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Reply #16: Yes. Here's the problem with not voting for her out of protest: [View All]

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Strawman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-02-06 01:21 PM
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16. Yes. Here's the problem with not voting for her out of protest:
Edited on Mon Oct-02-06 01:25 PM by Strawman
First off, none of the elites in the Democratic party consultantocracy will link her loss to her vote for torture. They'll just blame it on the economy or if they do consider her position on the "war on terror," they're probably more likely to conclude that she didn't come off as tough as the Sheriff did.

I know. It sucks. I would love to stick it to her personally for being such a hack and a sellout, but there's more at stake than teaching someone a lesson or feeling good personally about the individually expressive act that is affectively associated with voting. There's no silver lining in an abstention or a wasted vote for a Green or someone else on the left. A vote for Stabenow does have a silver lining that has nothing to do with her: potential Democratic control of the Senate.

And remember, we vote by secret ballot. You get to do it behind a curtain and you don't have to boast about it or even tell anyone how you voted if you don't want to. If you don't want to explain your Senate vote to your kids or anyone else, my suggestion is simply: don't.

As for not being able to look at myself in the mirror, or taking a shower after voting for Stabenow etc.., meh, I'll be fine with voting for her. I'm a grown up. As much as I might like to think that my vote has some symbolic meaning on the torture issue, it doesn't, and if enough people become too self-important about what their vote on Nov. 7th really is all about, it can lead to disunity among progressives and center-left voters and bad outcomes. The general election vote is strictly a utilitarian instrument at the END of the political campaign process. It is not a tacit endorsement of torture to vote for Stabenow. It is not a symbolic yea to the awful Bankruptcy Bill. It is a vote for a REPRESENTATIVE legislator who votes on ALL of the issues and forms part of a party caucus that controls the Senate. I either add to one of the viable candidates' expected count or I subtract from it. I have two viable choices in this US Senate contest. One is, on balance, significantly better than the other despite her many faults. Even though it frustrates me that we do not have better politically viable choices, right now, in this contest, we don't, and the remedy for that problem is to organize progressives for the next election cycle and boot her ass off the ticket next primary season. On November 7th, it's too late for uncompromising idealism. That ship has sailed. There was no Ned Lamont in Michigan this year. Liberals and progressives missed an opportunity to challenge Stabenow during the primary season and as one of them I deserve a share of the blame for that. Most likely, I would have voted against her then.

It would certainly feel good to stick it to Stabenow on Nov. 7. But after the satisfaction and the brief afterglow of that statement quickly wears off, how good will erstwhile Dems feel on the morning of November 8th if Mike Bouchard pulls off an upset and steals a potentially pivotal seat from the Democrats by a handful of votes. How good will they feel when Karl Rove's hand picket Senate Majority Leader calls the new Senate into session next January? Will those Dems who cast protest votes look in the mirror then or will they be content to merely join in the predictable rants about Diebold?
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