Voting Dilemma

So I have to decide whom I will vote for this year. For state level races it’s easy. Glenn Richardson’s antics aside, I’m pretty happy with the job the Georgia Republicans are doing in the General Assembly. I’ll vote for the McDonald and Everitt for PSC, Senator Shafer for Senate, and Representative Coleman for State House.

Similarly, my decision to vote for the Democrats in the Gwinnett races is easy. The Gwinnett County Commission voted earlier this year to have the county run all trash service. While trash service is hardly the most critical issue facing me and my family the fact that my trash bill went up 40%, not to mention that Republicans are supposed to be for LESS Government means that the elected GOP leadership has lost its credibility with me. I will not be voting for the Democrats as much as against the Komissars on the Gwinnett Commission.

That leaves me with the question of who will receive my vote for President, Senate and US Congress. For those who haven’t yet figured it out from my previous posts, I’m livid at the Republican Party. Christopher Buckley said it best in National Review: “Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.” And let us not forget the hysterical theatrics that has become airport security and the gross incompetence that was the Katrina response.

Ronald Reagan famously said: “Government is not the solution to our problems, Government is the problem.” George W. Bush said “When people hurt Government has to move.” I guess it’s true, George W. Bush does hate black people (whites, Asians and Hispanics too) if he thinks that when people are hurting that they need more problems. Of course, that is not how Bush, Cheney, and Rove think. They, along with the majority of the GOP leadership in Congress, believe that Government is the solution to all problems, so long as the right Republicans are running things. It is for this reason that I can take some solace in the fact that President Obama will have Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and 59 other Democratic Senators. Together they will use all the expanded powers of Government that Bush and those who supported him created. If Hillary’s FBI files were a concern in the 1990s, image the fun Attorney General Clinton will have with the Patriot Act and warrentless wiretaps.

The GOP had a once in a lifetime chance to actually do something positive for this country. Instead of reform, we got the K-Street Project. Instead of fulfilling the Contract with America they passed No Child Gets Ahead. Instead of Energy Independence, they monkeyed around with Daylight Savings Time.

Finally, let’s not forget the $1 Trillion dollar bailout. I don’t object to bailing out Wall Street. Wall Street is the oil pump of our economy – generating the lubrication that moves money through out the American and Global Economies. Without Wall Street, our economy would be stuck in the 19th Century. Edison, Bell, Ford all were possible because of the capital created by bankers and investors in New York. I don’t object to rich CEOs getting bailed out. I object to anyone who makes bad decisions getting bailed out.

But what I most object to is the fact that Henry Paulson and George Bush screamed “OMG its the end of the world!!!!,” and within a week Congress spent several hundred billion dollars. This is the same George Bush who screamed that Saddam Hussein would be nuking American cities if we didn’t go to war. The same George Bush who said that Al Qaeda would hijhack more airplanes and kill more Americans if we didn’t pass the Patriot Act. Bush’s modus operandi for getting his legislative initiatives passed by Congress was to threaten Armageddon. And by and large, the GOP dominated Congress blindly followed along. Including John Linder and Saxby Chambliss.

Both of those gentlemen have demonstrated that they are not independent thinkers, and that they will blindly expand government whenever the White House screams bloody murder. Neither of them deserves to be sent back to Washington DC. But that doesn’t mean I won’t vote for them. While Linder has been a do-nothing in Congress since he became a cult-leader, he did oppose the bailout bill. While Chambliss blindly followed the President on the War, entitlement expansion, and the nationalization of the banks, he did have the foresight to support immigration reform.

John McCain has been different. John McCain, unlike certain Presidential Candidates, opposed the Bush Administration’s bad policies while still in office, not after he lost reelection and was desperate to stay politically relevant. John McCain opposed No Child Left Behind. He opposed the Prescription Drug Benefit. He called for more troops in Iraq while Rummy was letting soldiers die rather than admit his mistakes. John McCain has been steadfastly opposed to earmarks. Finally, he bucked his own party’s base to try and solve the tough problem of illegal immigration – in a limited government, free trade manner. It’s for these reasons John McCain is one of the few Senators whom I respect. We don’t agree on everything. I think McCain-Feingold was a bad and unconstitutional law. He has not convinced me that government action is needed to combat climate change, although I remain open to being convinced. I find the rhetoric about greed a bit disturbing. It was greed that funded the likes of Edison, Bell and Ford.

The other choices on the ballot are pathetic. A US Senator who hasn’t finished his first term. Who runs on a campaign of “Change” yet selects a running mate who was first elected to the Senate while John McCain was still a POW. A man who promised to clean up politics, who then reneged on his public funding pledge. Who wants to punish hard work and success in order to “spread the wealth around.”

How about a washed up ex-congressman, and a Vegas bookie? Anyone who thinks Sarah Palin is unqualified yet votes for Wayne Allan Root is a hypocrite. Barr might have been credible if he ran against Saxby & Martin. Buckley might have been credible if he ran for the state house. But neither have any interest in elective office. Like all top-ticket LP candidates, they run to gather a database of fan-boys who they can then bleed for whatever scheme they dream up for after the election. Unfortunately, they bleed folks who, if they were really interested in personal financial responsibility, should be saving and investing their money so that they won’t need to be dependent on government largess.

So I think I will vote for John McCain. Despite the horrid campaign he has run, thanks in large part to the same advisers and myrmidons that have made George W. Bush the worst President since FDR, I still respect the man, and find it hard to vote against him. Especially since to vote against John McCain will mean a vote for one of two greatly pathetic tickets.

The dilemma is with regard to Senator Chambliss and Congressman Linder. There is much to be said for giving the Democrats the 60+ votes needed to ruin this country quickly rather than slowly, so that reform, revolution and rebuilding can begin sooner rather than later. I’m not entirely sure I want to jump into that briar patch. I’m not of the financial means to retreat to a villa off the coast of Italy and watch the empire burn. Perhaps it would be better to delay the pain and suffering till I’m in a better position to bug out. And the larger and harder the drubbing the GOP gets, the faster it will attempt to reform itself and present an actual alternative to the big government Democrats.

Sic transit gloria America

20 comments

  1. Obama may have broken his public funding pledge, but he is also legitimately getting funded by the public to a degree that neither party probably ever imagined. If you really believe in free political speech, you should see that as a good thing. Does anyone think McCain would have taken public funding if he thought he could outraise the $84 million privately?

    Remember, this is a guy who used the crutch of available public funding for his primary in order to get key loans and also qualify for the ballot in a number of states. At best, Obama and McCain BOTH broke public funding promises when it was convenient for them. I’d argue that McCain’s trickery was more dishonest than Obama’s.

  2. Muscadine says:

    The GOP has lost its way from the Feds down to the State House. It’s time to clean house at ALL levels. There are good people who can right the ship. But the problem is LEADERSHIP or lack thereof. The GOP promised to end the ways of the Democrats, instead they got drunk with lobbyist excess. It’s time to pay the price.

  3. StevePerkins says:

    Blah blah blah blah blah blah… and in conclusion, angry Republicans still end up voting Republican anyway.

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the river, the “angry Hillary voters” still end up rallying around the Democratic nominee anyway.

    I really can’t criticize, given that my own investment in the Barr thing means I’ll be voting for him… despite campaign-fatigue and the fact that nothing at all about this election year really excites me.

    I think that once this election is over, I’ll just drop the party labels and be honest about the fact that I’m basically independent. I’ll back the Republican in races where the Democrat is too over-the-tax on budget policy… back the Democrat in races where the Republican is too over-the-top on gay marriage and Terry Schiavo crap… and back the Libertarian when they’re both so godawful that I can’t vote for either one.

    Party affiliation may lead to some entertaining social gatherings. It can even help with professional networking if you’re a small businessman, or are sad enough to dream of a political consulting job. However, it kinda shuts your brain off and makes the whole process boring. If everybody knows how you’re going to vote a full year before the actual election, why bother complaining or critiquing things?

  4. atlantaman says:

    If you really believe in political free speech, then raise or remove the individual caps allowed for campaign contributions (they haven’t been raised in years).

  5. sonofliberty says:

    Chris……I agree with you that there are many good and honorable Republican members of the General Assembly………Shafer and Coleman are two of the best. The key…….is Leadership……It just defies reality to dismiss the “antics” of Richardson……He has been…for two years…. an unmitigated disaster for Republicans……..look at the record. No property tax reform…..no transportation bill……no trauma care……BUT……we do have open warfare with the Governor… the Lt. Governor….. the State Senate…..and local elected officials…….not to mention the continued bullying and intimidation of Republicans in the House…..Two more years of Richardson and you can say hello to ……Speaker Porter or Speaker Smyre……..

  6. btpull says:

    In my opinion democrats are socialist lite and republicans are democrats lite. We desperately need a third or alternative party to emerge in this country. Therefore I am planning to vote for every Libertarian on the ballot.

  7. Jason Pye says:

    Anyone who thinks Sarah Palin is unqualified yet votes for Wayne Allan Root is a hypocrite.

    Sarah Palin is unqualified and I voted for Bob Barr and Wayne Root.

    It’s a matter of preference. I’d rather have an politically untested but successful businessman than a politically untested and fake Governor.

  8. Chris says:

    They may have been neocons, but they also had an (R) after their name, and the GOP Grassroots fought for their re-election.

  9. ButlerTReynolds says:

    Given the fact that Wayne Allen Root has practically no chance of becoming VP, that reason for not voting for Barr is rather lame.

    A vote for Barr is a signal that you want smaller government. A vote for McCain says that you want more Big Government Conservatism.

    Republicans are getting the candidates that they deserve.

  10. liberator says:

    Barr for Prez,Buckley for Senate and John Monds and Brandon Givens for PSC. Vote Libertarian and stand proud!

  11. Bill Simon says:

    Can the Libertarian Party point to ANY hot chicks who are Libertarians?

    Otherwise, it remains a party of disgruntled males who wear army fatigues and don’t shave or bathe very often. 🙂

  12. Chris says:

    Icarus,

    Pretty much, except without the smart people.

    I’ve got a funny Buckley story, I just need to track down the source before I’m at liberty to share it.

  13. shortbusgeek says:

    I’d be happy to point to plenty of hot chicks who are Libertarians.. just check out Facebook or MySpace.. there are plenty on there. Though I am a male, I do bathe once or twice daily, and don’t own a set of army fatigues. Oh yeah, and I went to Tech and am a member of MENSA. Hrmm… there goes the “without the smart people” theory…. 🙂

  14. Chris says:

    heh. I remember when I was in LP, it was December, we were at the ATL LP meeting at Gordon Biersh. Buckley came in with a handout of 25 pages of dense text and graphs.

    He then began to read from the handout verbatim.

    Only time the term “pro-forma” has ever appeared in a political stump-speech. Even Ron Paul was never that dull.

  15. IndyInjun says:

    “Otherwise, it remains a party of disgruntled males who wear army fatigues and don’t shave or bathe very often.”

    Tech coeds are libertarians?

    Who knew?

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