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February 03, 2004
Yo. Listen up!

This is directed at you on the conservative side of the political aisle, those disenchanted with the Bush Administration's version of 'fiscal responsibility.'

Please bear in mind that the primaries are not the elections. When you step into that voting booth on your state's primary day, whether it's today or sometime later in the cycle, you're not voting against liberals. You're voting for whatever conservative ideas you believe in.

Why not make that vote count? If you're not enamored of the current Administration's behavior, toss your primary vote toward a candidate whose ideas more closely fit yours. No, you're not going to trash the election and you're not going to prevent the George and Dick parade from winning the nomination, but you will send a clear message about the direction you want them to take in the unlikely event they should actually win the election.

I mean, I don't think it will do you much good because they didn't get even half the vote last time and they showed no compunction about dissing the opinions and desires of the majority of voters as well as defying the wishes of a lot of conservatives, and there's no way they can run for re-election again so they have nothing to lose this time but it's worth a try, right?

With absolutely zero assistance from the national media, there are four candidates who managed to attract a noticeable amount of attention in New Hampshire, each having secured more than 1% of the votes.*

There's Richard Bosa, who thinks this country has lost far too many manufacturing jobs and that this is largely because huge, multinational corporations own Congress in fee simple. There are a lot of people who might agree with him.

I'm not sure that his plan to bar all lawyers from public office is quite as rational. Him hating all lawyers isn't really much of a reason to bar everyone with knowledge of the law from serving in the government, but whatever. He might be flexible on that one. You could ask him.

Seriously, he advocates term limits (no more than two terms for any public office) and describes his platform this way:

"[Focusing] on the root core problem of the deterioration of values by government, not acknowledging constitutional guarantees, corrupt courts, silent press intimidated by lawyers, civic groups like the Chamber Of Commerce, NH Business and Industry working for self serving interests and the movement of JOBS by multinationals destroying NH and the US economy, and the lack of morals in the Catholic Church. I call this period 'The Medieval Dark Ages of the 21st Century' where greed, lust for wealth, property and control is the driving force for most individuals, corporations and government agencies."

There's John Rigazio, whose message is that we need to get out of the WTO. He feels strongly on this topic. Strongly enough to have, apparently, attempted to moon the press when discussing the subject. There aren't any pictures because, as I understand it, the press had gotten bored and left by that point, a thing for which we can all probably be profoundly grateful. And, in the interests of full disclosure, he only signed up as a Republican for the primaries because he said the Democratic leadership wasn't taking him seriously. He's pretty much spent his life on the Left.

[He is] against federal tax cuts, against free trade treaties like GATT & NAFTA, supports a substantial hike in the minimum wage, and favors a Canadian-style universal health-care system for the US. He also is refusing to accept any campaign contributions and vows to fund his NH primary campaign with $100,000 from his own pocket.

For the conspiracy-minded among you, there's John Buchanan who prides himself on being the one who discovered and revealed the Bush family's connection to the Nazis. He's a touch delusional (he really thought he was going to sweep New Hampshire out from under Bush's nose and further he actually thinks that Bush should be held accountable for things that may and/or may not have happened before his birth), but whatever.

His candidacy is specifically to shake up the White House, to send a message to the Bush Administration that the Party isn't happy with their behavior. Unfortunately, his platform sort of stops there. "[H]e is running in 2004 as a "peace candidate" and is seeking a "chance to be taken seriously as a 'Bush-stopper.""

That's a pretty sad group, isn't it? I'm afraid there were no other Republican contenders who managed to scoop in more than 1% of the vote in New Hampshire. (Several Democrats did, for what it's worth.)

I used to be worried about the Democrats, but after looking at the quality of candidates being fielded by the Republicans and realizing that there's no one of conscience and principle (and sanity) willing to stand up to the current Administration, I'm worried about the Right, instead. Where are the John McCain quality candidates this time? Did the Party leadership, aware of disaffection in the ranks, put out the word that they'd Take Steps against anyone making a serious push against the current Administration or something?

(* Material pulled from here and here.)

Posted by AnneZook at 10:56 AM


I was over on my blog struggling to write the same sort of thing - except I was thinking about the moderates in Congress. How are they able to swallow what they've been handed by this administration? They got the tax cuts cut in half - they stopped the Energy Bill - but they were bamboozled on Iraq and now we find out they were lied to about the cost of the Medicare Bill - the same one that took extortion to get through the House. How long will they put up with this? How powerful is Grover Norquist?

Posted by: eRobin at February 3, 2004 05:48 PM

There's nothing illegal or immoral about writing in John McCain or the Republican of your choice in the primary.

I think anyone willing to put up with what candidates go through today is either crazy or heroic.

Posted by: Bryan at February 3, 2004 09:04 PM

I was just thinking. I hear a lot about 'grass roots' action on the Left, people dissatisfied with the party and standing up to say so, but I know there are people of intelligence, good sense, and conscience on the Right and I'm surprised that I haven't really heard much about a concerted effort to send a message of disapproval to the White House.

Not, as I said in the post, that I think the Bush Administration would pay any attention. In the unlikely event Bush/Cheney gets re-elected, they won't be eligible for re-election and a politican who isn't running for office has no reason to be responsive to the voters. B/C hasn't been that responsive up until now, so I dread to think what they'll try to push through under those circumstances.

Posted by: Anne at February 4, 2004 08:37 AM