I'm not quite in the same place politically as Bill Quick, but I can see what he's going through:

Quite frankly, my vote goes to the candidate who offers me the most, by my standards. I vote selfishly, not altruistically. So any candidate that gets my vote has to earn it. GWB did earn it the first time, because he made a lot of campaign promises about the judiciary, about his philosophy of government, about his intentions, that sounded better to me than a continuation of the policies of a man I once voted for — BJ Clinton — who betrayed his office horribly, and thereby forfeited any hope of ever getting a vote from me again.

Bush barely earned my vote in 2004, and it was one of the tougher Presidential voting decisions I've ever had to make, because Bush's first term convinced me he had no intention of following through on most of his promises, that he was a weak President and not much of a leader, that he was a panderer, and of those Republican/conservative policies I did support, he didn't. But I thought he would be better at the war on terror, and so I gritted my teeth and voted for him.

Since then, I have had to ask myself, better than what on the war on terror? Better than Kerry? I don't know. If Kerry had been elected in 2004, we would be out of Iraq by 2008, no matter what. I believe that under Bush, we will be out of Iraq by 2008, no matter what. If Kerry had been elected, North Korea would have nuclear weapons, Iran would have nuclear weapons by the end of his term, and Iran, Syria, North Korea, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia would still be actively supporting Islamist terror. But I also think that by the end of GWB's term, North Korea will have nuclear weapons, Iran will have nuclear weapons, and Iran, Syria, North Korea, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia will still be actively supporting Islamist terror.

In the meantime, GWB will have vastly expanded the powers of government, gone back on his promise to see judges in the Thomas/Scalia mold appointed and/or elevated on the Supreme Court, added another couple trillion dollars to the national debt, failed to support the First amendment, the Second amendment, deliberately failed to protect our borders from floods of illegal immigrants, and has otherwise been, from my libertarian point of view, an almost complete failure.

I need hardly point out that this is nothing like a belated endorsement of Kerryism, which managed to combine most of the worst effluvia of contemporary Democratic Party thinking into a single unpalatable package.

Still, some of this sounds awfully familiar:

There are plenty of reasons to be wary of another four years of BushCo. The Republicans, dammit, have discovered the joys of deficit spending, and while they're not as profligate as Democrats would like to be, the likelihood that a second Bush administration would make much of a dent in the deficit is close to nil. And while I'm not especially fond of the watered-down Marxism vended by the national Democrats these days, I, for one, do not welcome our new corporate overlords: I see no reason to think being screwed over by a corporation is somehow preferable to being screwed over by the government.

Which is why I can endorse this statement of Quick's:

I am, however, perfectly free to vote for a Democrat who better meets my needs and desires than a Republican does. And I will, if that situation arises. If you are looking for a blog that will promulgate little more than the latest bulletin from the RNC — or the DNC — you'll probably be much happier at a different sort of blog. If you are somebody who wants small government, fiscal restraint, good leaders, an effective war on terror, an emphasis on individual liberty, meaningful borders, an end to the Drug War, and a scaling back of gigantic nanny-daddy statism, then you're in the right place. And once you're here, you don't have to vote for either a Republican or a Democrat. You don't owe anybody your vote. They have to earn it. If they don't, then they don't deserve to have it.

I am, I remind you, a registered Democrat, and have been for thirty-odd years. There have been many times I've thought of bolting; it is invariably at that point that someone in the GOP (Tom? Ernest? Tom?) reminds me that there's a good reason I haven't.

And if 2008 comes down to a Republican with no spine and a Democrat with no brain — well, let's hope this state has done something about ballot access between now and then.

The Vent

#454
  22 September 2005

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