Although well documented over at the OC Flash Report (Fleischman may look smarmy, but he's undeniably bright), I need to outline my own reasons why this primary was a farce from the beginning.
It was a crap shoot over a year ago when Schwarzenegger signed the legislation that moved California's presidential primary up to February 5th. While the headlines were breathless ("With Earlier Primary, Calif. Reshapes Race"), the analysis underneath spoke of a potential result that had all the glamour and excitement of a mine field. Indeed, rather than "reshaping" the race this year, all California did in the long run was exhaust its voters.
That's not how you want to run your politics.
Thus we arrive at the normal June primary election in this state with a hugely underwhelming voter turnout after having acheived record-breaking numbers in February. Even for me, and in spite of having written an admittedly lackluster "Curmudgeon's Guide" once again, this election caught me pretty much by complete surprise. Or perhaps I was just so politically spent that I didn't really register the numerous campaign placards posted on all street corners this year. I certainly saw them when I was driving home from the polling place earlier this afternoon. Oh, well. C'est le guerre.
The polling place should have tipped me off. When I arrived at about 2:30(ish), the place was deserted. I literally had the run of the booths. The polling workers were so happy to see me that I could have sworn that they were kind of deliberately dragging out the process of getting me signed in, just so they could say they were occasionally busy today. On later reflection, although incredibly convenient for me, it was pathetic in the extreme.
Truthfully, though, I can't lay all of the blame at Schwarzenegger's feet, much as I may want to. There are other elements at play, and they have to do with the "larger picture," the one whose results we're most interested in this November.
For months now, we've been subjected to one of the most rancorous races just to capture the nomination that the Democrats have ever run. I may only vaguely remember the Sixties, but once Johnson dropped out in '68 I still don't remember a race that was anywhere near as contentious as the one between Clinton II and the Religion of Obama (whatever that may be). Citizens, fueled partly by an enabling internet, along with their own absolute "moral authority" as whatever victims they choose to portray, have yelled themselves hoarse (virtually) in proclaiming the merits of their candidates of choice.
Meanwhile, those of us at the other end of the political spectrum are left to contemplate whether we live with what we've been given, or whether we dare try to write in our own candidate this November purely out of principle.
I'd do it, but the only thing stopping me (and I do mean the ONLY thing) is the dread of having Obama in the driver's seat and dictating our foreign policy, especially in the Fertile Crescent. At a point in time where the surge is producing demonstrable benefits in that region, an Obama win in November will nearly instantly erase whatever gains we've made and thoroughly negate the sacrifices made by numerous U. S. heroes throughout this conflict. No matter what the argument, I just can't justify in my own mind and heart allowing that to happen.
(Please understand: this same dread extended to Hillary as well. We've just finally reached the point where Obama seems to be the Anointed One of the Party, so we may as well accept that and move on. So to speak.)
So now I face the unenviable task of choking down my distaste of John McCain and voting for him this November. I am absolutely certain that I will regret this decision on several fronts. I have no delusions that he will not buy into the Global Warming hysteria. He already has. I do not look to this man to stand up to (rather than with) the Open Borders special interests. I have known many conservatives, and this man is no conservative. He's far too chummy with the far-left side of the aisle. But he's all we've got.
If I look listless this November, just push me into the booth and remind me what my duties are. That should rouse me long enough to push the buttons, then fall back into my politically-induced stupor once again.
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