Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Question for Liberals

We're doing the flip side of last week: what politician(s) are you most embarrassed that you supported?

As I explained in the conservative question, I'm not talking about, say, support for Reagan or Bush before you became a liberal. I'm looking for either politicians you supported who turned out to be other than what you thought at the time, or politicians you had to hold your nose to support (yeah, I know, some of you went to this in last week's flip side, but I was already planning to do it as this week's question...).

32 comments:

  1. Embarrassed I liked John Edwards, though I never really supported him per se (never voted for him, gave him money, etc.)

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  2. Last week I mentioned Pete Wilson, the last Republican I have voted for, the man who destroyed the Republican party in California. I was also embarrassed by supporting Gray Davis, the emptiest of suits. The man had no idea how to govern a state. At least Schwartzenegger was willing to learn.

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    1. Along those same lines, I voted for Phil Angelides. Not saying the Governator was much better, but yikes, those were terrible options.

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  3. I voted for Edwards in the 2004 primary, which will remain my winner for life. I HOPE.

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  4. It's always embarrassing to have to vote for the senator seats for NY: Clinton, Schumer, Gillibrand, during my voting lifetime. They're admirable on many issues, but absolutely atrocious on matters of financial services, of course for interest group reasons, but also pathetically for ideological reasons (Schumer genuinely seems to get off on defending the large banks, as if it makes him broadminded and evenhanded).

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  5. Edwards, but I saw him "live" in the Chicago debates, and felt something off.. Switched to Obama.

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  6. Former GA Governor and Senator Zell Miller. He might have been a plausible Presidential candidate at one point but 9/11 for some reason made him lose his mind and become every Republican's favorite Democrat.

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    1. I sensed that about Zell before it was too late.

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  7. I don't vote (noncitizen) but I feel really bad about being supportive of Ralph Nader in 1996 (and some time thereafter).

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  8. Nader 2000, obvs. And my 2010 vote for Mickey Kaus in the senate primary was dumb, because that dude does not need validation for his bizarro anti-immigration views.

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  9. Nader 2000 as well, although I wasn't old enough to vote so I suppose my support didn't really hurt Al Gore. For the record, I also find Gore pretty distasteful but certainly would have voted for him if given the franchise and a time machine.

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  10. Illegally voted (underage - bamboozled the little old ladies at the poll) for Edwards in the '04 primaries.

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  11. I voted for Rod Blagovejich. Twice.

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  12. Supported Nader so much I was registered Green for years. Supported Gray Davis, not only for governor, but supported the anti-recall effort. Also voted for Arnold for re-election.

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    1. You supported Gray Davis and voted Arnold?

      Wha?

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    2. He voted for Davis against Arnold in 2003 and for Arnold against Phil Angelides in 2006, and regrets both votes.

      We can infer that he likes Angelides > Schwarzenegger > Davis.

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  13. Nader 2000 for me too. I felt sophisticated at the time because I was supporting him partly to help the Green Party clear some sort of major-party threshold in Wisconsin (it didn't). I also thought Gore was soft on global warming for opposing expensive gasoline. Afterwards I realized that if every liberal grad student who thought both parties were too corporate and militarist had voted for Gore, it would have changed the outcome, and my political behavior has never been the same.

    My vote for Erskine Bowles for NC Senate 2004 looks worse to me now than it did, but I'd still vote for him to try to keep Richard Burr out.

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  14. I'm heartened to see Naderites who've seen the light. I'll date myself and say that I learned this lesson by not voting in 1968 because my candidate has been killed, and Humphrey was too tied to LBJ and the war. Still...Nixon?

    I worked for and voted for LBJ in 1964, believing his peace rhetoric. Hard to regret the Voting Rights Act etc. and certainly he was preferable to Goldwater! But I did feel betrayed.

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  15. John Kerry because he threw in the towel in Ohio. After Bush stole Florida in 2000 he should have been ready to fight for every vote, win or lose. I'm just bloody sick of wimp out Dems. Democrats need a lot more "Give 'em Hell" and a lot less "Why can't we all just get along?"

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    1. Anyone who tries to challenge a 118,457 vote victory has a pretty heavy burden.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/29/politics/29ohio.html

      To compare it to Florida 2000, where the candidates were separated by hundreds of votes, is ridiculous. I know that there were long lines in Democratic areas, and there is strong reason to believe that this was intentional, but no court is going to overturn an election with that kind of margin on such grounds.

      Anyway, I have read all the Ohio-was-stolen theories and am skeptical that they are right on the merits (never mind that they had no chance of prevailing in court or Congress). In 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, and 2012, Ohio was slightly more Republican than the nation as a whole in the presidential results. I really don't see any reason to assume that 2004 was any different--especially since an initiative on banning gay marriages helped to draw conservative evangelicals to the polls. And please don't give me that "Kerry won the exit polls in Ohio" business. Exit polls are still polls, and are hardly infallible. "However, if you believe the error in the exit polls presents evidence of widespread fraud, you need to explain how such a fraud could have been committed consistently across all types of voting equipment and in all the battleground states. You would also have to reconcile that theory with New Hampshire, where the exit polls overstated John Kerry's support by 5%, yet a Ralph Nader sponsored recount found no noteworthy discrepancies." http://www.mysterypollster.com/main/2004/12/so_why_were_the.html

      There were much closer (and more questionable) elections than Ohio 2004 where Democrats *and Republicans* acquiesced in the other party's victory. Did the Republicans "wimp out" by not challenging 1948 (where they lost Illinois, Ohio, and California by very small margins and would have won the presidency if they carried them) and only half-heartedly challenging 1960 (Illinois and Texas, both much closer than Ohio 2004)?

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    2. "Did the Republicans "wimp out" by not challenging 1948 and only half-heartedly challenging 1960?"

      That's an intriguing question. I'm inclined to agree with you that the answer is "no", but it's still weird how politicians all of a sudden get worried about destabilizing the country when they get that close. It's especially weird that Nixon, of all people, got a sudden case of the feels.

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    3. Nixon's allies did make a fairly strong effort at a recount in Illinois, but the problem is that Illinois alone wouldn't have given Nixon the presidency. That would have taken Texas, too, and whereas in Illinois the Republicans did have certain resources--they had a majority on the State Board of Elections, for example--in Texas, the Democrats controlled everything (and JFK's margin was bigger in Texas than in Illinois anyway).

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  16. I'm confused by, "politicians you didn't like at the time but thought were the best choice for strategic reasons." If it was the best choice, why on earth would you be embarassed by it? Vote for the lizard, not the wizard! Or do you mean cases where you thought it was the best choice for strategic reasons but your strategic analysis turned out to be wrong?

    I'm embarassed that I voted for Feinstein in her last primary. She was unopposed, but I should have written someone in. I supported Edwards, but by the time my state came up he was toast anyway so Obama got my vote.

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  17. Blagojevich. Yes, even in the 2006 general, when I was pretty thoroughly disillusioned with him, and even though his GOP opponent was a moderate. My way of thinking was that if Obama were to be elected president or vice-president, I would want a Democrat to fill his seat...

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  18. Blagojevich...twice. Friggin crook.

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  19. I went door-to-door to get out the vote for Nixon in 1968, but I'm not particularly embarrassed by it because I was twelve years old. OTOH, I did think that he would end the war, which, even for a twelve year old, was pretty naive.

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  21. If by support you mean someone I wanted to see win (my support has rarely exceeded that.)

    Gary Hart. It did not last long, but I was most enthusiastic about him.

    The sex scandal was enough, but I was even more disappointed when I acquired a copy of his book Patriot at the dollar store. Either he was way over my head, or he was just spouting drivel, but I found the book empty (admittedly, I did not get far into it).

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  22. Obama, 2008 primaries.

    I feel like Hillary would have been a better choice, at this point. At the time, I had been moved off of Richardson because he had no chance of winning nor the charisma necessary to do a good job of it, and Clinton had lost me with her "frontrunner who refuses to answer questions" strategy. Still was (obviously) a terrible strategy. But, I still think Obama has never understood the savage, mindless opposition of the modern GOP, and has been too timid and not done things in his power (like Gitmo and nominations). I've been telling myself for about 3 years now that I made the wrong call.

    Not in the general election, mind you. As I noted above, Angelides is the worst candidate I've ever voted for, but he would have been better than the Governator.

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