On Tuesday, I’m off to vote for, oh, let’s say Rick Santorum. My housemate will do similarly, although I think he’s leaning toward the old Mittster.
I noticed that former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer is still on the Illinois ballot, though he officially dropped off the GOP slate and went rogue back in February. Rick Perry’s there, too, but he’s already got a defined-benefit pension gig in Texas. Oh, yeah, and good ol’ Ron Paul. He’s sure no John B. Anderson.
I’ll be pulling a Republican ballot in Tuesday’s primary. Illinois doesn’t require one to actually belong to a party to pull its ballot, so in this state a voter gets to choose the ballot she thinks can make the most difference.
Tuesday, I want to make sure I hold my nose and vote for Don Manzullo because as much as Don has disappointed me, that Kinzinger fella has scary, right-winger written all over him. One more term, Don; then retire graciously. Plus, I have doubts Kinzinger can find his way to Rockford.
(Update: After I posted, I came across a reminder that maybe Don isn’t the right guy. Forgot he’s one of those inside-stealth-conservative on the Republican Study Committee, and as a study out today shows, it’s the RSC that’s been behind all that bad behavior in Congress.)
I also want a say in who runs against Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato in the general election. Democrat Bruscato has no primary opposition, so by “voting Republican,” I can choose between Glen Weber and David Gill.
I do wish I could take a quick swipe at the Democratic ballot. There’s one race I’d like a chance to vote in just to ensure that Dan Lewandowski does not get my vote. I know the “party” thinks it’s “Dan’s time,” but he was, without doubt, beyond rude to me and made clear his less-than-favorable opinions in ways wholly unprofessional. Sorry, Marla Wilson and Steve Stadelman; but I can only pull one ballot. You’re both head and shoulders better candidates.
Olden day primaries were for the faithful; a glorified, members-only mechanism for choosing a general election candidate. They don’t work well these days and Illinois would be far better served to create a single, “y’all-come” ballot. Let every voter have a crack at the Democrats, the Republicans and anyone else that makes the cut.
I mean, be real. Voter turnout in primaries is so low we could gather at the Stockholm Inn for coffee and a vote count. People who show up for primaries care — a lot. They’re knowledgeable about the candidates and the issues. Yeah, we’re the true believers who know that for all its flaws, this is one great system we’ve got going here.
A one-ballot primary would mitigate some of the kinds of vote shifting that I’m doing and give voters a clearer, cleaner way to make their choices. There’s just something not quite right about playing the odds with a primary ballot.
What makes this all so goofy is that state and national campaigns define us by our last ballot pulled. This year, my household is GOP; a few years ago, it was Democrat. Oh, and the ballot one pulls determines the White House Christmas card one gets. How delightful to get a card each year from Bill and Hillary — or George and Laura depending on the year.
The GOP thinks mine is a Republican-leaning household. That’s what they call us when we get those robo-calls and polls. “Because you are a Republican-leaning household….” the calls begin. We usually don’t make it past the first cut on the polls, though because I tell the truth when they ask if “anyone in your household is a member of the media.” Yep. Click.
If you’re wondering, let me clarify: I’ll vote for Barack Obama come November. I voted for Hillary Clinton back in 2008. I felt then, and still do, that Clinton was the better choice for the 2008-2016 stretch (pragmatic, experienced, focused, determined, fearless, Bill) and Obama a perfect foil come the eight-year-stretch beginning in 2016 (inspiring, collaborating, visionary, inclusive).
One to slog with us through the really awful current decade; the second to lead and inspire us forward. Could have made for a most excellent 16 years. Ah, well ….. Back to Tuesday and the Republicans.
Time for a single primary ballot. Enough of this goofy, fake party stuff.