Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Electability and briefs

I finally got around to taking one of those "which candidate would I really support if I just voted on the issues" tests. I was unsurprised to find out that Kucinich should be my main man. Because I am a weenie (or would that be practical?) Democrat who will not vote simply on the issues, it is also no surprise that I will not be voting for him.

When did elections become all about "electability"? I suppose when elections began to be popularity contests alone, rather than issue-driven events. Why is Kucinich unelectable? Because he's little? He's elven? He's dweebish?

We know why Hillary has been tagged "unelectable": because they say that no one likes her. And, in fact, very few people I know do like her. My informal and highly unscientific survey says that she is not warm and fuzzy. She is also viewed as highly pragmatic to the point of being manipulative; she will do anything to get elected. Most in my survey would vote for her, though, if she's the candidate.

How does that translate to unelectable? I think that pragmatism is probably a plus. Manipulative is, perhaps, pragmatism to an extreme. Seems likely to me that most politician in the past 40 years have been somewhere on this spectrum. And we bemoan this fact. At the same time, we refuse to rebel and vote for those candidates who actually reflect our values, who are true to themselves, who are most concerned with the issues than whether or not people will vote for them. Sometimes, I wonder if this approach begets unelectability. Sometimes, I think it stems from unelectability.

Either way, the result seems to be negative. We are saddled with mediocre, middle of the road candidates who we hope will appeal to enough people to get elected over the other party's mediocre, middle of the road candidate whose take on the issues is way too the right of us, but not nearly as far off from those in the middle.

I find this rather unsatisfying, don't you?

Speaking of unsatisfying, in brief:

What are the Democrats in Congress thinking, extending wiretap powers under the Patriot Act? I thought we told them in the last election that we, the People, didn't like that Act. I know Kucinich will vote against something like this. Please tell me that the front runners will, too.

If there is no other reason to oppose ANY Republican candidate running for any office, follow this story and think about whether you want people willing to indulge in this kind of behavior representing you. Nice. When you're a conservative, apparently there are no blows too low to be struck.



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