The idea by David Brooks that an Obama win in 2012 is a dead-lock certainty took another hit today with the release of these numbers by Gallup. To summarize, Obama's Job approval rating fell to 41%, and he's down to a 35% approval rating among so-called "independent" voters.
For a long time now I've considered myself one of those independent voters. In the past I've voted for several Democrats, and will continue to do so (locally probably, because my State Senator and State Rep are two of the worst in Texas Government) in future elections. However, unlike in the past, my "democratic" (yes, the small d is intentional) votes won't be 'for' a candidate, but against the sitting incumbents. They will also be wasted votes because I live in one of the most conservative districts in the Country.
Oddly enough, I started my political journey as a Democrat. Granted, I was a moderate Democrat, possibly even a conservative one. My Democratic heroes were John F. Kennedy, Del Miller and other old-school Democrats. When the Democrats of convenience switched over to the Republican Party, I followed most of them because, honestly, what was left-over, was too progressive for my tastes. At the beginning of my blogging career I tried to play nice with everyone. That didn't last long because of one fact: Progressive Democrat activists are, as a whole, a very angry group of people. It was their vitriol that fully drove me away from the Democratic Party, just as it was the anger from what eventually became the Tea Party folks that kept me from fully embracing the Republicans.
Now I'm left with a problem. I still don't like many planks of the Republican platform, but I have difficulty identifying with ANYTHING the Democrats are currently offering. Having something in common with one party and nothing in common with the other pretty much strips away your so-called "independence" doesn't it?
I'm guessing this problem is something a lot of moderates are experiencing right now. I'm certainly never going to be a progressive Democrat because I believe in guiding principles like free markets and personal freedoms. I'm never going to be a Republican because I'm not a social conservative. However, I'm closer ideologically to Republicans than I am Democrats right now, a fact that most readers of this blog have probably already figured out.
Because of this I'm just going to admit that I identify as a Republican. That doesn't mean that the Republican Party is going to welcome me into the fold, or that I'm ever going to vote a straight (R) ticket (I'd rather skip the ballot than ever cast a vote for Sarah Palin or Dan Patrick) but more often than not I'm going to back the candidate with the (R) behind their name.
I say all that to say this: (about time eh?)
I've already made my choice for President of the United States.
That choice is Sen. Marco Rubio. My dream Republican ticket would pair Rubio with Rep. Paul Ryan for Veep.
My friend Evan, has been on the Rubio for a while, and I've checked the evidence, listened to the speeches and, most importantly, studied the Ryan plan and I believe it's the only sustainable course for the Country to follow. I'm not suggesting I'm ever going to be an activist, and you won't see me at a Tea Party rally unless I'm working on something for Iconoclast, but I will be working to see that Republicans bring more politicians like them to the ballot box to give the voters a real choice.
It's a choice that I think will put the Republicans on top. I think the oratory and vision of Rubio matched with the policy of Ryan is a winning combination. I think that a majority of Americans understand that the bloated social compact is doomed to fail, and that we have to make a course correction or something terrible is coming down the pipe. That being said, I believe the Republican Party needs to move away from their corporate welfare, and needs to embrace policies that strengthen the middle class, not through class warfare, but through sensible tax policy that doesn't allow companies such as GE pay no taxes. Yes, this means that I'm against heavy subsidies for oil and gas companies, not because they're "evil" but because it's money the government doesn't need to spend. However, I don't want to see those subsidies go to ethanol or other green energy gimmicks either. If green is going to work, then let the market decide.
So that's it then. This blog post has been a long time coming. I realize that it's going to result in squeals of glee from some on the InterLeft but I just don't care. They were squealing on the few occasions that I agreed with them, why should they change now?*
UPDATED: Wouldn't you know it, I talk good about Rubio and express my distasted for the Tea Party and along comes this story about Rubio speaking to the Tea Party. *sigh* Such is the thin line I'm going to have to walk I guess.
*Having said that, I'm not going to go out of my way to pick fights with them. I don't view politics as "fighting", it's more negotiating and working to forward your ideas. The comments on this blog, and the content of the blog itself, will (hopefully) remain civil. Any Democrat who wants to come on here and debate an issue is welcome, just keep the personal shots to your blogs. Mine are reserved for the humorous posts.