Thursday, February 18, 2010

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

Yesterday at HotAir, I read a post about Sarah Palin telling independents they need to choose a side:

“Now the smart thing will be for independents who are such a part of this Tea Party movement to, I guess, kind of start picking a party,” Palin said. “Which party reflects how that smaller, smarter government steps to be taken? Which party will best fit you? And then because the Tea Party movement is not a party, and we have a two-party system, they’re going to have to pick a party and run one or the other: ‘R’ or ‘D’.”

To be honest, my first reaction was irritation.

I have never been registered as anything but independent. Never. Both parties have some goals and positions I find it impossible to support. Also, I'm an independent-minded, ornery creature by nature, and I have always tried to resist being pigeonholed into any "category". I have never once voted a straight party line - but the same time, I have never thrown away my vote on a third party candidate. (Although I got such an enormous kick out of Perot's antics, that might have been a near thing... )

So I was really annoyed with Sarah Palin.

But I've also been spending more time looking at the people who would like my vote this November. From the "D-Team", I have the known factor of Blue Dog Jason Altmire. From the "R-Team" however, the option isn't set until the primary. While I'm still learning about the people who will be vying for the nomination, I've already found one I just can't stomach at all and one who looks like I could probably get behind him. And then there's Specter to deal with...

Unfortunately, my state does not offer open primaries... This means that once again, I'll have to choose between candidates that others have decided on for me. Right?

Wrong. I've had it. And this election, I'm putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak.

This morning, my change of voter registration went in the mail. With all due apologies to Sarah Palin (not that she heard me grumbling about her anyway...), I've picked a side.

I'm now a registered Republican.

My mind is still independent. I'll probably continue to piss off conservatives with my libertarian streak and ideas - because "R" or no "R", I still refuse to back some of their positions. And I know I'll continue to choose candidates individually, rather than vote a party line... But the next few elections are gearing up to be a fight over the very definition of America.

I've chosen a side, and I'm ready to fight.


Thats Right said...

Welcome aboard Scratch. Glad to have you.

Matt said...

I'm a registered Republican-have been for many years. I was so disgusted with the party after 06 and 08, that I nearly left. I have promised myself, however, that I'd vote on ideology, no matter the party. Party isn't as important as ideas.

ScratcherMMBI said...

@Russ - Thanks. Although, to be honest, I'm now looking into petitions & a group that wants to get PA to hold open primaries... If they do, I'll probably switch my "R" back for an "I". :D

@Matt - I agree, it's the ideas... And right now I've had a bellyful of Obama's ideas, so I'm throwing my weight to the right - but I reserve the right to buck the party.

Thats Right said...

Ya know I've never given all that much thought to the process, but my knee-jerk reaction would be to keep them closed so as to avoid vote-bombs by the other side. I guess that concern would be alleviated somewhat by only having one vote, but in a situation where there wasn't an issue on one side (D), you could open up the floodgates for registered (D) or (I) to sabotage the primary and nominate a Dede Scozzafava type.

Tough call.

ScratcherMMBI said...

@ Russ - What you're saying makes sense, and I guess that's why they do it... But you're right that it makes a difference to those of us who only get one vote. In 2000, I was McCain all the way (I felt a LOT differently about him than I do now.), and in large part it was independent voters who seemed to be backing him. That was the year I found out I couldn't vote in the primary in this state - I was a recent transplant here. I was disgusted because I felt the indies could have carried him to the nomination, had all states used open primaries.

In the years since, I've just held my nose and voted for the candidates who were chosen for me.

THIS year, I'm paying better attention. Especially for the house race. Altmire is NOT who I want - but I feel strongly the R's will back Mary Beth Buchanan, who I can not vote for. I changed my registration so I can help her opponent get the Republican nomination because if it's between her & Altmire, I'm going with the Blue Dog...

Thats Right said...

See, that's what I just don't get about a lot of the blue dogs. That list is a case study in contradictions.

Republican Redefined said...

Ill be back later to offer my full support and a much grander applause. Just hopped on to say congrats.