"Just Tell Them...

I have worked 40 years to make the Women's Suffrage platform broad enough for Atheists and Agnostics to stand upon, and now if need be I will fight the next 40 to keep it Catholic enough to permit the straightest Orthodox religionist to speak or pray and count her beads upon."

Susan B. Anthony

Thursday, January 21, 2010

When in Doubt, Back the Woman: Part Two

On the heels of the Coakley/ Brown upset in Massachusetts (which I am really not all the disappointed about) I want to say a few things about my own future voting strategy. It's an evolving strategy that I have developed over the last two years, as a PUMA and an Independent.

This kind of voting is new to me. In the past I have always, and I do mean ALWAYS, voted "D." (With the exception of a couple of Charterites on the Cincinnati City Council.) Never, before 2008, have I even *considered* voting for a Republican. But that's all changed, so now I need a new set of voting booth guidelines. You see, I really don't want to *ever* have to go to the polls and make a wrenching decision like the one my PUMA friends were forced to make in Massachusetts on Tuesday. Not without a set of guiding principles.

So here goes.... SYD's voting guidelines in a nutshell.

Principle One: When in doubt, back the woman.

The reason for this is simple. I pay taxes. I deserve representation. Period.

Please note that I did not say "always vote female." The reason is... I can imagine a scenario in which a stellar male that I adore emerges from the pack to run against a woman I don't much care for. Like, say... if my own dear son were running against Jean Schmidt, whom I often disagree with.

But, let's face it. There is a zippo zingo chance that I will ever know any male candidate well enough to erase any and all doubt. So the only way I am likely to be voting for a male politician in an upcoming election is... if he is running against another man. (Sorry fellas, but you have had your turn. And, quite frankly, you have done a lousy job of standing up for my rights.)

Principle Two: When two same gendered individuals run for the same office, do the best you can to select the one who agrees with you the most.

This is a little bit tougher. Because there are always going to be doubts about any candidate. And nobody is going to be on my side 100% of the time. But, generally speaking.... it is most likely that I will be voting for fiscal conservatives and social liberals in the future. If any party or individual moves toward a balanced budget while also supporting equal rights for all people ... they will certainly have my attention.

Principle Three: Vote for the track record.

So let's just say that we now have two same gendered pols who are both fiscally conservative and socially liberal. (Yeah right.) OK. Now how do I choose? Do I revert back to selecting the person who has the "D" behind her name, for old times sake? Or because I think her affiliation with a certain party matters?? NO!!! Now I look for the track record.

This kind of thinking would have been very helpful to social progressives in 2008, even if both Hillary and Barack were women. And even if they were spouting similar rhetoric. The one with the track record was, of course, Hillary Clinton. Had my former party-mates exercised any hint of good judgement at all... they would have backed her. And by now we'd have some realistic health care reform, as well as movement toward a balanced federal budget. We'd also have a President who has stood with social liberals in the past, and could be trusted to stand with us again.

There ya go. SYD's voting booth guidelines for 2009 and beyond. Take 'em or leave 'em.


  1. Anonymous12:16 PM

    your guidelines are fairly close to mine. now, how are you then not unhappy about Brown's win? I see him as the one without track record and pushing hope and change? no evidence that he really is socially liberal.

  2. Marille,

    First of all... I am not in MA, so this was not my battle. I watched from afar, and cheered for Martha in the primaries... and then in the election.

    However, any repudiation of the empty suit in the White House is OK by me.

    In essence... the Mass election was a win/ win from my perspective. If Coakley had won, we'd have another female Senator. Which would have been good. But if Brown won... as he did ... the implosion of Brand Obama would be upon us. And it is:


    As a Dem, and a social Liberal, I am sad. But more than that I am angry. Mad as hell, in fact. If the voters of Massachusetts spat on Ted Kennedy's grave by electing Brown (as some sources claim) it was only because he, in 2008, had spat in their faces. By backing Obama against their wishes. (They had preferred Hillary by a 16% margin.)

    The only thing that makes me sad about the backlash is... that another wonderful female candidate has been sucked down the Obama drainpipe. The man is taking our best down with him ... and that is a damn shame.

    Every day I see more, the wisdom of Hillary Clinton. She got as far from the sucking noise as she could, and still remain a public figure. Had Hillary remained in the senate she'd be going down with Obama's sinking Titanic..

  3. Syd, I am a conservative male but have chosen to set aside agenda and vote female all the time until parity comes. I appreciate your analysis however it contains elements of subjectivity and with subjectivity comes possible bias and if people remain subjective their anti woman bias will prevail

  4. I do not live in Mass so this was not my personal battle. I have to say I was behind Brown even though I felt bad not supporting Coakley as I agree we need to get more women into office. It had nothing to do with Coakley and everything to do with what is going on in Congress right now. That seemed to me to be more important. It was the perfect storm and Coakley got caught in it. I hope she does not give up and tries again....