Tuesday, September 26, 2006

You Call This A Senate Race?

Hey, remember yesterday when I said I was gonna dial down the crazy? Yeah, that's working out well. At least I MADE the dinner I'm eating while I blog.

So.

Just twelve days after we learned that in the 70s, Senate hopeful Jim "Born Fighting" Webb
didn't think women were fit for combat, we're faced with the startling revelation that Senate has-been George "Macaca" Allen may or may not have made frequent use of the n-word during. . .guess when. . .the 70s.

For the record, it's never occurred to me that Allen might be the kind of guy who DOESN'T use the n-word, and Webb's 1979 position on women in the military is
a clinically proven fact. But you know what? I don't CARE what either of these fucksticks was up to 30 years ago. Hell, a mere 15 years ago I was reading a bunch of Ayn Rand books and bitching about how poor people should get a job. But I think my behavior since then demonstrates that I've had a serious change of heart.

Allen? Not so much. He's simply traded in the n-word for the m-word in public discourse.

Webb has emphatically stated that he's completely comfortable with the role women currently play in the military. But even if he isn't, even if he still thinks women can't fight, who fucking cares? Does he think we can have access to contraception? Does he think we can elect to terminate a pregnancy?

Because this election isn't about women in the military. And unfortunately, like most elections these days, it isn't about voting for the candidate you believe in. It's about voting for the candidate who sucks less.

I used to ABHOR this approach to politics. I used to respond to those who chastised me for throwing my vote away with sanctimonious lectures about how the only way to throw your vote away is to vote for a candidate you don't believe in.

So when Steve told me yesterday that a colleague of ours plans to vote for the Green Party candidate instead of Webb (because the colleague's wife had to leave the Naval Academy as a result of Webb's "Women Can't Fight" article), I was somewhat suprised to hear myself saying, "What?! Shit is way too polarized and way too fucked up to be voting for the fucking Greens right now! You vote for Allen or you vote for Webb. Those are your choices."

I certainly don't like that our choices in most modern elections boil down to a contest between the lesser of two evils. I think it's deplorable, actually. I've even been known to deliver a sanctimonious lecture or two on this very topic, especially if I'm drunk. But in 2000 I wrote in a candidate I believed in and spent the next four years watching George W. Bush systematically attempt to destroy almost everything I love about my country. Then, like Twisted Sister, I decided I wasn't gonna take it anymore and in 2004 I did something I'd never done before: I voted for a major party candidate.

It didn't quite work out the way I'd hoped, but I'm gonna keep trying. Because at this point not taking it anymore probably means not voting for people who stand absolutely no chance of getting elected.

7 comments:

Coaster Punchman said...

This whole topic is too upsetting for me. I am still furious with the Ralph Naderites, but even more furious that I have to be furious with them. After all, they're right. We shouldn't have to cow-tow to the two-party system. On the other hand, George Bush is.... well let's not even go there. I might have been willing to sell my own mother to stop Bush from winning that election. Then again, you've never met my mother.

blueblanket said...

I know where you're coming from. It's a dirty rotten shame that people are voting for the person they hate less -- the person whose commercials are the least irritating -- or the person (gasp!) who looks better in a suit. Sometimes it's a shallow nation.

Chris said...

Glad to see your self-imposed exile was short-lived. I'm in agreement on this. I can't stand it that our current system not only promotes a two-party dominance, but that you basically have to be wealthy to run and have any sort of chance. I ask, how is this a democracy that represents a true cross section of America? The fact is, most of us are poor, or at least relatively poor compared to politicians.

vikkitikkitavi said...

My own oft-repeated mantra has always been that there's nothing wrong with the lesser of two evils.

Of course, there's a lot that's wrong with it, but I'm a big believer in pragmatic politics.

And so is Nader, despite his professions of idealism. Case in point: he didn't spend a lot of time criticising Bush in the 2000 campaign, even though Bush's policies and record in Texas must have been appalling to him compared to the concessions Gore had made to the middle. But, he wasn't going to steal many votes away from Bush, so he attacked Gore instead.

Fine. That's politics. But at least own it. Instead he purports to be above it all, and pretends that the footsie he played with Republican donors in 2004 was rooted in a shared ideology instead of their interest in him as a spoiler.

He's a hypocrite, just like every politician everywhere. Hey, if he's your brand of hypocrite, fine, vote for him. I happen to think that many of his policies make a whole lotta sense. But don't tell me that he wasn't one of those vying for the position of least of three evils.

Patrick said...

I just filled out my absentee ballot. It really did feel like a vote between the lesser of two evils. I'm surprised it has taken VA so long to legislate gay-hate, I really thought they would have put the gay-marriage vote up a long time ago. Not to be Debby Downer, but I'm not going to hold my breath to find out that VA will deny my right to marriage, and that the ignorant sons of bitches (aka the small-minded breeders) will deny themselves the right to personal contracts and the like.
I'm so close to Canada right now. I hope they annex Maine.
By the way, did I tell you that I got named to the Board of Trustees as a student rep? One of six appointed by the president of the college. I am serving on the Educational Policy committee. As a junior. I am hot shit. Oh, and I had 270 people sign up for my Women's Group at the student activities fair. That is like 13% or 14% of my college. And I have men, and women, and athletes, and all four years, and oh man, it is so exciting. I can't wait to tell you about my programs. But, yes, this is not all about the vote. But, oy, Virginia, give me someone I can get excited about.

Grant Miller, Esq. said...

Did you write in Dee Snider too??

Small world!

Megan said...

CP: I myself am sick of the two-party system, but I'm not sure voting 3rd party will help to change it. Funny how the Founders never intended parties but set up a system where two parties were inevitable.

BB: I think the politicians are just as shallow, perhaps more so. And I think it's the politicians who perpetuate this approach to politics.

Chris: This is a mere shadow of democracy, hon.

Vikki: I still have trouble with pragmatism, in politics or otherwise. But yeah, Nader is a politician just like all the other politicians.

Patrick: Surprisingly, the marriage amendment is not getting a lot of press in VA. And you'll note a link to "Vote No Virginia" in my sidebar. Also, no you didn't tell me that Board of Trustees bit because you are all busy being amazing and stuff. An email once in a while to an old teacher wouldn't kill you, would it? I mean, was I not like number three on your people to come out to list?! Where's the love?

Grant: Dee Snider is some fucked up shit.