Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Pragmatism vs Ideology

I rarely like the internet political quizzes, because frankly most of the questions suck. I found one that I really liked that was as close as it gets. I Side With. It gives "yes" and "no" answers, but also other choice "C" answers as well.

The Results:
Gary Johnson - 96%
Mitt Romney - 76%
Virgil Goode - 64%
Rocky Anderson - 16%
Jill Stein - 10%
Obama - 5%

Romney on social, Johnson on the rest.

I'm not that surprised except that I usually don't score as high with libertarians and my marks with LP/RP are both in the 70-75% range with the rest under 25%. They didn't ask trade questions which skewed it away from the populists more.

However, I didn't write in Johnson. No, Romney wasn't my first choice. Like many, I didn't like the coronation attempt between Foxnews and also the rules changes for Mitt. On the same note, I didn't care for EITHER side in the Ron Paul vs Romney dual coronation attempts. In Romneys defense, he at least won a majority of the primaries. Luckily for Romney, I want Obama fired. In Ron Paul's case, I voted for him in 08, but not this year. The coronation push alienated me. The RNC and Paulite gamesmanship didn't look good for either side in Tampa. The former didn't need to spike the football. The latter has no business claiming anything until it won enough actual primaries (at any level, let alone presidential) to contend. My candidate lost too. It sucks. It happens.

Would I like to see more liberty candidates in the GOP? In some areas, if they aren't too hung up on technicalities. There's no way a candidate who claims to be a libertarian (and pro-life) republican would vote against defending planned parenthood. Or vote against national CPL reciprocity, all while incorrectly (especially on the CPL) claiming "constitutional" grounds (Full Faith and Credit). There are times due to language where a bill should be voted down, or amended. There's also times when there's nothing wrong with the bill's language. If you claim to really be a liberty candidate, be for liberty, don't just fall on your sword when the end result of that is less liberty than before. 

I realized over my years that 3rd parties are a protest vote. No more, and no less. If Teddy Roosevelt can't win as a 3rd party, no one can. I used to vote about 1/3 R and 2/3 L when I was a new voter, then considered myself independent. I have protested vote or 'voted for blank' on occasion, although I am less apt to do so than in my early years. This year was a bit of an exception as I did leave a few more of the uncontested races blank than normal with Green Oak pushing another millage. Again.

Many of the Paul hardliners are either writing in Ron Paul or voting for Johnson. Some are doing so because they really like Gary Johnson and damn the torpedoes. I can understand that. A couple of my family members took that stance. No games are involved there and they can't bring themselves to support either candidate.

Then, there's this mindset by some. "You didn't let us take over the party, so we're going to spite you and hope you lose to a 48-49% Obama so you'll be forced to come back begging to us." Ain't gonna happen. Even if Obama won due to Johnson votes, it ain't gonna happen.Two words. Ralph Nader. Nader's name since 2000 among democrats is mud. Ron Paul's name (as he'll get the blame) will be mud if Obama wins with 48-49%. There won't be begging, but a declaration of political war. 

Some people like Herman Cain are clamoring now for a 3rd party. All I have to say to that is the following. 
1. How will the third party get enough support to win?

"“I never thought that I would say this, and this is the first time publicly that I’ve said it: We need a third party to save this country. Not Ron Paul and the Ron Paulites. No. We need a legitimate third party to challenge the current system that we have, because I don’t believe that the Republican Party … has the ability to rebrand itself,” Cain said."

It is so easy to say "We'll get a new conservative party and the conservatives will join us and all will be well." The problem is that it's all bullshit. Third parties failed, have failed, and always will fail. Teddy Roosevelt, Ron Paul, Bob Barr, Virgil Goode, John Anderson, George Wallace, Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan all failed as 3rd parties. In order for a 3rd party to be relevant, one has to be competitive in 34% of the seats in congress or compete for a majority in a electoral college. Ain't gonna happen.

Steve Schmidt also has his head up his ass. That's not surprising. He was McCain's campaign manager. We all know how that went. I could have done a better job than that clown in 08. I doubt I would lose Indiana at least. That takes work in a presidential election.

“When I talk about a civil war in the Republican Party, what I mean is, it’s time for Republican elected leaders to stand up and to repudiate this nonsense [of the extreme right wing], and to repudiate it directly,” he said.

Screw off, Steve. We just ran a moderate. We ran a moderate before that in 2008. Your boy McCain. Hell, Bush was a moderate, at least fiscally. What we need is to repudite bullshit like what you are slinging to try and salvage your incompetent reputation.

Conservatives can win. Conservatives can win in moderate or even liberal districts. Moderates can win. Moderates can win conservative and liberal districts. They both win by not doing a Steve Schmidt and putting their big mouths away and by doing their jobs properly on constituent issues and being competent people. That's what's most important. Don't be incompetent like Steve Schmidt was in his election work. Don't be a dumbass like Todd Akin (establishment, Huckabee wing). Don't be a dumbass like Richard Mourdock (Tea Party). They made the same error. Don't be something that you aren't. I think Mitt would have done much better in the primary if he was just who he was. I think that came out in the first debate.

Be who you are. Be competent at what you do. Be tactically smart and principled. Have a good plan. That's the starting success to build from at any level.  Pick fights when you must, but not when you don't have to do so.

Conservatives need moderates (true moderates, not leftists). Moderates need conservatives. Tea party needs establishment. Establishment needs tea party. Right now, we don't have the leverage. We need to create it and create it now, so Obama doesn't spend the next four years turning this country into Chicago.  

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