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October 12, 2008

Down the Ballot

With elections approaching, it's time to go down the ballot and figure out who to vote for. Here are my choices in my new home in Northern Virginia.

President
Obama/Biden (D)I think that Obama would be a disastrous president. He will give us a redux of Carter on foreign policy, and would be as bad as Johnson or maybe even Nixon on domestic politics. His socialist policy tendencies would be bad for the economy. His misunderstandings of the Constitution — or maybe it's just interpreting it away to get his policy preferences despite their being unconstitutional — are dangerous to Liberty. I am voting very strongly against Obama because of all of this, but mostly because of the foreign policy implications. If the Democrats had nominated Hillary, I would have been voting for her. They didn't; I'm not.
McCain/Palin (R)I do not like John McCain. (I do like Palin.) McCain would be good on the war, and at least passable on foreign policy otherwise. That's it. His economic populism is likely to be quite damaging to the economy, though popular. His misunderstandings or outright contempt for the Constitution when he disagrees with it (see McCain-Feingold) are dangerous to Liberty. He would be, at most, a mediocre president. If this were not a wartime election, or I were not in a swing state, I would write in someone. But since it is a wartime election, and I am in a swing state, the reality is that my choices are between Obama (disaster all around) and McCain (disaster except on foreign policy). Sadly, that leaves me voting for McCain.
Baldwin/Castle (Independent Green)Don't know anything about them, and for reasons explained above, don't care.
Barr/Root (L)I like Bob Barr a lot, and if it weren't for the war, might vote for him. But the Libertarians, in reacting as if we are in the wrong for fighting terrorists (they are even against our presence in Afghanistan) have lost my vote, possibly forever, certainly as long as terrorism is a category 1 threat.
McKinney/Clemente (Green)Wouldn't vote for McKinney for dog catcher.
Nader/Gonzalez (I)Wouldn't vote for Nader for dog catcher.
My VoteMcCain/Palin (R)
Senate
Mark Warner (D)He wants universal health care, withdrawal from Iraq (victory optional, hard to tell if it's even preferred) and to throw more money at the teachers' unions. To cap it all, he appears to be ardently opposed to home schooling. No thanks.
Jim Gilmore (R)He opposes the bailout, is strong on the 2d amendment, and his positions on issues generally seem mainstream Republican. Sadly, he's also a social conservative.
Glenda Parker (Independent Green)As far as I can tell, her entire campaign boils down to "trains are good." Um, OK, but...?
William Redpath (L)I like his positions on just about everything. "Just about," because the one thing on which he's disastrous is foreign policy. I'm sorry, but there's no way that withdrawing from Iraq will improve our security; there are many ways in which doing so would reduce our security. This is why the Libertarians have lost me on any national office while we are at war; they are simply unable to think clearly through their ideology to real world results. Bleah.
My VoteI don't know. I always vote as if the person I vote for has a chance to win, so that really leaves me unable to vote happily for any of these guys. If I knew the people in the area (hey, I'm new here!), I'd write someone in. I guess the least unappealing generally is Redpath, but his position on the war is a deal breaker. Warner is terrible, and Parker is a cipher at best. I like Gilmore except for the social conservative thing, so I guess I'll vote for Gilmore. But I'm not happy about it.
Congress
Judy Feder (D)An Obama clone, judging by her campaign literature and according to the young lady who came to my door asking for my vote, I am unlikely to agree with her on any policy position.
Frank Wolf (R)A long-time incumbent (which I do not like on principle) who voted for the bailout package (which is a huge strike), he does not get my vote.
Neeraj Nigam (I)Seems to be a bit of an economic populist. But his positions on immigration (legal immigration should be easy, illegal immigration difficult and punished), general issues (like transportation and health care), and the necessity of protecting the Constitution are all very appealing to me. His Iraq position is basically that we shouldn't have gone in, but now that we're there, we have to finish it.
My VoteNigam (I)
Ballot question
There is one ballot question, calling for $77 million in bonds to be issued for county and regional park expansion and maintenance. I'm generally in favor of such park projects, and have been unable to find any good information opposing the ballot question. I can't see any reason to vote against this, so I'll go with my default position on parks and vote for it.
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