Monday, September 19, 2016

The Pre-Endorsements: Confronting The Inevitable

If I could go to sleep and wake up sometime after Election Day, I probably would. It's awful, it's unbearable and while actual news is happening (you remember, the shit that actually matters) the media fixates on Hillary's hacking, wheezing coughing and hangs on every piece of verbal poo that flies out of The Donald's mouth. I honestly don't want to think about this train wreck of an election, but it's creeping up on me, so it's time to dip my toe into this kiddie pool of shit and see what I'm thinking about...  yes, it's time for The Pre-Endorsements...

For President:
I have no earthly idea who I'm going to vote for.  I can't stand Trump. I'm not a fan of Hillary. Jill Stein, despite being a candidate worth voting for in 2012, seems to have gone slightly off the deep end. (Though props for getting an arrest warrant- might be the only Presidential Candidate in history to get arrested in consecutive elections while running for President, with the possible exception of Eugene Debs.) Gary Johnson, despite needing to consult an atlas for the location of Aleppo,Syria, remains the most well-rounded and experienced candidate in the race. His wobbly on foreign affairs though is sort of worrying.

This is an incredibly frustrating choice to be contemplating and the two major candidates aren't helping matters any. Trump's little Tweet about sexual assault in the military was so disgusting that for the first time in the campaign, I seriously felt like I could potentially hold my nose and vote for Hillary. But now there's a question mark about her health* and she had to go take a shit on half the country and that doesn't exactly make me want to run out to the voting booth and cast a vote for her.**

But, looking at this handy-dandy list of candidates I found on the Auditor's Site, I've got some homework today. There's more than four options, that's for sure.

For Senate:
This might be the year I break with Senator Grassley and vote for his Democratic opponent, Patty Judge. To be honest though, I can't remember if I voted for him in 2010 or not. I feel like I probably went 3rd Party that cycle, because, well, it was a boring race and really I didn't care. But this time...  hmmmm...  it's a balance between the potential of losing a lot of influence for Iowa (Grassley is the Chair of The Senate Judiciary Committee) and Senator Grassley's stance on the reclassification of 911 Dispatchers from Administrative to Protective Services annoys me***. The whole Supreme Court dust-up doesn't really bother me all that much, because if you switch the parties on both sides of that argument around, you'd still have the same exact arguments. There are some 3rd Party Options out there- I see that the New Independent Party Iowa is still around and fielding candidates, so I'll have to do some homework here.

For Congress:
Honestly, this one is probably the closest to a no-brainer that I've ever seen. I've got no particular objection to Congressman Loebsack and therefore, I've got no particular reason not to vote for the guy. Is voting for someone the same as endorsing them? That I don't know. My overall reaction to the dude is a sort of 'meh.' He's doing his job competently from what I know- which admittedly, isn't much, but you have to figure if he's not in the news for fucking something up, he can't be that bad, right?

Everything Else:
No State Senators on the ballot this cycle, but there's a state representative seat- Mary Mascher is, of course, running unopposed in District 86.

Board of Supervisors? Three candidates, three to be selected. Gee, I wonder who's going to get selected in this race.

Auditor, unopposed.

Sheriff, unopposed.

LIFE GOAL for the non-partisan offices: figure out what the hell the Agricultural Extension Council and the Soil and Water Conservation Commission actually do.

Judicial Retention? I'd vote to retain. (After the whole dust-up with outside money after the Varnum Decision, I've tended to vote to retain across the board just because I don't want my state's judicial system used as a play thing in the national culture wars. I see no reason to change that practice this time around.)

Iowa City Ballot Measure? Hell yes I'm supporting this... if for no other reason than to bring our City Charter in line with the Iowa Code. But in general, streamlining and making the petition requirements simpler- if not necessarily easier has got to be good for our local democracy and anything that's good for our local democracy I'm in favor of.

We'll see what the next month shakes looks, but for now, it's time to get to it, roll up my sleeves and start doing my homework.

*She's working a schedule that would kill a normal person in a sprint to the finish of a very nasty election. Of course she's gonna get sick- that's not the problem, the problem is the video that legitimized every tinfoil hat whack-a-doo conspiracy theorist out there and it's not the facts that matter with stuff like this, it's the perception. Maybe it won't matter by Election Day, but on the other hand...  maybe it will.

**Look, she's not wrong. But again, it's a perception thing. I don't know how many undecideds are out there but any soft Trump supporters or any 3rd Party types that might be considering a tactical vote against Trump as we get to the finish line won't take it well. It's like Mittens and his 47% remark. It wasn't wrong, per say- but people thought he was talking about them. And they'll think the same wit this. I saw a great quote yesterday: "You can't spit on people and then tell them it's raining." I think that applies. Again, might not matter by Election Day. But then again, maybe it will.

***I'm planning a future blog post on this issue. So stay tuned.

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