Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blog Name Change? Wasted Vote?

Apparently, since I do not support Al Franken, some commenter's believe I ought to change my blog name to Red Man in a Red District.

It's a good way to push a relatively strong party guy right out of the DFL. Nice work jleuze. I don't support one "Democrat" therefore my blog ought to be Red Man in a Red District? You and Michele Bachmann ought to have a little chat about how you frame issues, you could learn a lot from each other.

Franken has never done it for me. I have seen him speak in numerous places, he's boring. It feels like he thinks he's entitled to this seat and that really bothers me. He evokes the name of Paul Wellstone yet does not understand how Wellstone legislated. He was a fiery liberal, but truly was able to work across the aisle to get things done. Franken is a hot head.

A vote for Dean Barkley is not a wasted vote. Franken has been dinged in at least 2 of the last 3 debates on how he's going to pay for all his initiatives. Franken's answers on Social Security leaves little to be desired as well.

I've spent some time lobbying Norm Coleman on higher education issues. While I spend a lot of time beating up Senator Coleman, I have found him to be very receptive of the college students of Minnesota, and aside from his vote in Budget Reconciliation in 2005, he's been a strong supporter of higher education. Despite that, I cannot bring myself to vote for Norm.

I've found Barkley to be an honorable, common sense, straight forward kind of guy. In conversations I have had with Coleman, Franken, and Barkley, I get a sense that Barkley is not telling me what I want to hear, but rather what I need to hear, some straight talk.

A wasted vote is voting for someone who will maintain status quo. A wasted vote is voting for someone you do not believe in. I've never wasted a vote, every candidate I have ever voted for has earned a vote from Blueman.

Candidates have to earn my vote, you don't just get it because you have a D, R, or an I behind your name on the ballot. Franken has done nothing to earn that vote. I don't like his former career as a "satirist" and think voting for this loser is a wasted vote, which I have been vocal about for about a year. Tax problems, Playboy issues, and I have to be honest, I am waiting for the other shoe to drop here.

Every local candidate is distancing themselves from Franken. It's a complete 180 from 2 years ago when Klobuchar and Wetterling had strong coat tails. No one wants to be associated with Franken. I hope you contact Rep Hosch about his comments on Al Franken being "toxic", since we apparently have to support EVERY Democrat in order to be a Democrat.

There will be at least 5 Democrats on my ballot on November 4th. I am choosing to not vote for one because I don't think Franken will make an honorable US Senator. Because of that, I should now be Red Man in a Red District?

Maybe I'll just be an Independent now, since it's quite clear that if I don't vote for Franken, I can't be a Democrat.

I'd argue that because I am not voting for Franken, I am a strong principled Democrat...but to each their own.


Jeff Rosenberg said...

"Democrat" and "liberal" are not always the same thing, just as "conservative" and "Republican" are not always the same thing. The requirement of mindless party loyalty from either side is terrible for our Democracy.

You go ahead and vote your conscience, Mr. Blue Man.

taxpaying liberal said...

Blue man,
Don’t you know that an election is just a validation of the polls? We shouldn’t vote for the candidate who best reflects our views, we should only vote for the candidate that the polls say is going to win.
It’s anti American to vote outside of the 2 party system. You have two choices and that enough. After all, look what a wonderful job they have done.

Try to ignore that fact that the Democrat flew here 2 years ago to save the middle class. The perfect spokesperson for the Minnesota middle class is a multi millionaire from New York.

Forget about the checks and balances the founders of our country envisioned. One party rule is they way to go. Don’t worry that 80% of the money he has raised has come from outside of Minnesota. This election is about revenge and power and you should keep your opinions to yourself.

Get with the program Blue man. Because your either with us or against us. That’s the new motto for the Democratic Party.

Barkley is the only candidate who is calling for real, meaningful election reform that requires elected officials to live up to a code of ethics that prohibits them from taking bribes. Democrats and Republicans agree that that’s a bad idea.

Barkley is the only candidate who is proposing that candidates fund their elections, exclusively with donations from the state they are running in. Democrats and Republicans agree that that’s a bad idea.

Barkley is the only candidate stating that he will never accept Pac money or special interest donations.

Barkley is the only candidate who has pledged not to vote for another Iraq war funding bill without a time line to get out.

Shame on you for thinking that these are good ideas. They didn’t come from a Democrat.

JLeuze said...

We're on the same side okay Blue man? I'm not that excited by anyone on the ballot this year, but I am deeply disturbed by the thought of Bachmann or Coleman representing Minnesota any longer...

But you are sending some mixed signals, your blog has the phrase "build our party" in the URL, and you go by the handle "blue man". So yes, I assume that you are, as you said yourself, a "strong party guy".

So I guess I also assumed, incorrectly, that you would support all DFL candidates, unless given a compelling reason not to.

Your blog is titled "Blue man in a Red district". Not "Liberal in a Conservative district", or "Left man in a Right district". If you were using one of those titles, I wouldn't find fault with your support of third parties at all.

But it is specifically titled Blue, and you refer to yourself as Blue, so forgive me if I had expected you to stick to your party a little more. I myself am not a Democrat, or affiliated with any party for that matter. So I certainly can't push you out of your party, please don't feel like your are being "attacked from within", it's not my intention.

As a politically agnostic progressive, I still end up voting Democratic, because really what other option is there in rural Minnesota? So it does disturb me when I see apparently committed Democrats not supporting their own party. I figure that if an independent like me can swallow that Democratic pill so often, why can't a Democrat?

Isn't that a fair question to ask?

Please let me make an important distinction that you miss by lumping me in with Bachmann. Her agenda is set by ideology. My argument is a pragmatic one, it is strictly tactical.

I am not admonishing you for hating on Franken, or supporting Barkley. My only concern is making sure one of them beats Norm Coleman!

In my opinion, if you vote for Barkley, and he wins. Kudos, you sure haven't thrown your vote away! If you vote for Barkley, and Franken still wins, no harm, no foul. The second best candidate still wins, and that's why we need instant runoff voting so badly. But if you vote for Barkley, and Coleman wins, you've gotta take just a little slice of the blame right? I would, in my opinion, call that a wasted vote, and almost a Republican vote unfortunately since that is the end result.

I'm not arguing with you on the quality of the candidates, aside from Norm Coleman. He's just a crook, even by Republican standard; and that's not name calling, it's just his record. Personally, I do like Al Franken. I'm not crazy about him or anything, and I will totally concede that he has some serious weaknesses as a candidate. But over all, I think he's more progressive than many other current Senators, and to me that's a step in the right direction. And I don't have anything against Dean Barkley, everything I've heard him say seems reasonable, and he would also be a step in the right direction.

I'm not attacking you, or Barkley, only his ability to win this election. So please don't feel like you have to defend yourself or him. But I would like to know just how he could win. As it stands today, he's 20 points behind Franken and Coleman. Like I said before, Ventura had some serious mojo, where is Barkley's mojo? I won't say Barkley couldn't win at all, but as it stands today, I don't see how it could happen. I have yet to see a single bumper sticker or yard sign for Barkley, there is no sea of neon green, no support that I see.

I am not at all opposed to third party candidates and if I thought that Barkley could win, or that he stood a better chance to defeat Coleman, I would feel compelled to vote for him. Couldn't you say the same of Franken?

You said that he bored you. Just let me say, I am bored by most Democratic politicians. Collin Peterson is no Dennis Kucinich and Amy Klobuchar is no Russ Feingold. But they are the reality of our political landscape, and I am very grateful to have them representing me in Washington, rather than some goon like Mark Kennedy!

So being bored isn't a very compelling argument, surely you must have some better reason for disliking Al Franken? If Norm Coleman can beat Walter Mondale, who else could the DFLers possibly have fielded against him this time around?

I want to win, and I want Coleman to lose, how that happens isn't too big of a deal. To me, it isn't about who is the best candidate, it's about whose the best candidate that can win! I sure would like to have seen Nader as President, but I'm not going to vote for someone that can't win. There is no room for ideals in politics, it is a nasty game.

Blue man said...

It was "buildourparty" long before Al Franken jumped into this race. He came after BMRD.

I despise Norm Coleman and Michele Bachmann, as you can tell by the amount of Bachmann and Coleman content on this blog and other blogs I write at.

It's not a decision I came about very easy, but I feel as though the party left me, I didn't leave the party.

Franken's baggage will be the ultimate downfall for him in this election. Mike Ciresi and Jack Nelson Pallmeyer were far superior candidates. Franken's celebrity status won him the endorsement and eventually the primary, but that's my opinion.

Franken won't beat Coleman and Norm needs to go.

Barkley has the demeanor to be Senator, again. He has the subject matter expertise to be Senator, again.

What has Al Franken ever delivered to Minnesota?

Why did Al have to fly in from New York to save the middle class?

eric zaetsch said...

How about, Thinking Man in a Red District? It puts two judgmental assessments in place of what was only a factual claim.

We have similar considerations, an unwillingness to accept a flawed candidacy. Different races, same belief. I am not inside any party, instead proud to be independent.

I see write-in Aubrey Immelman as the most honest, direct, and progressive MN 6 choice - unless you look the other way at baggage I cannot overlook. And Immelman is an admitted "conservative."

For the "we have to beat Coleman" or "we have to beat Bachmann" mentality, of the two ousting Coleman would have more impact - but on an archeological, geological, or cosmic timescale, it doesn't matter. What matters is following your conscience, not others' arguments of convenience, or short-term tactics, or party cohesiveness.

Peanuts: Two hundred years from now who'll know the difference?

So, do what you think is best and argue for what you think is best.

And point out flaws and problems, along with or despite the myopia of others.

A good blog, however you name it.

eric zaetsch said...

One other thought. You mentioned in your comment, "buildourparty" and that means something besides "followtheleaders."

Sometimes the best building steps are rejecting flawed, compromising options. Short term cohesiveness and bloc jockeying and trade-offs may not be building anything strong, long term.

When you do not see Jack or Ciresi emerging from the process, you are not constrained to "loyalty despite the problem" except to appease the political least common denominator.

I like Al, not Tinklenberg, so we reverse that way. And you say the DFL rejects things while I say the DFL must earn my respect and a Wellstone, Vento, or two is only a step not a full-package sale.

I think we say the same thing. People can make the DFL make itself stronger by REJECTING its mistakes, whereas falling in line like a robot means business as usual works AND will continue.

It's like the GOP with Mark Olson.

JLeuze said...

I can understand why you'd feel your party is shifting away on you, they've never moved far enough in any one direction that has made me want to jump on board.

Personally, I wish the DFL would begin to really stress it's 3rd party populist roots, and distance itself from the national party. They should be active in a manner that leaves no farmer or laborer questioning which party has their best interests at heart.

As far as "outsiders" go, I have mixed feelings. Like Hillary Clinton pretending to be a New Yorker; regardless of the accuracy of it all, it feels very contrived to me. Al Franken was gone a long time, and I would prefer someone with deep roots, but it doesn't feel disingenuous to me in the same way that Hillary's choice of a home state did.

To me, Al Franken's just a ringer, and if he does his job and knocks the other guy out, I can deal with that!

I guess it's sort of breaks two ways, those who think that the Democratic Party can be saved through it's democratic wing. And those that think it's broken and needs to be replaced entirely.

I can see merit in both camps. I think ideally, it would be way better to have strong national third party. As far as I'm concerned, The Republicans inhabit the right wing, the Democrats are at the dead center, and the nation would benefit greatly from an equally strong party in the true left.

I've got to say that I think that the 10 Key Values of the Green Party are outstanding, what's not to respect in that platform?

But if they can't win, it doesn't matter! Unless I move, I don't expect I will ever vote Green, because I will never see a Green candidate on my ballot that can go the distance.

On the other hand, there are some Democrats in the democratic wing of the party that are trying to move the party in the right direction. I think I'd move to Cleveland, just to have the comfort of knowing that Kucinich was representing me in Washington...

But of course he is far outweighed by all the moderates in the party.

It might be easy to take over the Democratic Party than to build a new one, but I think a real third party would do way more to cure voter apathy!

But you have to win, or you're only a party on paper...

Like I said, I won't argue about Barkley's merits, he very well could be the best candidate for the job.

But can he got the distance? Can he actually win? The last poll I saw had him down some 20 points to Coleman and and some 25 to Franken, that's grim in my opinion.

He was Ventura's and Kinky's point man! Where are his high visibility signs and stickers? Where are the quirk videos? Why is his website straight out of 1999?

I am admittedly not a political science major or anything. But I am in marketing, and to be perfectly honest, the Barkley brand is surprisingly weak considering his background.

In an insanely long campaign season that started on November 5th, 2006, and that has been seen some of the highest quality media efforts yet, Barkley seems way behind that curve.

Don't take it as a personal attack on Barkley or anything, I think that Franken's media could be slightly better too, it is obvious that Coleman is the one with the bankroll.

But that is what I am seeing on the ground and on the web, not much.

So how does Barkley more than double his support to hit the bare minimum of 34% that he'd need to win a neck and neck three way tie?

Blueman, you seem pretty committed to Dean Barkley. And I am committed to Al Franken, but I am more committed to ousting Norm Coleman! Do you see some path to victory for Barkley that I don't?