Thursday, January 3, 2008

Selecting a Candidate for (non)Dummies

Rush Limbaugh was going on about Mike Huckabee playing the "Politics of Identity" with his attempt to suck in the evangelical vote. I think the more accurate term for this would be the Politics of Lobotomy. In other words, brains are not required to vote this way. I've talked about this before, so I'll get to another point now.

Today is the Iowa Caucuseses. For the other 49 states, it's basically a news story. But on the plus side, the caucus, along with the New Hampshire Primary next week, will narrow the field and get some of the more pointless candidates out of the race, except for Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, who will probably hang on and give me a laugh.

While I am still an independent candidate myself, I will still be watching this race intently, as I will have a GOP pick in mind should I reach the point that I withdraw myself from contention. So let me share with you the reasoning I will apply to my choice, as I will probably vote in Ohio's primary:

First of all, I apply none of the Politics of Lobotomy to any candidate. Also, if you feel someone would be a good President and you have never met them, you should have someone hit you in the head with a hammer. Hard. Feelings don't mean shit, as all good politicians are actors, after a fashion. Also, if you have one hot button issue you are looking for, don't pick your candidate on that one issue, especially if he's an idiot about everything else. And yes, I' was thinking about the abortion issue when I wrote that last sentence.

I look at issues, first at what they have done, versus what they have said. For example, none of the Republican candidates are in favor of universal health care. However, Massachusetts will have it at the end of January, with punishment if you don't sign up. Mitt Romney signed that one in. I also look for waffling and election year conversions, as well as adopting buzzwords and catch phrases. These are ways to get the unaware to vote for you.

I also look at their philosophies over the years. The best example of this is McCain-Feingold, an assault on free speech that has put John McCain on my list of people that I have a problem voting for. I accept evolution of ideals, but not easily.

I also look at how they play their politics. Mike Huckabee's attempt at taking the high road with his attack ad in the past week was clumsy and obvious. Combine that with his attempts to get God's endorsement, and I won't feel bad if he gets to go back to Hope with his tail between his legs.

The point is, look at what your candidate says, what he's done, and decide if the total package is good, versus the politics of lobotomy or the single-issue suicide. Then we might get a good candidate out of this, rather than the lesser of two evils. Or just vote for me. I'm naive enough to shut Washington down. That would be a good thing.

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