Why Would Any Man Vote Democrat?

So asks Dr. Gordon Finley, via Dr. Helen, via Dr. Glen Reynolds. Since such a well-educated consort wants to know, allow me to answer.

As a citizen of the Great State of Georgia, allow me to say that I am seriously considering voting for Michelle Nunn. My reasons are the same reasons she is doing very well across the state.
The reason Michelle Nunn is running more-or-less even with Perdue is that she comes from a family famous in the state for excellent service in the Senate. Her father is almost a watchword for what a good Senator should look like. In addition, she's made her career working with the Bush family ever since the first Bush administration. So Republicans can look at her and see a woman who can reach across the aisle, has plenty of respect from their own party, and has a kind of life-long apprenticeship from the man whose Senate career Georgia voters already most respect.

David Perdue comes from the same family as Sonny Perdue, a recent governor who broke key election promises to base voters, and was unimpressive as governor. David Perdue has no experience in politics from which to judge, but he made his career on Wall Street, a place whose name normally turns up in Georgia elections as a curse: e.g., 'If elected, I will defend the values of Main Street against Wall Street.'
For that matter, I am considering voting for Jason Carter, Jimmy Carter's grandson. This is not because I am enthusiastic about him as a candidate. It is because Nathan Deal, the Republican incumbent, has been a terrible governor. Longtime readers of the page will remember that I supported his candidacy in 2010, on the strength of his having been a perfectly decent congressman (in my district) for a long time. His performance as governor ought to be disqualifying for a second term.

Partly I think the length of his service in Washington is responsible, as it detached him from his state for so long and attached him to powerful national interests instead. A man who had spent more time at home would not have bungled last year's blizzard so badly, because any native son of Georgia should have known how huge a disaster even a few inches of snow and ice would be for the state.

Setting all that aside, however, how can you excuse the worst unemployment rate in the entire nation? This isn't Detroit! A Republican governor with a Republican legislature, if he accomplishes nothing else, ought at least to be a spur to the economy. If he can't do that -- and very manifestly he cannot -- how can he possibly put himself forward for a second term?

Well, I know the arguments against voting Democratic, because they are helpfully mailed to me by various interest groups. Presumably a Democratic governor and Senator cannot be trusted on gun rights, and will try to drive Georgia against its grain on social issues. A Democratic Senate is harmful in terms of court appointments, including to the Supreme Court in the event that a vacancy should occur. It is also harmful in terms of oversight, and there is perhaps even a positive national program that a unified Congress could push on a reluctant, lame-duck President.

The issues Dr. Helen and her cohort raise frankly don't rise to the same level of consideration. I don't dismiss them, but they pale beside the issues of national destiny and character we face.

Why might a man vote Democratic? I have not decided that I will, because the national concerns especially are very pressing. But now you know why I might: because the Democrats have recruited better candidates, and the Republicans currently serving at the state level have done a disgraceful job.


Anonymous said...

I am glad to hear that you are giving time and consideration to those you might cast a vote for in the coming election. I am always in favor of voting for the man, not the party.

Why do you accept the paradigm of voting, though? You have the democrat and the republican and are enthusiastic about neither.
Democrats are prone to act against your interests and freedoms in one way, and republicans are prone to act against them in others. Both are harmful to you, so why choose the lesser to two evils?

I have voted in all the elections I have been eligible for since I came of age, but I am at the point now where I am finished picking who I would rather have pick my pocket. I am done deciding who I would rather have legislating what to point a gun at me about next. By not voting I am withdrawing my consent in this one miniscule area available to me.

Eric Blair said...

And by doing so, you surrender any pretence of being a citizen.

Eric Blair said...

And this is just vile:

Grim said...

I think BB1's point is not ill-taken, though you're right: it does mean relinquishing citizenship. He's talking about withdrawing his consent to be governed, insofar as he can. That's the first step on the road to revolution.

I've said that I favor a restoration, but that I expect we'll need to see a collapse first. I think the collapse is coming faster than we might believe.

In any case, that flyer is not vile by the standards of Georgia politics!

Erick Erickson has some examples worse than that, even. They don't rise to the level of the one cited in the last paragraph, though.

Grim said...

Oh, BB1:

The answer to your question is this: voting is a weapon. It's not been my habit to lay those down while they were still of use.

Tom said...

And by doing so, you surrender any pretence of being a citizen.

What's the logic behind that? Let's take BB1's claim at face value and assume his voting choice is between two equally bad candidates. Let's say the only thing that really distinguishes them is which freedom they want to take away from us, and those freedoms are equally valuable to us. Why should a citizen vote in that situation?

Grim said...

What should a citizen do instead? Or, perhaps, is 'remaining a citizen' the right choice? That's Eric's claim, and it's not necessarily incompatible with BB1's: at some point, in withdrawing your consent to be governed, you are walking away.

douglas said...

Perhaps President Obama has given you a good reason, at least in the Senatorial race-
"I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them."

As for the Gubernatorial race, well, I can't say I know enough about Georgia's situation to comment.

Tom said...

Something I didn't really think about last night is that BB1 seems to be contemplating not voting ever again. That's a different thing than simply not voting in one particular election, and I can better understand your and Eric's opinion in that light.

Early morning and coffee make me a better reader.

On the topic, though, where else would one go? There is no more frontier; a man fed up with oppression can't just pack up and walk west to the edge of society any more. Acting on the desire to be left alone is a powerful tradition for Americans, but now that option is foreclosed. The statism our ancestors left when they came here has caught up with us. I guess we can fight or hide from it, but there is no running.

Dad29 said...

The employment issue is pretty hot here in Wisconsin, too. (R) Walker promised 250K jobs, but has not come close, although employment is on the right track.

But Governors have few tools for such growth IF one is a Conservative. Many of the "growth" initiatives carry attached State concessions on taxes--which amount to subsidies. Not "conservative."

And while "less regulation" is a worthy and achievable goal, States are usually tools of Federal regulatory schemes. (I will agree that creative resistance to Fed meddling is usually un-tried.)

Finally, it should be clear that the national economy is not robust. In fact, it could be called anemic. What's a State governor to do about that?

(One can argue--many have--that the economy is struggling to overcome Fed policies. But one can also argue that demand is flat, despite Fed "stimulus" efforts. Hmmmmmm.....)

MikeD said...

Just a note on the Ferguson flyer... isn't Ferguson almost exclusively a Democrat enclave? Isn't the city of St. Louis a Democrat enclave? In what POSSIBLE way is what happened in Ferguson the responsibility of Republicans?

Texan99 said...

I hope you'll be happy with what the Senate does, if Georgia proves to be the tipping point. It's hard for me to imagine a D-controlled Senate creating jobs.

Cass (not a robot) said...

Mike you ignorant manslut :p

EVERYTHING bad that happens anywhere in the Multiverse is the fault of Republicans.

Interesting article in the WaPo today - apparently there's a group of black voters who are talking about voting Rethug b/c they're dissatisfied with the current bunch of (D) elected officials :p

Grim said...

It's sad that I am obligated even to consider voting for Perdue, because of that 'tipping point' issue. Ordinarily, it would be very easy to decide not to vote for him, and in favor of Nunn. But the rest of the country is so divided that we have to think about the macro-effect of party control, and not merely about who would be the better Senator.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Cass - younger male African-Americans are moving toward Republican voting. I think the numbers are short of 20%, but in a usual environment of less than 10%, it may be significant. I have not heard an explanation. Republicans likely hope that it is because the message has finally gotten through that they are not against anyone, but neutral. Yet politics seldom works that way.

In the 1990's the Romanians and Hungarians, at a minimum, often had to choose among fascists, communists, and ethnic identity crazies of various stripes. Choices much more miserable than we face here. But what can one do? Refuse to vote and leave the ground to the extremists forever?

Eric Blair said...

I'd like to know where that 20% number is coming from, because that is not the impression I get, but it may just be my particular location.

Ymar Sakar said...

Against the existence of the Left, it was never about voting Republican or Democrat. The various Confederate states did not follow the Democrat party to war because of voting.

They did so because their culture, their priests, their politicians, and their community leaders thought it was the right thing to do.

Just as the Left believes Ebola and Obola together is the Right Thing We Do, that Government is what We All Do Together. Or die trying.

Cass said...

Cass - younger male African-Americans are moving toward Republican voting. I think the numbers are short of 20%, but in a usual environment of less than 10%, it may be significant. I have not heard an explanation. Republicans likely hope that it is because the message has finally gotten through that they are not against anyone, but neutral. Yet politics seldom works that way.

That's encouraging, AVI. I hope it's true - unemployment is so high among young men already, and it's worse among young black men. We've got to find a way to offer them jobs where they can earn, not a princely wage (because that's a function of already having marketable skills or being willing to work very long hours), but a living wage.

I would think that the current Dem platform of demanding all sorts of benefits packages and higher minimum wages would fall flat with young men (many of whom have pretty simple needs, at least until they get a few years older). They already don't buy health insurance and I suspect many would be glad to be able to find a decent job, sans benefits.

Benefits didn't matter a darn to me until I was almost 40. In a tough labor market, just *having* a job is the real prize.

Having been in that labor market until I finally finished school, it infuriates me to have some politician actively making unskilled/young workers LESS employable out of some misguided notion that fringe benefits are somehow necessities.

Cass said...

And not "living wage" in the sense the Dems use it, but "living wage" in the sense that it will provide for the basics, but you will probably have to share an apartment, utilities, etc. just like your parents did when they were first starting out. Enough to live on.

Joel Leggett said...

Grim I am fascinated by your reasons for considering voting for Nunn over Purdue. It appears, from what you have posted, that your reasons for choosing Nunn have little to do with her as a candidate or her accomplishments in other fields. You simply seem to prefer her because of who her dad was. Why, on any level, would this be a compelling reason to vote for anyone? She is obviously not her father. Why would you consider voting for someone just because of who their dad was? Is there something magical passed in the blood? It must be due to the fact that children of famous men never turn out bad and always mirror the talents and judgment of their parents.

As a dyed-in-the-wool republican (form of government not political party) such thinking by another American is frustrating in the extreme. If bloodline is a reliable predictor of governing competence then the arguments of our founding fathers against the idiocy of inherited monarchy and aristocracy were either false or unreliable. Maybe Jefferson was out to lunch when he, like Thomas Pain, attacked the idea of an inherited right to rule. Maybe Andrew Jackson was wrong to challenge the Adams political dynasty and should simply have bowed to his Eastern seaboard betters.

Vote for a candidate based on THEIR talents or record, NOT on those of their father.

Grim said...

You misunderstand the argument, Joel. It is not just that she will have learned at the feet of her father, but also that she has spent a career reaching across the political divide between Republicans and Democrats. That is a valuable skill, and indicates a mindset I think helpful. Those are positive reasons to vote for her.

And then there are positive reasons to vote against her opponent: to whit, that he has no political experience, and that he is tied so tightly to Wall Street interests. Any student of Southern history should know how baleful the relationship has been between the South and the powerful banks in New York.

So, taken together, the only reason to vote for Perdue against Nunn is not "THEIR talents or record," but party interests purely. I would have to vote against the better candidate, not on individual merits, but because it might empower a party.

Joel Leggett said...

What specifically has she done "to reach across the political divide?" On what issue(s) has she done this? To what end? This "skill" is only valuable if it has been used for something positive. A politician’s ability to maneuver between factions is nothing specifically praise worthy (might even be damnable) unless it is employed to strengthen the Republic. I don’t, like almost all Democrats, believe that increasing the size, scope and power of government strengthens the Republic.

Elecing Nunn as the junior senator from Georgia will ensure that the seat goes to someone beholden to political masters in a party committed to the unrestrained growth of government power and spending. She will be dependent on them for committee assignments and such. If you want someone who will do their bidding in order to further her career then vote for her. I fail to see how any of this makes her a better candidate or the best candidate for a conservative state like Georgia.

Grim said...

Well, most of her work has been done in faith-based charity efforts. She built her own such foundation in Georgia, and then merged it with George H.W. Bush's foundation, of which she later served as CEO and President. She also worked in that capacity to advise the Senate in its construction of the bipartisan Serve America Act of 2009.

She's endorsed by Zell Miller, for that matter. So if you want to talk about political parties, her party is his party, and his party is Jackson's.

There's a huge problem with the national Democratic party, as Zell Miller will be the first to agree, and I'll be the second. But in Georgia, something of the old party remains.

douglas said...

I think Joel is onto a good criticism, but perhaps an inversion- It's fair to think that Michelle Nunn has benefited in a proper way from her father's political work and knowledge, but on the other side- is it fair to blame the son for the sins of the father, in the case of Perdue? I thought we put that idea aside some time ago.

Grim said...

In the parts of the South that have not been overrun by immigration from the Rust Belt and elsewhere, family is still tremendously important. It's fair to say that David Perdue is being considered for the office of Senator, on the basis of no public experience at all, in large part because of his family ties.

Of course, the other reason is because of his wealth. It is very helpful to becoming a Senator if you have a great deal of money. Still, even a Wall Street man who made a fortune as Perdue did would have trouble becoming the Senate nominee with no political experience if he wasn't the cousin of someone who knew all the right people to introduce.

douglas said...

I'd like to think that I hold family in as great of importance as anyone, but I'm pretty slow to damn someone based on the works of their father. Is there really no basis of his own works and ideas that one can evaluate in whether to vote for him or not?

That it helps to know people who know people, and also to have money is not a secret, and will always be true. To make it some sort of automatic disqualifier would be typical leftist class warfare. They used it against Romney, for pete's sake. It also appears that you're trying to say that we need our politicians to have political experience, as opposed to say business experience, or leadership, or other real world experience. I'd be quite happy if we elected a Senate that had no prior political experience at all. It's being inside the political bubble too long that seems to be the problem, not the cure.

Grim said...

A fair point. I haven't gotten into the specifics of the argument about just how Perdue made his money because they are just the sort of arguments that tend to annoy former Romney supporters. It's not 'class war' exactly, but it is about how he made millions destroying American businesses he happened to buy (and then sell in pieces); how he put thousands of people out of work, but bills himself as a 'job creator' (not mentioning that the jobs were in places like Thailand).

There's a certain argument that I respect, which holds that this function is like the function of a vulture or a scavenger in nature: not pretty, but a necessary part of economics. Still, it's clear that the man made his money by putting other Americans out of work and shipping jobs overseas. Now Georgia has the highest unemployment in the nation, largely because of this off-shoring movement: since NAFTA and subsequent trade agreements, whole industries that used to be located here have moved production out of the US. You can see why his actual experience is not the kind of experience many Georgians were hoping to find in their political representative in the Senate.

douglas said...

Well, certainly that's not a great way to make inroads with the working man...

I think Romney was unfairly portrayed as one of these 'vultures', but certainly there are those who give the stereotype it's kernel of truth.

I suppose it's also fair to ask if we need a technocrat (of sorts) in the Senate, or someone who has shown an ability to do more than solve problems in a technically effective way- Humans are more complex than that.

Still, as someone not a resident of Georgia, I urge you to vote Republican with the consideration that Harry Reid and Barack Obama are a part of the picture, like it or not.

douglas said...

Grim, I think a persuasive argument hit me while I was driving today. Given your concerns about the preservation of the franchise, and the recent revelations of the easy proof that millions (!) of votes are being cast by non-citizens every election, you have a choice to vote for a party that supports doing something (however weak medicine voter ID is) about it, and a party that doesn't want to do anything about it, except perhaps see more of it. Whatever Nunn might do once elected on her own right, doesn't that matter little so long as the franchise is so threatened, and her party essentially supports the weakening of the system further?

Grim said...

Is the Republican Party against this, or are they hoping to make them citizens via an amnesty that will make the problem permanent? My sense is, frankly, that at least at the national level the Republican Party wants to ensure that these non-citizens become citizens, so that they can remain forever and continue to depress wages by inflating the labor supply (and being accustomed to lower standards of living).

What we need to do -- expel the millions of illegals who are diluting wages, and institute a more protectionist agenda that will preserve jobs inside the borders -- seems to be on no one's agenda.