Bainbridge Revises and Extends
Steve Bainbridge has a lengthy post responding to some questions that Steven Taylor and I have put to him vis-a-vis why he’s so vehemently against John McCain after having supported his ideological twin, Fred Thompson. He makes some good points about actions McCain has taken that have irritated him but also acknowledges that personality is a part of the equation, in that he finds McCain “arrogant, selfish, unintelligent, and generally smarmy.”
This is reasonable enough, I think, even though we disagree at least somewhat in our assessment. (Certainly, I think McCain’s at least as smart as, say, Thompson.) At some point, style and personality matter just as much as issues. As I’ve noted before, I’d much sooner vote for Barack Obama — or, heck, Chris Dodd or Joe Biden — than Hillary Clinton, despite being closer on the issues to Clinton. We can’t always explain our visceral instincts but we generally trust them.
Regardless, Bainbridge backs off a bit on his threat to sit out the election to teach the Republican Party a lesson:
Having said all that, I must admit that I find McCain the least objectionable of the remaining 4 major candidates. I can’t see myself voting for any of these guys on Feb 5 in the California primary. If we end up with a McCain-Clinton race in November, however, I’ll reconsider my plan to sit out the 2008 general election.
Which doesn’t really surprise me. We’re all disappointed when our favorite candidate loses (I preferred Phil Gramm in
20001996, for example, until his quick exit) but those of us who truly care about politics almost always choose among the available options. I’ve been truly excited to vote twice* — for Reagan in 1984 and Bush in 2000 — but have managed to nonetheless drag myself out to participate in all the other elections in between and since.
*Electile Dysfunction, indeed.