The primary election for Alabama will be this Tuesday. After seeing Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James surge in the polls, I decided that my vote would be best used to try to stop him. I really think that this guy would be very, very bad for Alabama. He’s just not that smart, and he is the typical good ol’ boy politician that you see in this state. I am convinced that everything he is ever got was because of his daddy (former Alabama governor Fob James). The other reason I have decided to vote in the Republican primary is that the stone cold truth is that our next governor will likely come from that party. It’s just hard to imagine this state voting for somebody with a D next to his name for the top office of this state. That doesn’t mean I won’t vote for the Democratic nominee if I think he is the best option. But I do recognize the political realities of living in such a conservative state.
That all said, to vote against Tim James, I do actually have to vote for somebody else. And oh boy, is that tough! Roy Moore is not an option. He’s every bit as crazy as Tim James. In fact, it says a lot that as dirty as the campaign has become, these two candidates haven’t had a word to say against each other even though they are both running strong in the polls. These two are two peas in a pod, and I fully expect that if only one of these two make the runoff, the other will throw their support behind the one that does make it.
Bradley Byrne seemed like he might be an option. After all, the tea party crew don’t seem to like him, and he has been the subject of the crazier attack ads. So I was pretty much thinking that if the crazy folks don’t like him, maybe that’s reason enough to vote for him. But after reviewing his campaign website and listening to his response to the attack ads, I simply can’t go in that direction. He is pretty much saying ‘I can be the biggest tea partyer you have ever seen, just you wait! I can bring the crazy!’. It is clear that his only real strike for the tea party folks is that he is just not pure enough for them. I mean, he once gave $500 to Bill Clinton and that just won’t do. Because if you look at his actual stances on issues, he is every bit as conservative as anyone else in this election. I simply can not hold my nose and fill the bubble next to his name. (The clincher is that I just read one of those things where they ask the candidates a series of simple questions. One of those questions was what is their favorite book. Byrne’s response was the Bible. And that would be fine, except I am sure that answer has everything to do with the ‘he believes the bible is only partially true’ attack ad. So the response comes off as pandering.)
I have decided to go with the dark-horse. Robert Bentley only has an outside chance of getting into the top two, but he is polling just strong enough that I think he just might pull the upset. Now don’t get me wrong, this guy is also plenty conservative. (If you run in this state and have a R next to your name, you are either really conservative or really, really conservative.) But at least he hasn’t slung any mud during the campaign. He also is a doctor and is intelligent. And at least he has some ideas that I can get behind. He recognizes the need of this state to invest in its infrastructure. He has some ideas regarding the improvement of education that doesn’t involve the trendy panacea solution spouted by everyone else, charter schools. Also, I didn’t see any promises on his website declaring that he would never, ever, ever, ever raise taxes, a stance that seems a lot more responsible that taking that option off the table from the get-go that all the other Republicans are doing.
So I’m going with Robert Bentley. Other than that, I will get the opportunity to vote against Troy King, our sleazy Attorney General who is at least on the take from gambling interests (he really doesn’t even bother to hide it). I figure if he is not on the take from other interests, he would be at least willing to listen. I may well not even vote on anything else. (There are others incumbents that I would love to vote against, but their opponents are mostly ‘Tea Party’ approved. So I’m just going to stay out of it.) There is also another amendment to our state constitution on the ballot, in our one state race to 1,000 amendments. It has something to do with propane gas, and if our state had a sense of humor, it would be known as the “Hank Hill Act”.
The Democratic side for governor has Artur Davis, a guy who I pretty much like so far, and the one I will probably go with in the general election. But he is also not perfect. Currently he is a member of the U.S. House. He voted against the health care reform act. It’s a move that I am almost sure was a result of a political calculation in relation to his run for governor, not as a stance based in principle.
Anyway, it sure would be nice to be motivated to vote FOR somebody instead of AGAINST somebody every once in a while. I guess at least I am still motivated to vote, which cannot be said for a lot of people. The lack of motivation to vote is a stance that I am coming to understand more and more with each passing election though.
(Oh, by the way, Robert Bentley and Luther Strange. Yeah, you both just got the “World’s (Not So) Funniest Blog” kiss of death since I revealed just a minimum level of support for you. It’s kind of the opposite of the “Colbert Bump”. Sorry!)