Update: After a day’s worth of DNS outage, and another day where the database disappeared, I’m back. Lesson learned: the way I was archiving my Movable Type database was wrong, very wrong. I’m not making that mistake again. Now, on with our regularly scheduled fun:
Jen and I ventured out into the freezing Maryland morning to vote yesterday in the Chesapeake Primary, also referred to as the Potomac Primary on CNN. We sat on the bed sipping coffee in the morning and talked a little bit about each of the candidates and how we felt about them, feeling guilty that we’d not done more research before today. I can’t watch too much of the election coverage in the news anymore, because it’s just the same stupid sentences repeated over and over again, like a toddler banging pots together, so I’m not familiar with the media’s version of how the candidates stand on the issues. And really, that’s my bad for not following up on it. I like to think I’m a social liberal and a fiscal conservative—I don’t believe in welfare as the cure for all society’s ills, nor do I believe religion has any place in politics, and I think that the states should make their own choices in many issues the federal government has taken up for itself. As you may imagine, the last eight years has sucked moose balls for people like me. (Remember peace and prosperity? A balanced budget and a federal surplus? The current guy pissed that all away real quick.)
One thing I’m highly confused about is the issue of super delegates. We saw the NBC Nightly News a couple of days ago, and Katie Couric handed the desk over to two morons who decided to explain the idea of super delegates with a cartoon reel, like America is supposed to be a class of second-graders watching Nickelodeon. Their “explanation” of the whole thing was that no matter who wins the popular vote in America, the super delegates have the final say when caucus time comes around, essentially negating the choice of the people, and that super delegates aren’t elected by the people at all. Sounding familiar?
Well, on NPR this morning I heard a different story from a correspondent who claimed that the super delegates only carry 40% of the final say in the party’s choice, not the final say. The example given, of Gary Hart vs. Walter Mondale in the 1984 elections, is sobering. While I don’t pretend to believe anyone, Republican or Democrat, would have beaten Reagan in ’84, the super delegates’ choice in that race was, obviously, a poor one.
Wikipedia has a pretty decent article up about the issue, although it’s Wikipedia, so the usual caveat emptor applies. They claim that super delegates only make up 20% of the total number of delegates. Their article on brokered conventions is also worth a look, because from all I’m able to gather, it’s looking that’s the future for us registered Democrats.
So here’s the crux of my confusion: which is it? Do the primaries really even matter (I don’t buy the “super delegates take the primary results into consideration before voting” line of crap) or did I freeze my ass off just to piss in the wind?
Speaking of pissing in the wind, we saw several lawn signs for Ron Paul on our way to the polls. What is it with that guy? Looking at his campaign platform, he’s all over the damn place. For every thing I see that I like, there’s another five things where I think, Damn, you’re crazy, dude.
The other thing that has me thinking: I heard a woman on NPR this afternoon, interviewed in Wisconsin, who was looking at her choices for the Republican primary, and she sort of laughed and said that she didn’t think he had a chance of winning, but that she was going to vote for Huckabee because she didn’t think McCain had enough Christian values.
I stand before you, puzzled, and ask this question honestly. What exactly are Christian values?
I’m looking at some basic facts about the two Republicans, and as I’ve always said, with a few differences of opinion, I like McCain. He lost his way during the Bush years, but he’s the best Republican I’ve seen in my lifetime, and I’d really like to like a Republican for a change. I don’t agree with his hawkish stance on the war, and I don’t like the fact that he’s changed his position on a lot of things (Roe v. Wade, marriage, and taxes), but I like a good portion of his other opinions. I get the feeling he would do whatever the fuck he thought was right once he got into office, within reason.
Huckabee I can’t get behind due to a lot of his public statements about gays, marriage, creationism, and taxes. And I have strong feelings about religion mixed with politics, as stated above. I don’t want fundamentalists anywhere near the Constitution or the big red button in the current social and global climate, and I get the feeling he’s just waiting to write whole volumes of amendments.
So what exactly does a candidate have to do to have “good Christian values”? If I remember correctly, the current guy got elected on a platform of “good Christian values”, and look where that’s got us.
I think superdelegates are only relevant if no candidate reaches the 2,025 delegates they need before the nominating conventions. The superdelegates vote regardless, but their votes only decide the race if neither Hillary nor Barak has the 2,025.
And I may or may not have sent this to you the other day: