11 February 2008

Finally, a reason I can get behind

One of my complaints about our political system is how abundantly clear it is made that I don't matter. Nor, I realize, does anyone I know. (Well, except possibly Dan the Sports Mogul.) I don't have thousands of dollars to contribute and I don't have the will to band together other contributors to collect thousands of dollars. (And for what? To be ignored in the future? Giving money to politicians is like buying drinks for women who are way out of your league - sure, they're happy to accept but you're still not gonna score. And they'll chuckle about it later. If they remember it at all.)

So I don't have any money to give them and I live in a safely Democratic state. We don't see politicians around here unless ... well, I can't think of an unless. We don't see them. For which, really, I am rather grateful, actually. Think how hellish it is to live in Iowa if you aren't one of the 5 or 6 percent of the population* who actually caucuses.

I haven't gotten around to changing my voter registration from D to I, so I'm still morally obliged turn up for what this year will actually be a primary that will help to decide who our candidate will be. The "Potomac Primary," to be held on February 12, will be comprised of the three places where at least half of the people whom I know live: Maryland, DC, and Virginia.

And so the candidates - the few remaining** - turned their basilisk stare to us. I shudder. I really do.

So here's the sitch: Of the five candidates left standing as of today,*** I would be reasonably content with three of them. I live in a state with a closed primary, so I'm not allowed to vote for one of the three. Of the remaining two that leaves me, I'm fine with either of them. Frankly, I haven't been excited about a candidate since John Anderson and I was too young to vote for him. (Where have you gone, Harry Truman? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you...) So that lessens an impetus to stand in line on Tuesday.

Except that my vote will actually count for something this time. Maybe.

And as there is - in the words of an elected official from Maryland that I was chatting with at brunch on Sunday - no daylight at all between HRC's and BHO's positions on most things, I'm going to have to decide based on externals.

And so, my criteria:

1. Ads. Just as public radio loses a dollar everything they call me thief or a mooch, a candidates lessens his or her changes of receiving my vote with everything ad I see and they lose an additional point for every negative ad. I've actually been home a little bit this week and had the tv on, so here's our "annoying Leta with ads score"

Clinton - minus 0.
Huckabee - minus 0.
McCain - minus 2. No negative ads.
Obama - minus 4. No negative ads.
Paul - minus 0.

2. Validating my hometown. I learned from Silver Spring, Singular that Obama's Montgomery County headquarters are in Silver Spring. On Georgia Avenue. In fact, his headquarters are prett' near the middle of a very oddly shaped geometric-ish figure comprised of: the house I grew up in, my elementary school, current home, office, high school, junior high (yuck), and home theater.

Clinton's are in .... Bethesda.

So that's points for Barack. I'm not sure how many, but definitely points.

I'll spend Tuesday trying to figure out which lever I'll pull (so to speak, no way of telling what voting system we'll be using) and I'll probably vote at the end of the day.

This time I may keep my ballot receipts as historic souvenirs.

* That number not made up.

** Did I mention that Marylanders don't matter? Most of the candidates have already gone home.

*** With Romney having headed home and Ron Paul still soldiering on.

1 comment:

Brett said...

I can't vote today I am independent, thus utterly disenfranchised in Maryland. My wife is more sensible, she is a D so her vote counts. Hopefully her vote will dislodge our congresscritter, he is well past his sell by date and has a real challenger this time. As for the president my advice is vote for the one that will lose, that way you can feel smug after one of the others is elected. It works for me.