Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Policy Vs. Team

This consideration has been a long-running them here at the Kole Hard Facts. I watched throughout the Bush years as Republicans buried their heads in the sand as the size and scope of government expanded with LBJ-like rapidity. I have since been treated to the spectacle of Democrats pretending the wars and civil liberties don't matter and deficit spending is now wonderfully good economics now that Obama is president.

Now comes the Indiana gubernatorial race. I did some google searching for a position on marriage equality for Democrat John Gregg. (I didn't have to google for Pence, thank you.) I couldn't come up with anything at all. His website has a button that says "Issues", but if you go there, you will not find any listed. He's asking what issues are important to you.

But if Gregg is the Blue Dog Democrat I think I know him to be, then he's not going to put this issue at the front of his agenda, even while Mike Pence might. So, while Gregg doesn't say anything about this issue, or any other in fairness, most people who support marriage equality will likely conclude that they have to be against Pence, so Gregg gets the vote.

Here's Libertarian Rupert Boneham's position:

That's as plain spoken as it gets. Doesn't mince words. Doesn't hide. Doesn't hope to win the issue by hoping nobody brings it up.

So, let's see if that creates any real cognitive dissonance. I hope it does. If the issue is important to you, and you want marriage equality, why wouldn't you vote for Rupert?

Enter another common theme of the blog's lifespan: The Wasted Vote Syndrome.

Oh yes, wouldn't want to waste your vote on an unelectable Libertarian. Better to vote for the Lesser of Two Evils, right? Better to defeat Pence, right?

But wait- Gregg is trailing Pence by some 13 percentage points. (See the Lugar-Mourdock poll story and read down.) At this juncture, voting for Gregg is pretty much a wasted vote too.

So- will the GLBT community go with policy or team? You're team guy is giving you nothing right now. Rupert is giving you 100%.


patriot paul said...

The LP has problems on multiple fronts: name recognition, ideology emphasis, ballot recognition, lack of money, to name a few. Two things stand out to me:
1) High profile races where the national LP tries to find a shiny star to headline its party (Bob Barr, Wayne Root) only to find embarrassment & even betrayal to the LP.
2) Majoring in the minor. Cherry picking divisive issues, legalization of drugs, prostitutes, and legalizing Gay marriage under a similar definition as a man & wife contract.
These issues simply don't rise to the surface from nowhere. LP candidates wear it on their sleeve and divisively marginalize themselves before getting out of the gate by their own public statements & with the help of like-minded bloggers. The strategy just doesn't work and it doesn't endear the public to pay attention. I don't think the LP can help itself; the self-branding is reinforced every election cycle.

Mike Kole said...

I wouldn't paint with a broad brush on your point #2. In the past few years especially, we have seen the majority of our candidates focus on economic issues. We have a wide range of candidates in terms of their focus. For every Rupert (whom I get it already, you don't care for) there is a Chard Reid I happen to like both of them.

Two things come to mind about issues: 1) Every issue is divisive. Even if a consensus of voters concludes 'jobs' is the most important thing, watch the wailing and gnashing of teeth that follows the policy solutions proffered. So, please- you tell me what a 'safe' issue is. 2) Winning an election requires the cobbling together of constituencies. Some 10% of the population has gay marriage as an extremely important issue. Pence will make this a major part of his legislative agenda if elected- so, will you say that Mike Pence is 'majoring in the minor'? The Republicans have been doing this on the other side of the coin for years.

patriot paul said...

If the current LP self-branding is working for the candidates & the LP for a winning victory, then by all means, continue down that path.