24 August 2010

Leaving the ballot blank

The race to fill retiring Sen. Kit Bond's open Senate seat is one of the most critical races in the country. In what is shaping up to be a bloodbath, Democrats believe this is one of their few chances to actually gain a seat in the midterms.

I have no idea what I'm going to do.

On the one hand, I cannot stomach one-party rule. The most abysmal times in recent memory were from 1992-94, 2004-2006 and 2009-2010, when one party or the other controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. For some reason, legislative gridlock and ineptitude in governance seem to run even more rampant when one party takes full control. It's plainly obvious that the Obama administration and its allies in Congress have no interest in reducing the deficit, doing what it takes to create jobs in the private sector, rolling back civil liberties abuses or, at the most basic level, governing competently. So why vote for a Democrat? Robin Carnahan (the current Secretary of State) is an able public servant and a person of integrity, but I refuse to vote for another Democratic ally for the president.

On the other hand, Roy Blunt -- the Republican House whip during the Bush administration -- represents everything that is fundamentally wrong with the Republican Party. At the level of any other, Blunt enabled the Bush administration's incompetence, deficit spending, big-government mindset, civil liberties abuses and the bailout culture. For people like Roy Blunt, Washington isn't about changing things for the good or expanding individual liberty, but consolidating political power at the expense of all else. There was nothing inherently conservative about the Bush administration or the policies carried out by the administration's allies in the House. The Bush-era Republican leadership -- of which Roy Blunt was an enormous part -- did as much damage to conservatism as Watergate.

So I'm stuck. I won't vote for another Democrat, but Roy Blunt represents everything that has gone so terribly wrong with the Republican Party -- a big-government, deficit-spending establishmentarian who cares little about what it really means to be a conservative.

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