On a Political Mood

Close observers know I post my share of political commentaries. Then again, those same people may have noticed that I have not posted on the politics in a few weeks. Let me set the stage.

  • I will vote in the Ohio Republican Primary
  • As a centrist (moderate independent), I was leaning toward John McCain, but selecting Sarah Palin closed the “not so” deal (My 10/01/2008 explanation)
  • Nope, I did not vote for President Obama, thus leaving that part of my ballot blank
  • My tendency is that no matter the party affiliation, I hope our president is successful
  • Ever since the 2008 election, the action of the GOP has pushed me away
  • The current slate of Republican candidates is (at best) a sorry bunch
  • I have not tortured myself by watching any of the televised Republican debates, but have stayed informed
  • To no avail, I cautioned the Democrats in 2008 and the Republicans in 2010 about misreading the election results and overreaching

As a swing vote, especially one in a swing state, each party wants my vote so they can declare their version of a voter mandate; however, they do not want my policies. The Democrats do not want ideas from a fiscal conservative and the Republicans do not want to hear from socially liberal ideas.

Election 2012 is shaping up as another battle of the ideologies. I have often said that current slate of candidates embarrasses traditional Republicans. Although some will also say that they will vote for President Obama in 2012, I know that most of them will still vote for the Republican candidate because that is what they do.

I know it’s still relatively early, but where does all this leave me? Although everyone must be cautious when saying never, but the chance of me voting for the GOP candidate for president in November 2012 is very slim. After all, what are the odds that the Republican will nominate a sensible slate?

On the other hand, the odds are much better than I will cast a vote for President Obama. Maybe not so much in support of the Democratic party, but as a vote against the Republicans and their obstructionist, too-far-to-the-right ways … and of course, at the expense of helping the Democratic party misread the voter mandate.

34 thoughts on “On a Political Mood

  1. i think a lot of rethuglican voters have buyer’s remorse after the last election. kasich, walker, scott, lepage, snyder, etc.–they aren’t governing the way they said they would when they campaigned. instead, they overreached with a far, far right agenda, and the only ones they pleased were the koch brothers. even in very red alabama, conservatives are fed up with bentley for his far-right immigration law that will ensure a lot of crops rotting in the fields.

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  2. Your entry does an excellent job of presenting the voting dilemma the electorate faces. Among Independent-Moderates, I view your political views as consistent with true “Swing Voters,” who put a lower priority on which political party ends up in power, vs. “Soft Partisans,” who worry more about the negative effects of the party they oppose gaining power. My hope is that before the Thanksgiving deadline the “Super Committee” will agree on a balanced debt reduction plan which will force the extreme members of both parties to come your way (fiscally conservative/socially liberal). If that happens, Swing Voters will gain even more power in the 2012 elections, which is good because it will flush out the candidates on both sides who favor ideology and obstruction, over compromise and bipartisanship. Given the results of the 2011 elections, that process has already started.

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    • Tim,
      Although I appreciate your hope for the Super Committee, I have little hope of each of the extremes moving. After all, each of them dislike the moderate positions within their party. Of course that is not to say that some rational members don’t exist. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  3. I have heard a theory that Mainstream Republican Leaders would rather win control of the Senate (Good chance considering how many open Democratic seats open) Keep control of the House (Not sure they can) And have Obama win, The feeling is they can stop his agenda,
    Then in 2016 they would have a potentially much stronger field, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels and John Thune.

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    • Larry,
      It’s surely possible that the GOP can win the Senate. As a matter of fact, it’s highly probable. However, control of Capitol Hill can work against them if they decide not to work with President Obama. Sure they could have stronger candidates in 2016 who could win, but they would no longer control Capitol Hill. Just something to ponder. Thanks for commenting.

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      • I agree, I think it is very possible they can lose the House, The approval rating for Congress is at 9% the last poll I saw. And in polls a majority of Americans are unhappy with their House Rep.

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  4. Well said, and a valuable insight about those fabled Independent voters. Strangely, I feel about the same as you do. Our political system is so messed-up,that most of the time we’re voting against something, rather than for something.

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    • Hansi,
      Right on … and voting against someone over voting for is something that isn’t in my nature – after all, I have left ballots blank more than once. But hey – the GOP is leaving me no choice! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

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  5. Very clear and well put, Frank. This year I feel like someone looking for a healthy meal at a burger joint. I need a salad, but all I’m offered is the wilting lettuce off hamburgers. I don’t want to vote democrat or republican – I want to vote for something good for our country — but what I’m being offered isn’t even close.

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    • Beagz,
      Love you lettuce analogy. 🙂 But as you well know, this is a time for “what is best for the country” to step forward. Of course, although the pundits will say the disagreement is all about philosophical differences about what is best, I continue to say that the differences are not for what is best, but for the financial groups the parties actually present. Thanks for commenting.

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  6. Frank,
    Whatever you might feel about the Republican candidates (and your antipathy about them confuses me) why in the world would you vote for a candidate who in three years hash dissed our country and what it has traditionally stood for around the world, decimated the economy with outrageous and ineffective spending programs and derailed the public will through corrupt and opaque administrative fiats? With the trainwreck that we are suffereing, how can you vote for Obama?

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      • Jeb is not running because it is too soon for a Bush, I think there is a little bit of baggage with Daniels, Christie might want to lose about 50 pounds much like Hucklebee did, Thune I know very little about,

        Back to Jeb, he ran gov Gov of Florida in 1994, If he had won that race and then reelection in 1998 I believe he would have been the nominee of the Republicans in 2000. I also believe he would have been much better than W.

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  7. I wish there WAS a realistic third party, just to show disapproval to both wings. In lieu of a third party, though, better the lesser of two evils (Obama) than more of a greater evil (the GOP). I don’t agree with everything Obama and the Dems have done, but at least they are doing something. The GOP is happy to sit on its’ hands and just block movement – if they do so on the budget committee, they will trigger automatic cuts in the budget that (among other things) may place our Army at 1940 levels and our Navy at pre-World War 1 levels. (Both pathetically small, for those of you who haven’t studied military history. 😉 )

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    • John.
      I too wish a third-party of centrists/moderates existed. But we’re stuck with the two. Seems you’re in a similar viewpoint as I …. that is voting more against than for. Nonetheless, we see the current situation in the same light. In terms of the military cuts, as I have said before, actually funding new equipment for the military is a good employment stimulus! Let’s hope the Super Committee members remove the heads from the orifice that prevents them from seeing light. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Hi Frank!
    Thanks for liking my post about Clutter. I’ve read with interest your political post (as well as some of the others). I understand all too well your ambivalence about voting. I became an independent voter a few years back because I don’t like the direction things are going. Way too extreme on both sides.
    I too, have voted against something, rather than for something a time or two. I much prefer voting For something. I haven’t decided on a candidate yet, but am leaning toward Romney. I know some people have issues with his religion, but honestly…. He’s not running for Prophet.
    He’s a really good businessman, and has been a really good governor, and I don’t hold his passage of a health care package for the state of Massachusetts against him. It shows he has a heart, and real feeling for people in need. I am a little anxious about who he might choose for a Vice Presidential candidate if he should get the nomination. Wouldn’t it be nice if he could get Jeb Bush as his Vice Pres candidate?! ( McCain’s choice last time was a huge disappointment)

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    • Maria (well, I assume as I work through the long name, but correct me if I’m wrong). Whew … a long intro.

      First of all, welcome to a first-time commenter. Thanks for your honest, non-hyped, non-partisan political thoughts. And thanks for reading some of my posts.

      Of the current GOP lot, Gov Romney is the only one who has any shot at my vote. (Well, I exclude Jon Huntsman at this point because of his continual low polling numbers – although he would has the best shot at my vote). That said, their Mormon faith does not influence my vote.

      These are the following negatives (to me) on Gov Romney: an inconsistency on issues, thus seemingly adjusting to the prevailing winds; his stance on healthcare (also a flip flop); the layoffs involved in his corporate takeovers (actions contradicting words); and the worry that he would nominate someone from the far right (like McCain did) in order to appease a group for their money … besides I worry about having a Republican president with the current crop of Capitol Hill Republicans that may control both chambers.

      Bottom line … thanks for visiting and taking the time to right a thoughtful comment.

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  9. Good post, Frank. I voted for Obama without stars in my eyes. My kids, both full grown intelligent adults, are disillusioned about politics. I have good Republican and Democratic friends–all of them way more reasonable than any of the “representatives” I see as political choices. As a fiscal conservative Democrat, I find this phony polarization, black/white red/blue right/left dogma an unfortunate bi-product of capitalism in an increasingly media-driven world. It’s hard to get someone to watch a 30 second youtube vid anymore. Short attention spans=useless sound bites.
    The complexites of the world remain. We will eventually learn to take a deep breath and figure out some of these problems despite the politicians and the media.
    Les

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    • Les,
      Although this is not all of America, our views are a large segment – which is something neither side has figured out. I’m convinced that the polarization isn’t because of them representing the people, but their representation of the special interests behind the parties. As I said before, I wish the candidates would dress like NASCAR drivers! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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