Voting With The Tribe

Last night found me trying to decide who to vote for in the Ohio primary, and so disillusioned with the options that not voting almost seemed tempting. Not exactly an auspicious start for my first time ever voting in a presidential primary that was still competitive. (In prior elections I had voted in Texas or California, neither a battleground state in recent primaries.)

In general, I think that Romney is likely to be most electable, but he’s been less reassuring in recent weeks — and given that the only thing I liked about his was his apparent competence that was nor reassuring.

I’d found myself quietly cheering Santorum’s victories, but not so much because I think he’s a good candidate (I think he lacks the instinct for when not to discuss a topic that only hurts him or sets him up to be mis-interpreted — a very dangerous lack in a social conservative) as because he is the candidate to which the social conservatives have gravitated and I like social conservatives.

Given my utter lack of enthusiasm for both candidates, I ended up letting that decide the matter and pull the lever (or rather, touched the screen) for Santorum. I don’t think he has much of a path to winning, and I’m not sure he’d be a better candidate than Romney, but lacking any other means to decide I wanted to throw my vote where it would strengthen the social conservative faction of the GOP when it comes to picking a VP and making other campaign decisions. And with the economy, for the moment, appearing to have bottomed too early (though I wouldn’t put it past Europe to pull us into a swirl down the drain come fall) and social issues currently taking the fore, I want the social conservative ing of the party to be as strong as possible going.

37 Responses to Voting With The Tribe

  • No matter what, I am voting against Obama. At this point his defeat must become reality, else this country is doomed.

  • I voted for Santorum, too.

    Begrudgingly

  • “No matter what, I am voting against Obama”

    Amen to that Paul!

  • Thank you for voting! I pray a LOT of undecideds will vote for Santorum– I see he is not polished and smooth around the edges –unlike the way we typically think of a politician–but maybe he’ll’ be the best statesman after all

  • My concern with Santorum was well articulated by Douthat a few weeks ago: basically, a social conservative needs to be disarming (and non-threatening) to the media and the general public a la Huckabee. Santorum is not; he can’t resist making arguments on subjects that are sure losers for him. That, and any time he starts talking about Iran I get visions of mushroom clouds over Tehran.

    As for Romney, well, if he loses as expected in the general, no one will be able to claim that social conservatives were thereby discredited. I was talking with a friend the other day about Romney’s friendship with Ron Paul, and he pointed out that Romney can be friends with anyone because he doesn’t believe in anything…and that’s about all there is to say about Mitt.

  • It looks like Romney is going to take Ohio but only by a hair. Considering that he had momentum from Michigan and a four to one spending advantage over Santroum I find that a testament to what a weak front runner the Weathervane truly is.

  • Not bad, Donald, considering Rick failed to make the ballot in a few districts and that his war chest is not near the size of Romney’s. I recall the story on the radio today indicated that he was at a 9 delegate disadvantage because he was unable to garner enough signatures to make the ballot. Interestingly enough, one of those places was in the Steubenville area.

  • As for Romney, well, if he loses as expected in the general,

    Who is doing the expecting?

  • I think Romney is a very weak candidate and I think Obama will prove a far weaker candidate in the general election.

  • I expect Romney to lose, because I expect he won’t get the support of voters like me.

  • But maybe I’m a minority of one on that particular matter. I doubt it, though.

  • He certainly will not get your vote Jay, and with Virgil Goode running that may do serious damage to Romney in Virginia. However, come election day I expect this country to be enmeshed in a major war with Iran and gas prices to be hovering around $6.00 per gallon.

  • Re: war with Iran, let’s pray not. Not only for the fact that another war in central Asia is the last thing we need, but because a war could be the best thing to happen to Obama. The American people generally do not replace their presidents in the middle of a war. They will rally to their president. And Republicans, being what they are, will find it difficult to effectively attack a sitting president while there are troops in harm’s way.

    I’ve long believed that the odds were in favor of Obama’s re-election; but defeating a wartime president, who can also point to other successes such as bagging Bin Laden and Qadaffi and who will contrast that with the way his Republican predecessor prosecuted war, will be next to impossible.

  • but defeating a wartime president, who can also point to other successes such as bagging Bin Laden and Qadaffi and who will contrast that with the way his Republican predecessor prosecuted war, will be next to impossible.

    Get in your time machine and tell that to Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson.

  • I don’t know if that’s a good comparison, Art. Neither was technically defeated in an election, but were driven out by deeply anti-war elements in their own party. Not sure what would have happened in the general election.

  • I expect Romney to lose, because I expect he won’t get the support of voters like me.

    Do you think we would be better off with Obama as president than with Romney?

  • If not being Obama is all Romney has going for him (and I’ll concede it’s the best, if not only, argument in his favor), it’s not good enough to get my vote. Not when there is someone else running for whom I prefer to vote.

    And before anyone accuses me of “wasting my vote” by voting for a 3rd party candidate, I can’t think of a better definition of “wasting my vote” than to vote for a candidate who I don’t like, who I don’t trust, and who doesn’t share my values and priorities merely because he’s NOT the other guy. Voting for Romney would be “wasting” my vote.

  • “Not only for the fact that another war in central Asia is the last thing we need, but because a war could be the best thing to happen to Obama.”

    Israel is going to attack Iran soon Jay, certainly before Summer. Netanyahu understands something that all Americans should realize: Obama can’t be trusted. He understands that Obama’s goal is simply to get past election day, and if that gives Iran the time to build a bomb so be it. After the attack Obama will back Israel to the hilt, because to do otherwise would be a disaster for him come election day. On the other hand, the war will enrage the far left of his base who will hate another war in the Middle East and, not to put too fine a point on it, are not overly fond of Israel. The people who will most likely back the war, will almost all be voting against Obama anyway. The price spike in gas will help remind people of just what a truly worthless manager of the economy Obama has been. Obama’s summit with Netanyahu this week was motivated largely by Obama’s desire to get the Israelis to hold off until after election day and Netanyahu was having none of it.

  • Not to vote for any of the three because they are not exactly correct, or even because they have wavered from a hard line– allows the bad guys to win.
    Shades of gray… gradations of evil… there is mortal sin and there is venial sin… being too much of a purist in this world may hand the reins to the worst of the worst.
    In this election we can’t step away from the knowledge that the evil taking place in this country in the agenda of the left – (DOJ, Education etc). means that this election is about more than the economic purity or lack of same in M. Romney.
    It is NOT just about Romney or Gingrich or Santorum ideas about how to govern the economy…the question is more about our ability to have a great economy to govern…a healthy economy depends upon a healthy culture. A third party vote by people on the right will enable the left.

  • were driven out by deeply anti-war elements in their own party. Not sure what would have happened in the general election.

    I do not think that is a fair description of the situation in 1952. The Henry Wallace wing of the Democratic Party had largely evaporated by that date and its political program repudiated by none other than Henry Wallace. I’m a Truman admirer myself, but said opinion was not shared by the electorate during most of his eight years in office. Even Jimmy Carter had better rapport with the public than did HST after 1949.

    If you are speaking of historical counterfactuals, you can never be sure. Given that Mr. Johnson nearly lost the New Hampshire primary and that his Vice President collared all of 42% of the vote in the general election, I tend to think it would have been heavy weather for him had he made the attempt.

  • A commenter over at Paul’s main blog concisely sums up Romney:

    “Mitt Romney must be the least electable candidate whose primary positive attribute is electability.”

    http://crankycon.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/dear-gop-drop-dead/#comment-5856

  • Jay Anderson, you are more in love with yourself than in the country hundreds of thousands have died for so you could have freedom. Freedom is under attack like never before by a man 54% of Catholics voted for, including the clergy at the highest level. That man is now attacking the Catholic Church directly as well as the free commerce clause of the Constitution, and also our right to pick our own doctors with whom we can consult and decide whether to have surgery or not based on our decisions, etc. There is only one man that is doing that because of his being President of the United States of America, and he is trying to turn us into the United States of Chicago the most corrupt city in the country.

    You and people like you are going to have people like me doing everything we can to get that man out of office so that our freedoms will be returned to us. We only have one chance to do that and that is this November’s election. If we don’t do that he will work even harder to destroy America and even more of our freedoms with a smile on his face because of mindless people who voted for him and by people like you who didn’t add your vote to those of millions for someone who has a chance to replace him. Whoever that replacement candidate is, I will be voting for even if I don’t trust him, because I will do that to save my own life and peace of mind, as well as that of my children and their children so they won’t have to give up their lives to restore freedom to this country – because that is what is going to take to get freedom back if we don’t defeat this President with our votes in this November.

  • Dial it down a notch, Stillbelieve.

  • Boy, you Romney diehards sure have a peculiar way of trying to gain converts. No wonder the guy is doing such a bang-up job in the primaries.

  • The Romney Panic Button argument is perfectly encapsulated by SB’s diatribe above.

    It assumes there is only one office up for grabs this December, that of the Presidency.

    The House will remain in GOP hands, and there’s a reasonable shot the Republicans take a Senate majority. The GOP has a stranglehold on the state houses and even a solid majority of governorships. Redistricting has hammered the Dems, even in places that tend to go blue nationally (e.g., Michigan–which is solid red in both state houses and all of the state executive positions).

    If these guys can’t organize a successful delaying action/resistance to a man who will be a lame duck the instant he’s sworn in in January 2013, then the country is in fatally-bad shape, a condition that won’t be fixed by Mr. Electable’s managerial tinkering.

    I’m not going to be stampeded by pro-Romney panic mongering, nor will he earn my vote by simply being the last man standing at the convention.

    By nominating Romney, the GOP would effectively endorse Obamacare, which is the tip of the spear assaulting the Church right now. I find that unacceptable. I also give a crap about high energy prices, unlike Governor Cap-n-Trade. Oh, and there’s that little matter of Mitt forcing Catholic hospitals to provide abortifacients, which tends to get ignored by his Catholic auxilliary.

    Which is not to say that there’s absolutely no chance I’ll vote for Romney in November. But he’s going to have to do something to earn my vote, and so far he’s not even close. After all, there are a lot of candidates who aren’t Barack Obama.

  • The typically insightful Jeff Goldstein has this to say about the race, in light of comments Mitt Romney had about the president not being responsible for the price of gas (a technically true statement, but also fairly tone deaf):

    Which, if he keeps going at this rate, the GOP establishment’s preferred candidate will have removed from the table as potentially clarifying GOP/conservative campaign issues TARP, the federal stimulus, individual mandates, First Amendment protections for individuals and religious institutions, Cap-and-trade, and the idea of an involved federal government setting minimum wage laws tied to inflationary rates.
    All of which must be intended to force the electorate to make a Presidential decision based on, like, hair or some such. Is what I think the plan is.

  • There is only one argument that I will make in favor of Romney if he is the nominee, and that is that he is not Obama. For some people like Jay that is insufficient, and I respect that, but for me it is suffient. Pro-Romney advocates should understand that a huge number of votes that he gets in November will simply be on that basis, and that basis alone.

  • DarwinCatholic

    “Dial it down a notch, Stillbelieve.”

    I did.

    And Romney is not my man, but if that is the only shot I got against Obama, then that’s the one I’m taking.

  • but if that is the only shot I got against Obama

    Not yet anyway.

  • For someone who “still believes”, you certainly give off a whiff of despair, desperation, and panic.

    And talk about having a high opinion of yourself, you’re the only one around here telling people that they MUST, simply MUST vote the way you tell them to or else risk all manner of calamity occurring all around us. As if voting the way you tell us we MUST is some magic pill that will make all the bad stuff go away.

    I know of only one Answer to all the world’s ills, and he’s not up for election. Of course, if you really “still believe”, then you already know that. How about acting like it rather than giving in to despair, desperation, and panic?

  • Which, if he keeps going at this rate, the GOP establishment’s preferred candidate will have removed from the table as potentially clarifying GOP/conservative campaign issues TARP, the federal stimulus, individual mandates, First Amendment protections for individuals and religious institutions, Cap-and-trade, and the idea of an involved federal government setting minimum wage laws tied to inflationary rates..

    1. Making bridge loans to distressed banks was a defensible idea, if haphazardly carried out. It has not worked out badly. It was proposed by a Republican president and the majority bloc in favor of it drew generously from both caucuses in Congress. I think we all might benefit if it was not on the table.

    2. The problem with ‘stimulus’ is that it was severely overdone and exploited as a vehicle for the Democratic congressional caucus to toss more bon bons at their favored constituencies. Criticism of that is very much on the table.

    3. Other than Dr. Paul, I think you would have a difficult time locating a national Republican candidate who had, in the last 35 years, advocated the abrogation of minimum wage laws. What Mr. Romney did say was that indexation of the minimum wage would be preferable to sharp legislated increases. I do not know that that commits him to a particular value for the minimum wage, and the value is what matters.

    4. Tradable permits is a tool for managing the commons. So are pollution control regulations, land use ordinances, and taxes on effluvia. There is no good reason to make the presence or absence of them a non-negotiable principle. Tradable permits were a generation ago being hawked by libertarians like S.H. Hanke as a partial alternative to environmental regulations.

    5. Since when is Mr. Romney an advocate of suppression of dissent?

  • “And before anyone accuses me of “wasting my vote” by voting for a 3rd party candidate”

    That may depend on what state you live in. If you live in a state whose electoral votes, on or close to the general election day, are pretty much in the bag for one candidate or the other, then your single vote probably won’t materially affect the outcome of the general election. In that case, your vote serves primarily as a means of self-expression or of doing your civic duty and you may have the relative “luxury” of voting for the person you personally prefer even if not a major party candidate.

    On the other hand, if you live in one of the hotly contested swing states like Florida or Ohio, where as little as one vote per precinct could determine the outcome, you may really need to think long and hard about voting for anyone other than the GOP candidate, unless you want Obama to win.

  • “That may depend on what state you live in… if you live in one of the hotly contested swing states like Florida or Ohio …”

    I live in THE swing state. High in the middle, round on both ends.

    And I STILL would not be “wasting my vote” by voting for a candidate of MY choice. No one and no party has any claim to my vote.

    But I WOULD be wasting my vote by voting for a candidate who I don’t like, who I don’t trust, and who doesn’t share my values and priorities merely because he’s NOT the other guy. Again, voting for Romney would be “wasting” my vote.

  • Wasting a vote is casting one that cannot possibly affect the outcome. If you don’t want to cast an unpleasant vote, that’s your decision. And if you want to claim that you’re effecting change by voting for a third-party candidate, you can make that argument that you’re not wasting your vote. But don’t confuse casting an unpleasant vote with wasting a vote.

    This analogy is going to be harsher than I intend, but it’s the only one I can think of: a child doesn’t eat his carrots and his mom throws them out, or he eats them with a frown on his face. In which scenario are the carrots wasted? Can the child claim the high ground, saying that eating the carrots would truly constitute wasting them? Should the mom give him Wonder Bread instead, which he would eat but would provide no substantive benefit?

  • Though I think one should be very sure that the vote in one’s state is not close nor potentially decisive for the election:

    http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=106938#FN3

  • The carrots aren’t being thrown away; they’re being given to someone else who is hungry and actually likes carrots.

  • hey all you American Catholics- I love you guys! where else would we talk so earnestly about the consequences, the utility, the proportional effect–

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