I endorse nobody.

In the U.S. Senate race, I endorse nobody.

First because you don’t care who I endorse. Nobody is sitting at home, refreshing obsessively, wondering when Waldo will endorse somebody so they can figure out who they’re voting for come Tuesday. It simply doesn’t matter.

Second because I have only with some reluctance made up my own mind for whom I’m voting. There’s the candidate who I think deserves to win the nomination and the candidate who I think can win the general election. They’re not the same guy. I’ve finally made up my mind between the two, but just barely.

Third because I’m an idiot. I have no special knowledge. I barely have any knowledge at all. I only put on boots this morning because it was easier than tying shoelaces. I’d like to check my bank balance, but I can’t remember the password. It takes me at least two tries to spell the word “genius.” I have no business endorsing anybody.

I’ve watched this race with something between disgust and forced disinterest for the past six weeks. I’m tired of seeing otherwise-intelligent friends convince themselves (and attempt to convince others) that one candidate or another is “evil.” I have no wisdom to impart. I’m sick of increasingly-hysterical mailers from each candidate. I’ll sit at my polling place for a few hours on Tuesday, hand out literature and gab with my neighbors. And whoever wins, I’ll volunteer for him and know that he’d make a far better representative than Sen. George Allen.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

33 replies on “I endorse nobody.”

  1. Maybe. I dunno. I don’t think it matters enough.

    I hate primaries. I didn’t say who I voted for in the LG primary last year, either.

    If I’m not really psyched about one candidate over the other, I think it’s best to keep my mouth shut, cast my vote, and support the nominee.

  2. Third because I’m an idiot. I have no special knowledge.

    More knowledge than I have with regards to this subject. I’ve spent the last two semesters in Ohio.

    Where’s a good place to learn about the candidates?

  3. That’s a very good question. Other than the obvious (candidates websites), I don’t know an evenhanded resource with straightforward information about each candidate. Perhaps somebody else knows of something?

  4. I am sorry to hear that you are so non-plussed about the Democratic primary. It absolutely does matter.
    I just spent the better part of today with both candidates.
    I respect and support one candidate with ever increasing enthusiasm. After a crash course in politics 101, he is now quite impressive in every way. Positive, intelligent, thoughtful, well-spoken, a true Andrew Jackson Populist and proven leader.

    The other candidate’s expensive extremely negative campaign has been a real eye-opener. I never thought that a Democrat in Virginia could ever be so vile as his latest anti-semitic accusation. That went beyond the pale! I have lost all respect for him. Character does matter; he doesn’t deserve my support.
    I started out with positive feelings toward both, and thought that I could support either one.

    Not now.

    As I see it, one has conducted himself admirably the other has divided my committee by his campaign. (I have received 8 negative “hysterical” mailings from one candidate and two positive ones from the other and the same amount of robo-calls).
    Snap out of it Waldo. This race could affect everything… keeping Allen from the Whitehouse and putting Warner in it. Beating Allen in Nov. is the only goal on Tuesday that matters. Think strategically and vote the same way.

  5. I am sorry to hear that you are so non-plussed about the Democratic primary. It absolutely does matter.

    Oh, I’m not saying it doesn’t matter. It definitely matters. I hope I didn’t imply otherwise. I’m just burned out on it.

  6. Snap out of your funk, Waldo. Get on board the real winning campaign – you know which one. It starts with a W.

  7. You hate primaries? You can’t find good information on the candidates? A couple points:

    1) Primaries are Democracy. In this race, we have a candidate who is BY FAR the favorite of the netroots, but who also is endorsed by Leslie Byrne, Chap Petersen, Phil Puckett, Al Weed, Owen Pickett, and 50+ other Virginia Democratic political figures. Not to mention John Kerry and Harry Reid. You’re not excited about this? Wow.

    2) You can’t find straightforward information on the candidates. You mean, 37 questions and answers with Jim Webb is not a decent start for you? Thanks a lot for appreciating all the work that went into pulling this together. While you sit around and complain/mope/etc., many of us are busting our asses trying to win Jim Webb the nomination this coming Tuesday. Why on earth you’re not on board with this 100% is beyond me. Seems to me that you could have taken a leadership role in “crashing the gate” here in Virginia, but instead you largely chose to sit on the sideline. That’s sad.

  8. Lowell, chill out. It’s going to be OK. It’s not that any of us who aren’t writing 24/7 about Webb or out there 24/7 and working as hard as you have don’t appreciate everything you’ve done, because we do. Really.

    Some of truly have no business endorsing anyone, for all the reasons Waldo already stated (I include myself in the third reason there). Besides, you’re not really making a good case for someone to come out and volunteer for Webb on election day by calling someone who made a choice about primary involvement “sad” and saying that he’s complaining and moping, when instead he’s chosen not to be the 300th post on Webb and/or Miller in one day and to be above all this petty bickering and name-calling and finger pointing. Relax.

  9. Lowell, I said that “I don’t know an evenhanded resource with straightforward information about each candidate.” Clearly there are a great many valuable resources about individual candidates, including Raising Kaine. But Raising Kaine is not an evenhanded resource any more than any other blog is.

    To answer your question, I was excited. Now I’m sick of it. I peaked six weeks early. These things happen, because there’s more to life than politics.

  10. Well, I endorse Jim Webb. He’s a Democrat, and he can beat George Allen. And when he beats George Allen, Allen won’t have the support to run for President.

    Therefore, voting for Jim Webb is a service to humanity.

    (Politics is, after all, an endless game of chess.)

  11. Good for you! It’s important never to take primaries too seriously. First of all, most Democratic primary voters are just too fickle and flightly to set your heart too hard on what YOU think is the right choice. If you are expecting Democratic primaries to always make good choices, you are setting yourself up for lots of disappointment. If you take the mailers, the rhetoric, the phone calls too seriously, then you are just being foolish.

    Read this article:

    It’s about a RNC official who actually went to jail for trying to throw an election with illegal tactics (it’s rare these guys get caught). I think, though, being sent for jail has made him pretty wise: at the very least, he realizes what a warped perspective on things having a “must-win-or-die” gets you. Of course, no one beats Republicans when it comes to twisted, but still, it’s a good lesson to learn.

  12. The question to answer for Tuesday is are we serious about challenging Allen for the fall? Both Miller and Webb have made the case for where they stand on the issues. Both men have positions that are consistent with the Democratic party. Miller takes the corporate view and Webb the populist view.

    A good portion of the Miller “support” is anger that Webb was once a Republican. I see very little passion in Miller supporters for Miller as a candidate.

    The reason Miller’s mailers have been attack mailers is that he really has few positives. His positives are certainly no match for Webb. He needed to drive the Webb positives down. Miller is an empty suit with a personal bankroll.

    I don’t hate Miller. I just think he represents corporate interests and not mine. I also see him as a guy that, if backed into a corner, will opt for the low road like playing the race card. He is just not my kind of guy. I’ve seen to many politicians ready to manipulate and divide us. I don’t think we need to back another divider.

    The view of most is that Webb stands a chance against Allen and Miller does not. Even Republicans are quoted as saying the same thing – they are “worried” about Webb.

    Virginia Democrats will have to decide if they really are a big tent after all. Do they really want the disaffected Democrats and independents back or do they want to have a litmus test on who is a true Democrat?

    I am a strong Webb supporter and will vote for him Tuesday. It time for us to vote our economic and political interests as Democrats.

  13. I find Waldo that there are many who are burned out right now. And not just regarding the Miller/Webb contest, just tired. There is more to life than politics indeed and people have been up to their eyeballs in one campaign after another for several years.
    You’ll be back, they’ll be back, I’ll be back, and we’ll all be stronger and in better fighting trim. We’ve all got to stop treating every day like it is fourth quarter with a minute to go…

    When this primary is over, we will have a candidate and we can begin the work of electing him to the U.S. Senate!

  14. NEITHER candidate can beat Allen. Democrats in VA should stop pretending that Webb and and they should go with their gut. If you are too strtegic in your choice you will pick someone you can’t really believe in and then you won’t get motivated for the real race, which we will lose anyway, but that should not stop us from making it as hard as possible for Allen–I just do not buy the proposition that a former Republican can brings R’s into the big tent. Did Kaine need that? Warner? Get real and get behind Miller. He is a tried and true Democrat, he is campaigning hard, he has raised 2X as much money as Webb and is spening his own money too. Webb is the invisible candidate who has not demonstrated a willingness to work with the Democrats in VA, does not raise money well, and no one I know really likes him, they jus think he REPUBLICAN credentials make him a better canddidate for the Democrats. What the hell is going on here?!

  15. I haven’t made my primary preference any secret, but I have tried to stay out of it for the most part, because, like it or not, all of us activist types are going to be working with Tuesday’s winner for a long time.

    So I think it’s kind of nice to be sitting at a Albemarle Democrats table getting volunteers for whomever wins. This primary has been dirty at times, but if that lasts past Tuesday, then we guarantee an Allen win.

    Georgetown Precinct voters (Albemarle HS), be sure to stop by our table. We’d love to chat and we’d love to work with you getting these guys elected in November.

  16. Seamus, I like Jim Webb a great deal indeed.
    I respect him, too.

    Harris Miller knows that he will lose the “war”, so why not try to “win the battle” so that he gains visibility in Virginia and therefore can make a run at a higher state office.

    That is what he is about. And he has been as nasty as Kilgore was last November.

    And yes Kaine and Warner did need R’s to win.

    Jim is no Republican. But he is a very appealing candidate-especially to unhappy Repubs.

    Webb is the best man for the job. He is running to beat Allen…not be a self-serving sacrificial lamb.

  17. 1. Where exactly is the evidence that Webb can do better in the general? The polls ive seen show them behind Allen by about the same amoung. And Webb is NOT running a strong campaign. If the antichrist flier wasnt antisemitic, it was certainly stupid.

    2. Who says they both hold Democratic views. AFAICT Webb had no particular objections to Republican views from the Reagan era until 2002. And that INCLUDES Republican views on labor issues.

    3. Webb broke with the GOP on one issue, and one issue only. It happens to be an issue where we Dems are not all in agreement. It DOES happen to be the issue that seems to motivate Kos, and many others to support him. Yet these folks crying about Democratic unity are supporting a challenge to a Democratic incumbent.

    I am a proud New Democrat. I want to see a Democratic party facing the future with confidence, in the spirit of Bill Clinton. I find protectionist populism disturbing, and did so before id heard of Jim Webb.

    It matters HOW we regain a majority. IF we do so on solid policies, on a workable plan for governing, we have a bright future. IF we do so based on fear and anger, based on a retreat from our best values, we will NOT have a strong future. We can be the party of Clinton and Warner, or we can be the party of Brent Scowcroft and George Will. We can stand for our values, or we can be the proxies for a GOP civil war. We can stand for the best of liberalism AND New democracy, or we can be the tool that paleocon populists and Tories use to beat on neocons.

    The choice is ours.

  18. “I never thought that a Democrat in Virginia could ever be so vile as his latest anti-semitic accusation”

    I never thought a Democrat in Virginia could be so vile as to distribute a flier like that. Some of us are really hurt. I have been lifelong democrat – i cast my first Presidential vote for Carter-Mondale in 1980. I had campaigned for Dems before then.

    But I am increasingly feeling like there are a large bunch of Democrats who think I dont belong in the party. I see an attempt to purge Joe Leiberman from the Senate. I see a bitter hostility to the DLC, and to anyone who ever sympathized with the goal of remaking the middle east as a better place. And now I see something vile being swept under the rug.

    At some point I will have to question my loyalty to the Democratic party.

  19. I never thought a Democrat in Virginia could be so vile as to distribute a flier like that.

    Is it any wonder that Waldo’s original post said: “I’m tired of seeing otherwise-intelligent friends convince themselves (and attempt to convince others) that one candidate or another is ‘evil’.”

    Me too. It’s time to for me to take a break from this venomous political business and turn my attention to volunteer work where I can make a difference in people’s lives without surrounding myself with ill will.

  20. Buh bye, Fairfaxman. Your vote won’t be missed when we get 2
    populist votes to replace it. We hardly knew ya, don’t let the
    door hit ya on the way out.

  21. Democrats will never regain the majority status that we once held if we make our allegiance to the Democratic Party dependent on what happens to an inidividual candidate. Joe Lieberman has in the past cast some votes with which I agreed wholeheartedly, but since 2000 he seems to have been fairly consistently the Democrat most likely to vote with Bush. Good Democrats can disagree in all good faith as to whether Lieberman is a good Senator, and I would hope that no one — including Joe himself — would have the idea that he is indispensable to the soul of the Party.

    When the Democratic Party was in the majority, it was a collection of interest groups who shared a common sense of populism — the sense that government was there to help people, not to help corporations. Blacks, women, union members, rural voters, Jews and Hispanics (just for a few examples) had many differences among their agendas. But they all accepted the idea that the platform of the Democratic Party would move them forward financially. The stagflation of the post-Vietnam era and the huge economic changes since then have shattered that populist faith. Ronald Reagan became the voice of populism (talk about distortions…), and the Democratic Party has never recovered. Without economic populism, union members and small farmers have no reason to vote Democratic. Without economic populism, African-Americans and Hispanics may see more “opportunity” in the Republican platform.

    Webb is unabashedly an economic populist. Miller is clearly NOT a populist.

    I am supporting Webb not because I agree with him on everything but because I see in his populism an opportunity to rebuild the Democratic coalition. I know that he will be better than George Allen, and I can imagine a scenario in November that has him winning but I can’t imagine such a scenario for Miller.

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