Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I was wrong

A year and a half ago, Gordon Smith decided that we should pull our troops out of Iraq by the end of the summer.

When he cast that vote, I wrote that I could no longer support him as a United States Senator, and that he would not receive my vote in the 2008 election.

That was stupid, and I was wrong. Call me a squish, or inconsistent, or hypocritical, or whatever label you want, but I'm changing my mind. I will vote for Gordon Smith in the 2008 election. I may disagree with Gordon Smith on some things, but he is more conservative than not, and his opponent will be nothing more than a rubber stamp for Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.

Actually, I'm not changing my mind so much as I'm reverting to my usual philosophy, which is one of pragmatism.

Politics is never a game in which someone is always right or always wrong (although some are more right than others), and you certainly don't get such black-and-white choices on the ballot. You (or at least I) vote for the person who is closest to my position and has a chance to win.

This is why I voted for Ron Saxton instead of Mary Starrett, because Ron Saxton could get a plurality of the vote and Mary Starrett could not. And it also means I voted for Ron Saxton instead of not voting, because that would give another advantage to Ted Kulongoski, who I definitely did not support.

It means I will vote for John McCain instead of Chuck Baldwin or Bob Barr, because John McCain can get a plurality of the vote. And it also means I will vote for John McCain instead of not voting, because that gives another advantage to Barack Obama, who I definitely do not support.

And it means I will vote for Gordon Smith instead of Dave Brownlow, because Gordon Smith can get a plurality of the vote. And it also means I will vote for Gordon Smith instead of not voting, because that gives another advantage to Jeff Merkley, who I definitely do not support.

Above, I said that I disagree with Gordon Smith on some things, and I will continue to communicate those disagreements with him. On his decision to pull our troops out of Iraq, I told him that if he went through with that vote, I could not support his re-election. Now that I'm changing that decision, I acknowledge the downside -- that any similar future threat will not mean much.

But I also have to ask: how often would Jeff Merkley and I agree, and how likely would he be to change his mind when I disagreed with him? If I agree with Gordon Smith 80 percent of the time and with Jeff Merkley 20 percent of the time, which is better?

As Ronald Reagan is said to have uttered, "The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor." That applies to Gordon Smith.

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2 Comments:

  • At 10/21/2008 11:34 AM, Blogger OregonGuy said…

    Voltaire once said, never make the perfect the enemy of the good.

    I, too, with reluctance, have chosen to vote for Senator Smith. The motivating force for this switch was the ad Dems ran against the Senator, attempting to show him as complicit in the use of illegal aliens at his family's company.

    It further impunes the Senator's, or at least attempts to impune, stand on illegal immigration. This is a deliberate falsehood being perpetrated by the Merkley campaign. I don't mind a feller who disagrees with me, as long as he is honest.

    Merkley is not honest.
    .

     
  • At 10/25/2008 9:05 AM, Anonymous Tyler said…

    it is pretty weird how hard gordon smith is trying to paint himself as 2 people. he wants to get conservatives to vote for him yet he is trying to paint himself as a moderate as well.

     

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