political calculus [updated]

there's an election coming up on tuesday, with multiple choices for many different offices. i have one hard and fast rule:

never vote for a republican for federal office

but every rule has exception. just as every office has different roles, the rules and exceptions are just as varied, and you have to make each decision with varying weights and qualifications

start with the house, one-person-of-435 for a two year term. i need to take my hard and fast rule and take a hard and slow look at my incumbents voting record. in 1994 i had the choice of voting (again) for dan rostenkowski or a republican, but given his actions in congress, i voted for his challenger, as rep. rostenkowski did not deserve reelection. in no way am i saying that rep. bean is corrupt or involved in any scandal, but her votes on the patriot act, the fisa bill, habeas corpus protections, various free-trade pacts, the iraq war, the bankruptcy bill, the wall street bailout, etc, are deal killers, i cannot endorse, and i cannot vote for her. she does not deserve reelection, i will be voting for her challenger [this will be only the second time in my life voting for a republican for a federal office, but as i am not running as a write-in this election, i cannot vote for myself as i did two years ago]

next to the senate, one-person-of-100 for a six year term. sen. durbin's voting record leaves a bit to be desired [see here], but do not outweigh the need of a democrat in that position, i will endorse, and i will vote for him

and now for president, one-person-of-1 for a four year term. never vote for a republican for federal office is 95% of the reasoning here, i cannot, will not, vote for mccain, ever, under any circumstances. but that other 5% is weighs heavy. obama was not my first or second choice in the primary, too corporate, too triangulating, and as i stated before his VP choice was made, if there is even a one-degree separation with yale university, i will note for him. he chose biden, who fails that one-degree rule. if i were in a 'red' or a 'battleground' state, i may have waived that last 5%, but as i live in illinois, and obama is expected to win by 20 points, i can go third party, and will be voting for cynthia mckinney

however you end up voting, i could only hope that it is a free and fair vote, i have not done early voting, as the early voting here in illinois is done by touch-screen (last i heard). i will be voting on tuesday, as my precinct uses paper ballots that you need to mark with a black pen, but then that gets fed into a digital scanning computer.....

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