The LA Times has an interesting report on the record voter turnout we’re seeing in primaries, and in particular the lopsided increase in turnout on the Democratic side.
The article has some interesting facts and figures, but it pretty much bears out what I said last week – that if you have good candidates who aggressively campaign on issues and ideals that people actually care about, people vote. Who told?
(Oh, and I find it equally amazing that Sen. Obama has been able to run an incredibly close race fueled mostly by small to mid-sized donations…while lefty champions are once again left in the dust.)
It’s a stark contrast to the mind numbingly stupid elections we had in Supposedly Liberal Brainiac San Francisco, where “progressives” had a FAIL so complete and total, turnout was in the toilet. And now, of course, the progressives are crying about the Mayor’s shenanigans, not realizing that if they’d just bothered to run a real candidate, the election might have had a different outcome. Boo hoo for them.
Most importantly, these record turnouts of voters are coming out without any of the lefty electoral gimmicks out-of-state reformers are trying to peddle across the country as ways to “increase turnout.”
It’s really simple, people. If you run a good campaign, you win the election. If you inspire people to action, they act. If you listen to people and talk about the issues they actually care about, they get excited and feel like politics is an opportunity for change – not just a tired exercise that people don’t feel matters to them.
There’s a chance that local “progressives” might take a lesson from all of this in the upcoming elections in November, and perhaps try strategies that don’t involved running around in circles, gossiping like junior high girls in gym class, and whining.
News flash, progressives: THIS DOESN’T F*CKING WORK. Stop trying to game the electorate with phony reform bullsh*t. Run on a vision and an agenda that works for the citizens who actually vote in elections, and you might win. If nothing else, it would be an improvement over last year’s “act like gossiping dorks” strategy.
The real winner will be the voters of San Francisco, if they’re given an honest race between various factions who all strive to offer a cohesive vision of policy and politics for the next four years. We’ll see what happens.
So here I am, finishing off the Obama/Clinton debate, and I get this email from the good folks volunteering for Barack Obama in the 12th Congressional District (SF/San Mateo). It seems our good citizens working for Sen. Obama in SF are having a primary watch party just a few blocks from my house…at the Blackthorn Tavern!
Loyal readers of my way, way, way more popular blog The N Judah Chronicles know that this is my favorite bar in the Inner Sunset. I’ve been known to attend pub trivia here (which rocks), and overall it’s one of the friendliest and most fun places to hang out here. Since the new owners took over in June of 2007 they’ve really made this place a great place to hang out. Why go all the way into SoMA or Downtown when you can have a fun time out here? At least that’s what I think.
And now the Obama folks are having an event there. Smart. Very smart. Once again, the Obama folks are where the people are, and know how to bring folks in. If you’re going to have a vote watch party, why not have it at one of the best places in the Inner Sunset?
Then again, any time is a good time at the Blackthorn anyway, and this just adds to the fun. See you on Tuesday!
The funny thing about living in San Francisco is that to the outside world, folks seem to assume this is some sort of Greenie Communist Disneyland, with abortions on demand at every corner, parades in honor of Lenin and Ho Chi Minh, and so on.
Even here in town, you have people that parachute in here, thinking that we’re the capital of the left, and some of even carpetbag themselves into a Congressional run, thinking that they’re in Liberal Lefty Nirvana.
Bzzt! Wrong again!
I say this because as we close in on a Mega Super Happy Fightingest Primary Ever, and Democratic voters try to decide Which Candidate to Vote For, something has been coming up, time and again in conversations I have with Real San Franciscans: a lot of people here will vote for McCain, mostly if Sen. Clinton is the nominee.
It’s really weird. These are not discussions with political folk per se, these are chats with good people of various ages, ethnic backgrounds and whatnot who really live here, and it keeps coming down to something folks really want – after 8 years of the GW Wrecking Crew and 6 years of a GOP congress, this country not only needs a political colonic to flush out the toxins of the past, but also move forward and push aside the professional screamers and assorted idiots that poison politics and get sh*t done.
And for some reason, folks seem to think that Sen. Obama might be the kind of guy who can do such a thing, but they don’t see Hillary (or is it Bill and Hillary) and the politics of the 90s being the way to go, and as such would bolt to McCain in a second.
Read that again. San Franciscans, who are alleged to be godless hippie Communists, will vote for John McCain, pro-life record or not.
Kinda freaky when you re-read it, huh?
And now the punchline – I’m not so sure I won’t be one of them. I know full well the many many problems with McCain’s past, many of his stands on issues are diamertically opposed to my own, and God, the thought of actually voting for a presidential candidate that is in the same party as President 28% and Vice President Vader still gives me the shakes.
At the same time, however, Sen. McCain has been one of the few Washington politicians who has stood up for a rational immigration policy (something of interest to my neighbors out here in the Sunset as well as folks on the east side of town).
And, unlike the Clintons in the 90s, McCain does not see Indian tribes as cash machines for political soft money donations, but instead has tried to force the inherently stupid Department of the Interior to settle the trust lawsuit that was filed to force the feds to admit they stole from millions of people for over 100 years. And up against a more Democratic Congress, a President McCain would be more likely to work with a Speaker Pelosi or a Majority Leader Reid, vs. say a President Guy Smiley (Romney).
Heresy, I know. But people are more concerned about just what kind of country we’ll have, and want to see action, not more shenanigans. President Clinton II or President Romney is more of the same old bullsh*t.
At least with Sen. Obama we might have someone who could try and bring people together, and work with folks (and hopefully a Congress populated with more REAL Democrats to back up Our Speaker ).
But a lot of people are starting to think that if it’s a McCain/Hillary contest, things could go bad, and if even us hippies in San Francisco are thinking about McCain as a legitimate choice, it’s time to take a Clue Pill and try to not invent a new way to f*ck up what should be our chance to set things right.
UPDATE: Yet another reason Democrats should fear McCain. The famous button of the early 90’s “Oh God PLEASE Not Another Republican” seems appropo.
(I won’t deny that it doesn’t hurt that Sen. McCain and Sen. Kennedy honored my cousin Helen, who passed away in 2006, honoring her tireless honesty, fairness, and trailblazing career as a woman journalist in DC. That said, it’s not the ultimate reason, but in the interests of full disclosure bla bla bla, I thought I’d mention it.)