Creative Destruction

January 28, 2008

Not-So-Simple Questions And Possibly Dangerous Answers

Filed under: Blogosphere,Election 2008,Politics and Elections — Off Colfax @ 12:57 am

Duncan:

Yes all political junkies dream of the brokered convention. It would be exciting!! But I started to think about how the news media would deal with such a thing if it were necessary. The primaries are early. The convention is in August. Between the primaries and the convention the bobblehead discussion would be unbearable. I don’t know how the campaigns themselves would deal with it. They couldn’t go dark, but they couldn’t campaign as the presumptive nominee either. There’d be calls and pressures from various quarters for one of the candidates to “do the honorable thing” and bow out for the sake of the party, or Tim Russert’s Nantucket vacation, or whatever.

Aside from the last part about Tim Russert’s vacation plans, which is obvious snark, this is a highly substantive statement from Teh Atrios. How will all three of the substantive candidates currently in the Democratic side of the race remain until a brokered August convention can sort things out? Can fundraising from the left maintain three mostly-idle campaigns at the national level at the same time while we wait to see what will happen in Denver? And if they do maintain that level of life-support, will any of them be able to start that mad, pell-mell sprint for November 4th at the sound of the cannon? All of these are important questions that we must ask ourselves, the party as a whole.

(And all of them are very good questions that could just as easily apply to the GOP side of the bracket this year, judging by my own personal (and probably amateurish) pre-primary analysis of both Florida and Terminal Tuesday when neither McCain or Romney can pull far enough ahead to keep the other down, much less force Huckabee out of the race. That’s just a prediction, and will not factor further into this post.)

Yet his next post, not ninety minutes later, puts a completely different spin to this line of thinking. And not one to the benefit of Teh Atrios, either.

The existence of multiple candidates in the Democratic primary race means that the party is hopelessly splintered.

As a moderate in this party, I read this as saying the following:

Shut up. Because you’re not picking my candidate, you’re sinking us all. Take MY hand, Luke!

Suddenly I am reminded of what was happening in the Connecticut Senate primary in 2006 between Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont, when the party really WAS hopelessly splintered. An incumbent Senator lost the primary, yet remained in the race and eventually recaptured his seat. So the question is: why did the party splinter in Connecticut?

Of course, the answer could never be that out-of-state activists like Duncan Black himself, as joined by Jane Hamsher, Markos Moulitsas, and their attendant casts of thousands simply loathed and despised Joe Lieberman and everything he did and said. The answer could never be that they would attempt anything in their power to influence the election of a Senator not in their state. The answer could never be that, without their constant and unwavering support, Ned Lamont would not have defeated Lieberman in the primaries in the first place. The answer could never be that they themselves designed the blueprint for the hopeless splintering of our party when they scribed a bright dividing line, between the moderate wing and the progressive wing, that none shall pass without suffering near-permanent damage to their political careers.

And now I see Duncan Black himself sitting there, bemoaning the fact that the party is “hopelessly splintered”. (Insert prima donna-ish back-of-hand-to-forehead Oh Whatever Shall We Do! pose here.) And I hear this suggestion in the back of my head, one that he wants the rest of us to simply ignore our own decisions and throw ourselves behind the Clinton44 campaign, which he supports with all his heart and body and soul. And all of this simply so that we present a united front in the fall.

Pardon me whilst I call shenanigans here. I’d call something stronger, but all the cow pastures in Wisconsin wouldn’t hold enough of it to add up to the sheer amount of what I’d really prefer to call.

I have seen the dangers of letting the loudest sections of a political party have their way while ignoring the rest. With the GOP, it gave us the rise of religious conservatism. With the Democrats, it is giving us the rise of progressive liberalism. With both, those whose politics are in the middle are effectively disenfranchised and removed from the political process. And from both sides comes great damage to this country’s political structure.

My response is simple. Do not allow anyone, regardless of who or why or where or when or how, tell you who should or must or need receive your vote. Your vote is yours, and yours alone, to cast for whomsoever and whatsoever you so freely decide. No one is allowed to take that away from you. You should not allow them to even passively take it from you, such as by following the advice of a divisive pundit like Duncan Black by voting their way at their own fervent insistence.

If you want to vote for Hillary, then please do so. If you want to vote for Barack, then please do so. If you want to vote for John, then please do so. If you want to vote for Mike Gravel, then please do so. But let it be because you so desire and not because some bobblehead, whether the televised or the virtual variations of the species, told you to vote for Candidate X rather than Candidate Y.

For when you allow someone to choose your vote for you, you allow yourself to fall victim to the most dangerous form of disenfranchisement around: the passive surrender of your vote to a third party.

The concept that an individuals’ personal choice is what truly matters is the philosophical heart of a Democracy. Without it, a Democrat might as well be a Republican.

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12 Comments »

  1. [...] Tales & Tails of New York put an intriguing blog post on Not-So-Simple Questions And Possibly Dangerous AnswersHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

    Pingback by Democrats @ 2008 Presidential Election » Not-So-Simple Questions And Possibly Dangerous Answers — January 28, 2008 @ 1:15 am | Reply

  2. [...] ComMITTed to Romney! added an interesting post on Not-So-Simple Questions And Possibly Dangerous AnswersHere’s a small excerpt [...]

    Pingback by 2008 Presidential Election » Not-So-Simple Questions And Possibly Dangerous Answers — January 28, 2008 @ 1:17 am | Reply

  3. Per the gender and racial politics of the boilerplate left:

    If you don’t vote for Hillary, it’s because you hate and fear powerful women.

    If you don’t vote for Barack, it’s because you hate and fear black people.

    Good luck, Democratic party!

    Comment by Robert — January 28, 2008 @ 2:02 am | Reply

  4. [...] ComMITTed to Romney! wrote an interesting post today on Not-So-Simple Questions And Possibly Dangerous AnswersHere’s a quick excerpt Duncan: Yes all political junkies dream of the brokered convention. It would be exciting!! But I started to think about how the news media would deal with such a thing if it were necessary. The primaries are early. The convention is in August. Between the primaries and the convention the bobblehead discussion would be unbearable. I don’t know how the campaigns themselves would deal with it. They couldn’t go dark, but they couldn’t campaign as the presumptive nominee either. There’d be calls a [...]

    Pingback by John Mccain » Not-So-Simple Questions And Possibly Dangerous Answers — January 28, 2008 @ 2:05 am | Reply

  5. [...] Inteligenta IndiÄena Indigenismo Novaĵoservo wrote an interesting post today on Not-So-Simple Questions And Possibly Dangerous AnswersHere’s a quick excerpt Duncan: Yes all political junkies dream of the brokered convention. It would be exciting!! But I started to think about how the news media would deal with such a thing if it were necessary. The primaries are early. The convention is in August. Between the primaries and the convention the bobblehead discussion would be unbearable. I don’t know how the campaigns themselves would deal with it. They couldn’t go dark, but they couldn’t campaign as the presumptive nominee either. There’d be calls a [...]

    Pingback by Election » Blog Archive » Not-So-Simple Questions And Possibly Dangerous Answers — January 28, 2008 @ 2:10 am | Reply

  6. [...] Semicolon wrote an interesting post today on Not-So-Simple Questions And Possibly Dangerous AnswersHere’s a quick excerpt Duncan: Yes all political junkies dream of the brokered convention. It would be exciting!! But I started to think about how the news media would deal with such a thing if it were necessary. The primaries are early. The convention is in August. Between the primaries and the convention the bobblehead discussion would be unbearable. I don’t know how the campaigns themselves would deal with it. They couldn’t go dark, but they couldn’t campaign as the presumptive nominee either. There’d be calls a [...]

    Pingback by Mike Huckabee » Not-So-Simple Questions And Possibly Dangerous Answers — January 28, 2008 @ 2:21 am | Reply

  7. [...] Off Colfax wrote an interesting post today on Not-So-Simple Questions And Possibly Dangerous AnswersHere’s a quick excerptIf you want to vote for Mike Gravel, then please do so. But let it be because you so desire and not because some bobblehead, whether the televised or the virtual variations of the species, told you to vote for Candidate X rather than … [...]

    Pingback by Mike Gravel » Not-So-Simple Questions And Possibly Dangerous Answers — January 28, 2008 @ 2:50 am | Reply

  8. edwards should stop wasting his breath and join al gore in the global warming crusade.

    senators clinton and obama should stop mudslinging. i am not impressed by political pissing contests.

    good for the elephant party that it doesn’t have to choose between a woman and a so-called black man.

    Comment by obie1993 — January 28, 2008 @ 9:54 am | Reply

  9. What is up with Mike Gravel?

    Why do otherwise seemingly sensible people run for President and continue doing so, long after they have firmly established that they have no chance of winning and are making no meaningful headway in getting across a credible message to the general public about America’s future?

    I couldn’t begin to tell you what the guy is on about.

    Comment by ohwilleke — January 28, 2008 @ 9:42 pm | Reply

  10. They have nothing else better to do with their time?

    Comment by obie1993 — January 29, 2008 @ 12:52 am | Reply

  11. It raises their public profiles, at relatively little cost to them. Remember the part about asking everyone for money so you can run for office? And from now on, any news story about Mike Gravel will start with “2008 presidential contender Mike Gravel [whoever]…”

    Comment by Robert — January 29, 2008 @ 3:21 am | Reply

  12. What I find curious is that only the Mike Gravel trackback cited the corresponding section for their candidate, as well as actually put down the correct name, which makes me believe that this one solitary trackback was actually done by a regular human being.

    I am not Semicolon, dammit! Nor am I ComMITTed To Romney!

    Damn webcrawlers getting my hopes up…

    Comment by Off Colfax — January 29, 2008 @ 6:45 am | Reply


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