The end is nigh!
By which I mean the end of the election cycle, and thank Cthulhu for that, because the onslaught of negative TV ads was honestly grating on my last nerve. Sad to say, I’m actually looking forward to the non-stop ads for Christmas shopping sales.
With Election Day tomorrow, I’m going to offer some thoughts on various races. I wouldn’t call them endorsements per se, since I think endorsements are worthless, but I will opine about who I think should win.
I’ll start at the top and say that I want Obama to get a second term. I say this as someone who voted for Obama and has often been disappointed in his performance over the past four years — but not so much as to give him the boot and put Romney in the Oval Office.
I find Romney to be as disingenuous and insincere a politician as you could get, but that’s not why I oppose him. Nor do I oppose him on his rather vague financial policies, which I believe are ultimately no better or worse than Obama’s (though I definitely do not subscribe to trickle-down/supply-side economics as a viable and sustainable economic model).
What is driving me away from Romney in a huge way: I believe he would champion a social agenda that sets back civil rights for women and homosexuals. If you’ve read the GOP’s official policy paper for the 2012 election (I have), you’ll see that it codifies repressing rights for same-sex couples and, specifically, women in the military. Our President is supposed to champion equal rights for all citizens, and anyone who would repress rights in the name of some ill-defined greater social good doesn’t deserve the nation’s top seat.
If Obama is re-elected, my hope is that the GOP ceases its efforts to stop Obama’s major economic initiatives cold in the name of political gamesmanship and works with him to craft policies that are in everyone’s best interests — not just the uber-rich, not just the very poor, everyone.
I’m one step away from flipping a coin at the voting booth, because I really don’t care for either Scott Brown or Elizabeth Warren. Neither of them has impressed me so much that I’m falling over myself to vote for them.
Let me first say that Dan Botelho is probably the best third-party/non-party candidate this area has seen in years. He’s not a righteously indignant one-issue ideologue, which is largely what has emerged to run against the party candidates, but a thoughtful and well-informed candidate with some good ideas.
Christopher Sheldon, while a decent candidate, never struck me as a great candidate, and definitely not a superior choice to Congressman William Keating. His critics like to say “Keating hasn’t done anything for this district!” but that is a patently false statement. His record of achievement is fairly good for a first-term Congressman, and he has treated the Cape as well as his predecessor Bill Delahunt ever did.
I think Cape voters would be nuts to let Senate President Therese Murray (D – Plymouth) go, in good part because of that title in front of her name; as Senate President, she has the mojo to get things done for her district in a big way. She’s also spearheaded some significant reform efforts over the past two or three terms, so she’s not sitting on her hands doing nothing.
Tom Keyes has run a much better campaign than in 2010, and I fully expect another close race between him and Sen. Murray, but so much of his campaign has been based in reactionary statements that try to paint Sen. Murray as a corrupt, ineffective do-nothing. If Murray were to state, “I like cats,” Keyes would issue a press release accusing her of being in the pocket of Big Dog. He hasn’t really distinguished himself as a superior alternative to the incumbent, and if he does come out on top, I would say Murray lost the race rather than Keyes won it.
Barnstable County Commissioners
Mary Pat Flynn and Sheila Lyons should be returned to the board, because Eric Steinhilber has not proven himself worthy of ousting either of the incumbents.
Mr. Steinhilber chose the wrong tentpole issue in the “MWRA on Cape Cod” to-do, stuck to his guns far longer than he should have once that topic’s shelf-life expired back in the summer, and has failed to show voters why his opposition to a taxpayer-funded wastewater authority is somehow better, more reliable, or just plain different than Ms. Flynn’s or Ms. Lyons’.
I directly asked Mr. Steinhilber why voters should believe him when he says “I oppose a wastewater authority” but doubt the incumbents when they say it, and he did not provide a good answer; his argument was, basically, he was dead-set against it and Flynn and Lyons were not — and he did not elaborate whether he thought they were lying or were simply easily manipulated dupes who could be bullied into changing their minds.
That, coupled with his lackluster ideas on other issues and failure to recognize OpenCape as a potential economic engine for the region, make him ill-suited for the job compared to Flynn and Lyons — and that’s a shame because I had high hopes for the guy. I maintain he would have made a better challenger for State Senator Dan Wolf (D – Harwich) in 2010 than Jim Crocker, but the man needs to be better about doing his homework and distinguishing good issues from bad (or non-) issues.
The Right to Repair question is a tricky one, but let’s be clear about one thing: voting “no” on Question One does NOT negate the Right to Repair Law passed earlier this year; a “no” vote is against the ballot question only.
What a “yes” vote would do is set the stage for a mess in the Legislature. By approving a RtR Law via the ballot, voters would be overriding the existing law, which lawmakers approved after several failed efforts in the face of staunch opposition by the auto industry. The existing law may have flaws, but it would be better to address those flaws through the legislative process than by forcing lawmakers to either entirely scrap the law they crafted — or create a compromise law, or ignore the will of the voters completely and keeping the current version.