In 1995, Congress and the White House deadlocked over a budget issue and allowed the government to shut down. In 1996, I voted for my only write-in candidate for president and against my Congressman. Why?
If you count the vice president, that made 537 people who were derelict of their Constitutionally mandated duties. Supporters of either side would say, “Well, they have to make a point.” To me, there is no point that important to make. We didn’t live in a country torn by civil war. We were in the middle of an economic boom. The only point to be made was ideological. And in a democracy, ideological points are never ever that important. In fact, they seldom have anything to do with reality.
So rather than choose between the sitting president and one of 100 sitting senators, I wrote in the man who lost the Reform Party nomination to Ross Perot. I’d painted Perot, perhaps unfairly, with the same brush. I suppose if I had to do it over again, I’d have cast a vote for that mad little Ferengi.
So in October of 2013, the government shuts down again, and over even more dubious reasons than in1995. And once again, I will not be voting for my Congressman. Nor will I vote for Republican Senator Rob Portman in 2016, either for Senate or for president. Nor will I give Democrat Sherrod Brown my vote in 2018. It’s too bad on the Congressman. Brad Wenstrup finally kicked that vapid harpie Jean Schmidt to the curb in 2012. And despite the Tea Party rhetoric, he’s always been a reasonable sort of guy.
But Wenstrup, Portman, and Brown were in Congress the day the government shut down. And there are have to be consequences. And the consequences are that I don’t vote for them. Never again. So I’ll be voting for some guy I’ve never heard of. Come 2016, the Republicans have a chance to court my vote (Slim, maybe) as long as their nominee was not a sitting member of Congress in October, 2013. Likewise, the Democrats. As long as they do not nominate one of that useless body or Vice President Biden, I’ll listen. So what if it’s Biden vs., say, Rand Paul? Well, the Libertarians, Greens, and Modern Whigs usually get a presidential candidate on the ballot in Ohio.
Or maybe I can write in Ross Perot. I kinda feel like I owe the guy.
There are few unforgivable sins in politics. Shutting down the government needs to be one of them.