He's a pragmatist. He was a lifelong Democrat then went Republican to avoid NY's bizzare democratic primary system. Switched to independent recently.

He's a fiscal moderate with mostly liberal social stances. He also governs with a very relaxed style. He's not afraid to tell a reporter, "That's a silly question, can't you do better?"

On the other hand, for 20 years, mayors have been trying to get control of the Board of Education here. He finally did it, but he hasn't managed to really fix much of anything there.

On balance, I lean toward him but not very hard. (and that sounded a little creepy, didn't it?)

Janiece Murphy said...

You? Creepy? Nah...

John the Scientist said...

I will vote Republican so long as the Congress remains in Democratic hands, and switch otherwise. I don't see any problems that need heavy legislative fixing from a unified Executive and Legislative, and a man's (or woman's) life, property and liberty are not safe while the legislature is in session - which nowadays is year-round.

I'm voting Democrat again in my Senate race.

What would you do if McCain picked Lieberman as his running mate? Given his age, I'm betting his VOP pick is going to egt a lot of scrutiny.

Janiece Murphy said...

John, McCain's running mate is of intense interest to me, as well everyone else in the country. I'm with Scalzi in that I think McCain needs to declare his running mate immediately. Because in his case, his choice of VP is critical.

If the contest ends up being Obama vs McCain, McCains running mate may in fact be a deciding factor for me.

Anne C. said...

I don't have anything personal against Hillary, but I have two concerns for this election:
- She's a divider, not a uniter. There are just too many voters out there who for their own reasons do not like her.
- Ambition in a politician is a given, but her brand has a single-mindedness about it that makes me wonder if she's flexible or open-minded enough to really consider all options if she were president.

It seems to me that the last two democratic candidates (for 2000 & 2004) were sadly lacking in charm. They assumed that people vote with their heads, but I think a majority vote with their heart/gut (hence the value of the negative advertising). I cautiously think that Obama may have that. Note the "cautiously".

BTW, McCain's fall from the moral high ground reminds me of how I felt about Gore during the '00 election. I liked him a lot and was ready to support him whole-heartedly until he started going all squishy on his platform.

Janiece Murphy said...

Anne, there's a part of me that wants Obama to win simply because he's running his campaign on a "no muck-raking" platform. I think that would send a message to the rest of our politicians that you don't have to be a complete dick to win an election.

And yes, Hillary's pure, unadulterated ambition concerns me, as well. Mostly because I think if it comes between her ambition and what's best for our country or our Armed Forces who may be in harm's way, I think her ambition will win every time. And my brothers and sisters-in-arms should never be put in harm's way for someone's "career."

(Yes, yes, I know it happens all the time. I read Something To Die For.)

Jim Wright said...

Um, I must be tired (been standing in front of wood working machines all day), I read the title of this post as 'Erection Anxiety' and I thought, um, nevermind what I thought.

What Nathan said.

It's a lessor of evils for me - anything as long as it's not one of the current batch of republicans - however, I think Scientist John has a good point.

There was some talk of Sarah Palin as a republican VP candidate. That might be the only thing that could change my vote at this point. I voted for her as governor of Alaska, and she's done a damned fine job so far - though there are things about her that I don't care for.

John the Scientist said...

Jim, no offense, but given the amount of pork your senators send up that way (that really doesn't do most of y'all any good), I'd to be thoroughly convinced I wasn't voting for another Robert Byrd before I'd vote for an Alaskan.

Jeri said...

I've always been registered as an independent. Many years ago, when Republican stood for anti-big federal government, minimized taxes and maximum free enterprise, I was more closely aligned there.

But now that the Republican party has transmogrified into an auxiliary arm of the Moral Majority, it leaves me utterly cold.

I have a hard time admitting my views, mellowing with age, might align with the Democratic party instead. (Going out on a limb here - I'm still anti-union.)

I like Edwards' positions - and Obama's vision and, what seems to be anyway, integrity.

Anne C. said...

It's funny and sad at the same time how we have to qualify our statements about politicians. "Seems/appears to be" being the leading phrase.

Jim Wright said...

John,

Re: Pork and Alaska. Agreed for the most part, along with graft and corruption - which is why we elected Palin. She's done a tremendous amount to decrease all of the above and is frankly scaring the crap out of her own party. She's assigned several democrats to her office, and has recently pushed an ethics reform bill through the state legislature. So far I'm fairly impressed with her.

Janiece Murphy said...

Jim, you've been reading too much of your spam. Or perhaps I really am a 70 year old man with ED. You never know.

Steve Buchheit said...

I liked McCain in 2000 better, back when he was going to wrestle the Republican Party away from the Social Conservatives. But now he's gone all soft on them, even going to speak at Bob Jones U. I respect his service, and many of his views on duty and commitment, but I couldn't vote for him now.

As a registered (and elected) Democrat, though, we've got our own fight on our hands. And how great is it to actually have several very strong candidates running. Although my favorite seems to be coming in third (and I don't know if he'll run as VP again).

Janiece Murphy said...

Steve, I agree that the Democratic field is pretty strong this year. A far cry from 4 years ago...

I share your ambivalence about McCain, too...what was he thinking?