Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Go Vote Already

I am really tired of holding my nose when I vote.  Last year, it was because John McCain was at the top of the ticket, the wrong ticket.  This year it is because Kentucky Republicans have nominated for Governor the political equivalent of Lord Voldemort. In both instances, the outcome is known before the first vote is cast, so what should be a joyful act that expresses freedom just feels sad and pointless.

We don't know whether any of our down-ticket races will survive.  I am hopeful Jamie Comer will win Agriculture Commissioner. In the Attorney General race, however, we are probably looking at four more years of Jack Conway's perfectly coiffed hair, or however long it takes for Jack to find a better gig.  His campaign reflects his ambivalence about the job; he doesn't want to lose and yet does not really want to be Kentucky Attorney General. He said as much to one of his Republican friends who was looking at running for AG. Conway's honest take of the job is that it's not so great.

What we do know, before the polls close, is that David Williams is going to get pounded.  So what lessons do we draw from that?

That it is important to be nice.

Kentucky is a small state. We view each other as neighbors and family. Consequently, when one is rude and vicious, even to fight for a really important ideological principle, we cringe. Word gets 'round. Kentuckians don't like to reward the use of sharp elbows.

David Williams is a brilliant man. I appreciate his willingness to serve, and I think that he is a true conservative on most issues.  The smallness of Kentucky -- the fact that we all know how David Williams comports himself -- makes it nearly impossible to elect a politician who is ideologically and intellectually solid and yet also regarded as a jerk. This is a consequence of our smallness, and I don't think that it is such a bad thing.

Sure, in Chicago, David Williams' aggressiveness and causticness would play differently; maybe he'd be up by 25 points instead of down by that margin.  But one of the things that many of us (particularly transplants!) value about Kentucky is that we will never have to look at Rahm Emanuel as our mayor.

That could never happen here.  Let's remember that reality the next time we vote in a primary.

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