Friday, October 15, 2004

Yet More Mary Cheney

In response to a comment on my previous post, I should clarify that I'm still voting for John Kerry, even though I think the thing with Mary Cheney was obnoxious and dishonorable. The truth is, I have never liked John Kerry--I've lived with him as my senator for nine years now, all of which I have had not a shred of respect for the man. I didn't support him in the primaries, and if he won and was challenged by a better man (of which there are many) in the primaries in 2008, I support the other guy.

But I don't have a choice--it's called the two-party system, and we're stuck with it, and therefore I'm stuck with John Kerry. I'm a Democrat, and for better or for worse, we nominated this guy and now we all have to just suck it up and vote for him. Conversely, there are a lot of Republicans out there who genuinely think there are a dozen or more folks out there in state governorships or Senators who would do a much better job than Bush, but they're stuck with their guy. In their heart of hearts, what Republican wouldn't trade Chuck Hagel, John McCain, Bill Frist (even though he has a history of cruelty to cats), Rudy Giuliani, Dick Lugar, Lamar Alexander, or Mitt Romney, for the guy we've got? All good Republicans (and I know lots of them) support Bush anyways, because he's the nominee of their party, and ultimately it is the party attachment of the president that matters, in terms of what the government will actually do over the next four years.

It is that party attachment that determines (along with the composition of Congress, of course) whether we will raise or lower taxes in the next four years, and on whom. It determines whether we'll expand the role of government in health care, or try to and restrain it by creating things like Medical Savings Accounts. It determines whether we'll move toward private accounts in Social Security, or keep the system more or less as it is. It determines who will fill the innumerable appointed positions in the federal bureaucracy, with all the consequences that has for federal regulation. And it determines who will fill the multiple vacancies on the Supreme Court that will come up in the next four years.

So despite the fact that (be honest) there are lots of Republicans who think they could do better than Bush, and lots of Democrats like me, who thought we could have ended up with someone a hell of a lot better than Kerry, the rational decision on who to vote for was clear a long time ago. Party is the most rational cue for voting that there is--now more than ever. I'm voting the party, not the man, without remorse. And so should you.


Rahul Sinha said...

On the mention of Mary Cheney:I don't understand why this is a big deal.

An entirely plausible rationale for Kerry's mention of Mary Cheney (and Edwards') is to humanize the issue of gay marriage, and by extention homosexuality and the people who suffer for the intolerance aimed them. To point out to religious conservatives that their golden children (Bush/Cheney) not only know a gay person but actually APPROVE of her is a huge step towards breaking through their mindless hostility, derived from the demonized charicature that they are presented as the gay person, and forcing them to come to terms with the idea that homosexuality happens to Good People from the Heartland.

The storm over this issue is only plausible if homosexuality is something to be ashamed of, akin to a drinking problem or the like.

On John Kerry and his characterSir, watch Frontline's retrospective over the two candidates' lives. You have more experience with the Senator, as you are a constituent and as you are simply older, and thus have a more relevant memory of more of his career. (By comparison 1992 was the first Presidential campaign I followed. I don't think I had heard of the Senator prior to his re-election fight against Weld.)

That having been said, he seems like an excellent man. He volunteered for the Navy. It may have been a political move, aimed at giving him a springboard to run for office. He volunteered to go to Vietnam. This is less likely to be a political move. He volunteered to be on a swift boat. I can't imagine what possible ulterior motive would have this as a reasonable tactic. To put oneself in danger to this degree makes no rational sense, and thus seems like it must derive from some irrational impulse (read: patriotism).

He must have known his protests would come back to haunt him; he wasn't/isn't an idiot. He didn't have to go the DA route after law school; Bush illustrates the alternative open to him.

Why do you consider him a bad person? In what way is he dishonorable?

Yes, like most Democrats I voted for him in the primaries based on an assumption of his greater ability to oppose Bush. I now find myself more energized by his candidacy than I truly feel I would have been by any of the other alternatives (including Dean).


Dave said...

I thought it was a mistake for Kerry to refer to MC. There was no need to single out a individual and it has simply created a distraction from Bush's failure in the debates and in office. However I fail to see how it could be seen as dishonorable.