The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Postmortems - Part 1 (Florida/Alaska/Delaware/Nevada)

Last Tuesday's elections showed a lot of different things. But the most important is that every State is different.

In Florida, the "Tea Party" candidate, Marco Rubio, succeeded in gaining the support of the entire Republican electorate. While I might have liked to see a better showing by Charlie Crist, he made a serious mistake. He let himself be painted "blue" (i. e. a secret Democrat). First, when some people were saying he might join the Democratic caucus if he were elected to the Senate, he refused to come out and say he was a Republican who would never support the Democratic leadership (i. e. Harry Reid et al), which lost him voters who wanted to express their hatred for the Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda. Second, when such as Bill Clinton worked to get Kendrick Meek to withdraw so that the Democrats could unite to defeat Rubio, Crist accepted this role without saying anything that might have inspired Republicans to stay with him. This made Crist seem to be a Democrat while Rubio managed to unite all the Republicans, even those who had originally supported Crist. So Crist and Meek split the Democratic vote, instead of Crist taking both the moderates among the Republicans and those among the Democrats, which would have been the way to win. Too bad. But at least the winner in this scenario was a Republican, though further to the right than I'd like. Better this result than what happened in Delaware and Nevada, about which I will say more later in this post.

Alaska was a bit like Florida, but here the "Tea Party" candidate, Joe Miller, did not reach out to mainstream Republicans, who rallied behind Lisa Murkowski. So even though Alaskans had a harder job — Murkowski's name had to be written in — they seem to have done so. The write-in votes have to be examined to see how many of them are for Murkowski, but most people think she will become the second person in United States history to win a Senate seat on a write-in vote. If she does so, I congratulate her. It was a hard job, but it looks as though she did it!

The other two States I'm discussing in this post had much more unfortunate results. In both Delaware and Nevada, the "Tea Party" candidates were relatively unqualified people who made outrageous statements that drove even anti-Obama voters into the camps of their Democratic opponents. As disliked as Harry Reid was in Nevada, people voted for him over Sharron Angle, and in Delaware, Christine O'Donnell was so ridiculous in some of her statements that even Chris Coons' admission of having been a "bearded Marxist" did not prevent his beating O'Donnell. (And more to the point, Mike Castle, who was the loser in the GOP primary to O'Donnell, probably could have beaten Coons, according to all polls.) Obviously, if a "Tea Party" candidate like Marco Rubio (or Pat Toomey, to be discussed in another post) could run a sufficiently mainstream campaign to win, it is pretty clear that one cannot paint all the "Tea Party" candidates the same color. Some were plausible candidates, but others, like Angle and O'Donnell, were not. Too bad. Imagine if Sue Lowden had won in Nevada and Mike Castle in Delaware. The GOP would have been closer to tying the Senate. I just wish...

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