Can I vote out of spite?
Since Super Tuesday is fast approaching, I think I should come out and say who I’m supporting in the race for the Democratic nomination. But first, my voting history.
I turned 18 in 1998, so was robbed of the opportunity to vote for Bill Clinton, who I would have wholeheartedly supported. I was very influenced by the Third Way movement and centrism in general, and I’m still somewhat of a hawk and an avowed capitalist. Thus, my first presidential vote was for Al Gore in 2000. As we all know, that turned out swimmingly.
In 2004 I did volunteer work for Joe Lieberman in DC and in New Hampshire the weekend before the primary. Again, way for me to pick the winning horse. I was still backing the Iraq war then, and he was the only Democrat still behind it whose trade policies I could stand (as opposed to Gephardt). After Lieberman dropped out, I eventually made one of the largest misjudgments of my political life: I backed Bush.
I almost immediately knew my Bush vote was an irrational reaction to insufferable liberals in my midst, and it really hit home after Katrina. I vowed never again to let contrarianism or personal antipathy conflict with my good sense ever again, As more and more horrors of the Bush White House were exposed, I resolved to be a better Democrat and to never vote GOP at the national level again. In the years since the 2004 election, I’ve repudiated both the Iraq war and George W. Bush, and have probably moved as far to the left as I ever have in my life. Still, though, I’m still relatively centrist. I want the Iraq war to end, yet I want US troop levels in Afghanistan tripled. I want the Bush tax cuts reversed, yet I want CAFTA passed and the Doha round completed. I want universal health care passed and the FDA’s budget doubled.
The Democratic field this year has narrowed itself down to the only two candidates I was comfortable with in the first place. Dodd and Biden were never going to win, and Gravel was hobbled by his resemblance to Abe Simpson. I’ve always hated Kucinich for the alternative medicine/New Age hokum. John Edwards apparently thought he could end globalization simply through the power of his massive empathy for the working man, which always struck me as retarded. I lean Clinton for the formative reasons I outline above, but I can say truthfully that I’m completely open to Obama. I haven’t bought into his Messaih complex, nor do I buy Clinton’s experience argument. I am the very model of an undecided voter.
DC votes a week after Super Tuesday, so I still have some time to make up my mind. Assuredly, the above will make my blogpals and readers think I’m much more conservative than I’ve let on in the past, and that’s probably true. In any case, that’s where I stand heading into today’s primaries, and I thought you all should know.
To get to back to this post’s title, every time Andrew Sullivan posts anything about Hillary, I am severely tempted to vote for her, if only to piss him off. Posts like this, where he suddenly cares about feminism, simply drive me up the wall. His entire shtick this primary season has been to pretend to give a damn about all sorts of liberal ideals in an effort to show how Hillary is betraying them. He is, for lack of a less bloggy term, the ultimate concern troll, and I hope he realizes that every word he posts on her only drives more people into her fold, if only in disgust for his obvious hatred and preening.
That said, I’ve learned my lesson, and my vote will not be dictated by the revulsion I feel for the supporters of any particular candidate. Still, to see Sullivan writhe in pain as the second President Clinton is inaugurated is something I would give my right arm to see.