UPDATE: Creek Running North makes an excellent point that made me realize that I need to clarify my position. My problem is not with liberals who insist on supporting candidates that I find, frankly, to be pretty ludicrous. No, my problem is with liberals who either a) don't participate in electoral politics at all, content to sit in the cheap seats and chuck tomatoes; or b) cannot seem to grasp that the only point of an election is to WIN. It's not to "make a point"; it's not to "stimulate debate"; it's not to "take a stand." It's to pound the living crap out of the other guy. And to do that, inevitably, you're gonna have to support candidates who don't agree with you 100%. There's just no way around that. If you'd rather be right than win, stick to blogging. Ideological puritanism has no place in electoral politics, especially American electoral politics which are specifically Constitutionally rigged to require compromise. Could Abraham Lincoln have run on an explicitly abolitionist platform in 1860? Sure he could've; and he would've lost, and slavery would have stuck around for another generation (or more). Could FDR have run on a flat-out, anti-fascist platform in 1940? Sure, and he would've lost and Europe would likely still be run by the Nazis. Could JFK have run on a Civil Rights plank in 1960? Yep, and he would've lost (to, God help us, Nixon) and there would've been no Civil Rights Act of 1964, and no Voting Rights Act of 1965. Politics, to quote from Evita, is the "art of the possible." Sometimes, events come together in such a way that the IMpossible can be achieved, but your candidate has to first be in office to take advantage of it. Winners make history; losers whine about history.
UPDATE 2: Xanthippus sent this, which more or less tracks my views on the subject.
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- Name: The Local Crank
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Just a simple Cherokee trial lawyer, Barkman has been forcing his opinions on others in print since, for reasons that passeth understanding, he was an unsuccessful candidate for state representative in 2002. His philosophy: "If people had wanted me to be nice, they should've voted for me."
Saturday, July 14, 2007