Tuesday, January 24, 2006

legacies (or why i endorse chuck pennacchio)

josh marshall has a good post about political legacies. like josh, i really don't like legacy candidates. i have a hard time supporting any on principle. when i was a chicago resident i could never quite bring myself to vote for mayor daley. i voted for bobby rush once. another time, i just left that part of the ballot blank.

obviously, i probably would not be inclined to vote for the president even if he weren't a legacy candidate. the fact that W is the son of a prior president is just icing on the cake. the harder call comes when the legacy shares some of my political views. josh discusses the legacy in terms of a hillary clinton's expected presidential run. but, like marshall, i think clinton's chances of actually getting the nomination are pretty slim. i don't think i'll ever be forced to deal with that decision. a more pressing matter for me is what to do if bob casey jr. gets the democratic nomination to run against rick santorum.

bob casey, jr is the son of that bob casey, sr., the former governor who's name is on the supreme court last major abortion case. casey sr. is was a popular former governor of pennsylvania. like his father, casey jr. is a pro-life democrat. and like most legacies, he seems to have little else going for him other than his name.

i haven't really used this platform for endorsing candidates before. but i'd really rather that chuck pennacchio get the nomination to run against santorum instead of casey. (i've been meaning to add the graphic for quite some time--no promises when i will get around to it) it's not just the legacy thing either. chuck is simply a better candidate on virtually every issue.

i was going to do a compare and contrast paragraph here--quoting from the pennacchio campaign issue page and casey campaign issue page. but casey's issue page is so bland, there's really no way to make a substantive comparison. which really just illustrates my point that casey is a shitty candidate.

anyway, this week i officially changed my voter registration. i have been registered as an independent for more than ten years. back when i lived in illinois with its "open primary" system, there was no reason to register for any particular political party. you could still vote in the primary no matter what your registration said. i really don't like the two party system and so i was happy to be an independent, though i pretty much always voted in the democratic primary and usually voted democrat on individual races (with a couple of notable exceptions here and there).

when i moved here i decided to remain an independent, even though that meant i would lose the ability to vote in the primary. in 2004, with the presidential primary approaching, i almost registered as a democrat. that is, until i realized that the PA primary was so late kerry would clinch the nomination long before i would get a chance to cast my primary ballot. so just i just stayed independent.

but this year is different. for the first time since i moved here, i can participate in a meaningful primary vote. if push comes to shove, if casey gets the nomination, i will probably end up voting for him over santorum in the general election. santorum is so loathsome, i will vote for almost anyone over him. but there's simply no reason to compromise like that in a primary. i will sell out if i must in the end. but that's no reason to dive right in to sellingoutedness from the get-go. in the primary, i will proudly vote for chuck, the candidate who i actually agree with on most things.

consider that a noz endorsement.

UPDATE: yep, no regrets about endorsing pennacchio at all. (nor, for that matter, am i bothered about calling santorum "loathsome." if the shoe fits...) (via atrios)