How to Vote

Two weevils

Be sure to vote for the lesser of two weevils.

As typically happens, I’m up late studying the ballot the night before the election. I’ve been reading over the candidates’ statements trying to figure out who is worthy of my vote.

I really should do more research than I have, but (like most voters) I have many demands on my time and have to jam what I can into the amount of time I can spare. That’s actually a pretty sad commentary on democracy, and it probably explains why we’re in such dire straights. (How did GW Bush get elected in 2004? Only criminal blindness on the part of voters can explain it.)

In my defense, I pay attention to the major issues for several months leading up to the election, so I am already fairly well informed. Plus, my liberal values are vastly superior to conservative values, so my worst choice would still be better than any conservative’s best choice. (I am normally opposed to the SarcMark, but that last sentence is in great need of it, lest I be quote-mined for the rest of my life.)

Anyway, the only part of the election I’m still trying to figure out at this late date is some of the lower-profile offices. Take, for example, Superintendent of Public Instruction. In California, there are 12(!) candidates vying for that position. Who the hell are all these people?

Fortunately, seven of them have submitted statements to be included in the Voter Handbook. That rules out five right there! If they can’t be bothered to submit a statement, then I can’t be bothered to vote for them. OK, so then it’s just a matter of reading the seven statements and seeing if one of them jumps out at me as profoundly better than the others. At the very least, maybe I can weed out a few more.

One of the statements that caught my attention was by Lydia A. Guitiérrez. She said a few things I liked. I thought maybe she should be on my short-list of candidates to consider. For example, she says:

Prioritize reading, math, science, and other core academic courses with highly qualified teachers and extended classroom time.

She specifically includes science as a core academic subject! She definitely has my attention. But then she says this:

Affirm accuracy in textbooks in all content areas…

Umm… What exactly do you mean by that, Lydia?

There’s no question that textbooks are imperfect. In fact some of them are quite bad. Richard Feynman talked about that problem when he was on a textbook review committee. But these days, you have to read such statements carefully to understand what the speaker really means. She continues:

…including our Founding Fathers…

Oh! She must mean how many of our Founding Fathers weren’t Christians! I’m sure that’s what she means.

…the Constitution…

Of course! She must be referring to the fact that the U.S. Constitution does not mention God even once. Our non-Christian Founding Fathers and Godless Constitution make it clear that this country was not founded on the Bible, the Ten Commandments, or other religious dogma. Smart cookie, that Lydia!

…and the sovereignty of the United States of America.

Umm… What? The only thing wrong with that statement is it’s usually conservo-speak for “OMG!!!! The United Nations! The New World Order! The One World Government! They’re demolishing the Canadian and Mexican borders! The dollar is being replaced by the ‘amero’! They’re going to vaccinate us! They’re tattooing and implanting RFIDs! The death camps! Everywhere we look we see death camps!

Surely she isn’t one of those. Is she?

What ever did we do before the internet?

I did some Googling and found a very interesting site, which I have bookmarked. It’s called ElectionForum.org. It’s a fundie site telling you how to vote. All you have to do is look at their recommendations and vote the opposite.

For example, here’s what they say about the Senate race:

Their Senate picks

Notice how they list Democrats as well, just in case you’re one of those people who accidentally checked the wrong box when you registered to vote and didn’t discover the error until it was too late to change it for this election.

They actually manage to dredge up some tepid support for one of the Democratic candidates, although I suspect that’s just to prevent you from voting for the true Anti-Christ on the ticket.

You’ll notice there is a link there to find out a little more detail about how they arrived at their recommendations. If you click it, you’ll see:

Worldview summary

I’m really surprised Quintana managed to eke out even one whole thumb in their recommendation list. The other two Democrats must have negative 100s for their “Conservative Christian” and “Low Tax” scores.

This is all rather amusing, but I came here to find out more about Lydia Guitiérrez. Is she really an ultra-conservative unbalanced teabagging Fox News junkie? Or am I projecting onto her my fears of California schools being taken over by Texas-school-board-style lunatics?

Let’s have a look, shall we?

Superintendent recommendations

Nope! Not projecting!

12 Responses to “How to Vote”

  1. Parrotlover77 Says:

    The SarcMark looked interesting until I saw that it was patented and it’s just some douchebag trying to make a quick buck on something stupid. Opensource SarcMark, anybody?

    As for elections, I’m afraid I do the same thing on the lower profile offices. I don’t know a good solution to that problem, but I think that even doing a 5-10 minute search on the Gazoogle is pretty good preparation compared to most people.

    Without getting all conspiracy theory here, if life was lower stress, we’d have a more active voter base. Despite voting being something that can have a very direct impact on your life, it’s not perceived as important as feeding your family, of course. The neocons know this and bank on it. Lower voter turnout helps them because then only the rich fucks vote. Meanwhile, the fundie leaders (who are also rich fucks) play along and whip up a frenzy among their working poor followers that there’s an Imminent Social Crisis (TM) that must be addressed and the candidate that can solve it JUST SO HAPPENS COINCIDENTALLY to also be for things rich fucks care about, like lower taxes for rich fucks and less regulation for their toxic companies. So the working poor that do vote have their minds brainwashed by religious fervor and vote against their own interests. It’s an awesome system. But, you know, it’s not fool-proof, so there’s hope yet.

  2. Jeff Eyges Says:

    “Low Tax/Pro Liberty”. Please. These people, just by being themselves, present a better argument for eugenics than I could ever come up with.

  3. 4ndyman Says:

    Scroll to the bottom of the site for the small, gray print: “The California Election Forum offers 2010 election recommendations for Christian voters from a conservative Christian worldview.” That about says it all.

  4. nazani14 Says:

    I really can’t understand why anyone would Want to believe that our sovereignty is threatened- I can’t see that it has been since 1812. Who would want us? Even Hitler didn’t. This seems to go along with the trend to thank veterans for “defending our freedom,” usually followed by a list of Bill of Rights items. Incredibly, when I explain that I was in the Army over 11 years, and that the mission of the US military has nothing to do with defending the right to vote, etc. I’m sometimes told that I was “no true patriot.”

  5. ericsan Says:

    You want scary? That fucking zombie cow Whitman as governor, that’s scary.

  6. Another Steve Says:

    If you’re looking for some fun, try a google search like: “Carly Fiorina wrecked HP”

    When she hired in, HP stock was trading at $52. When she was fired, HP stock was trading at $21. Now, that’s a credit to crow about.

  7. Brian Says:

    I finally got around to reading Charles Pierce’s book “Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free”. While he goes on about the Dover ID case, Terri Schaivo, and the Creation Museum, the overall point, unsurprisingly, is that we, as a people, no longer think with our heads, but with our gut.

    In the 1950′s, we were all down with Science because those Commie bastards put Sputnik in orbit. Nowadays, anyone who is an actual expert on any given subject is the one least likely to be believed. The last thing we want is for our comfortable preconceived notions to be challenged, and this intellectual laziness translates to batshit crazy candidates winning elections in America. We can’t bother ourselves to fact-check someone with whom we already agree, and we certainly won’t entertain the notion that one of those liberal Democrats might ever be right about anything, especially that Muslim, foreign-born terrorist president of ours.

    Which is why we lazily accept candidates like Sharron Angle in Nevada. She will be challenging Harry Reid in November. He’ll have plenty of ammunition to use against her, such as her contention that only one spouse should be allowed to work. Hmmm. I wonder which spouse she’s talking about. Or perhaps, she’ll have to defend her stance to reinstate prohibition. Of course, the Tea Party loves her, because if anyone thinks with their gut, its those people.

    I’m actually amazed that someone as cerebral as Obama actually won the presidency, given how childishly Americans usually behave. I cringe at the thought of an onslaught of certifiable loons taking office all across the country early next year.

  8. Jeff Eyges Says:

    I cringe at the thought of an onslaught of certifiable loons taking office all across the country early next year.

    Rachel Maddow did a segment last night on the purported “anti-incumbency” thing. In fact, nearly all of the incumbents won.

    Of course, this doesn’t detract from your point that there is reason to fear.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/37604973#37604973

  9. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I’m actually amazed that someone as cerebral as Obama actually won the presidency, given how childishly Americans usually behave. I cringe at the thought of an onslaught of certifiable loons taking office all across the country early next year.

    And the media hates it! To them, for example, the biggest mistake Obama made with regard to the BP oil volcano crisis is that he wasn’t emotional enough.

    Of course, since he’s black, as soon as he starts emoting a little more to make Wolf Blitzer happy in his pants, they all get scared by the uppity angry negro yelling at the white people who caused this mess, as he can’t win in ways that no other president couldn’t win before him.

    Fuck his emotional response. He could completely be without empathy, but if he did the right thing, I would be happy. AGH our media is run by five year olds — it’s so frustrating.

    Rachel Maddow did a segment last night on the purported “anti-incumbency” thing. In fact, nearly all of the incumbents won.

    I saw that too and she has a point about how the media didn’t want their storyline to fail, so all the headlines would be structured in such a way as to say the loser in the election simply failed to activate the enormous anti-incumbant attitude flowing throughout the country they have been reporting on, statistics be damned! However, now is not a time to get cocky because the general election may not turn out the same. In fact, stastically it’s more likely for the president’s party to lose seats (incumbants losing). I don’t think it will be anomolous, personally, but even a loss of one seat in either chamber will result in ZOMG TEABAGGERS WIN ENTIRE ELECTION!

  10. Jeff Eyges Says:

    he can’t win in ways that no other president couldn’t win before him.

    Ain’t that the truth?

    I heard yesterday the govt. is considering placing BP America into receivership and taking over, so it can handle this mess directly. The legal pretext would be that BP’s directors have behaved irresponsibly in not protecting their shareholders. Apparently, they can do that if it’s a publicly held company.

    And I love that he told Matt Lauer, “And I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers so I know whose ass to kick, right?”

    Yes, we’re going down the toilet, but in the meanwhile, it’s wonderful to have a guy at the helm who’s really trying, who isn’t full of bullshit – who, if you ask him a question, actually tries to give you an answer. Really, the conservatives and fundies who accuse him of evasion and prevarication ought to be lobotomized (would we even be able to tell the difference?). For eight years, their guy came out with nothing that wasn’t scripted; you could practically see his lips move as he read the teleprompter. It’s marvelous to finally have someone up there with a fucking brain. I just feel so badly for him; this isn’t what he signed on for. That Onion headline was more truth than satire – “Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job”.

    (Related article:
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/massive-flow-of-bullshit-continues-to-gush-from-bp,17564/ )

  11. Brian Says:

    As far as Obama is concerned, I remain optimistic despite some of his positions which I find questionable. Some of those I can even ascribe to political necessity, given what he needs to do to get reelected. We are a pretty stupid country, after all. In the fullness of time, I hope many of his policies will have a long-term benefit for America, but they may not fully manifest themselves until he’s out of office. Then some Republican doucebag can come into office and claim credit for Obama’s work. We’re an impatient electorate and want everything fixed now, so I definitely don’t envy the guy. I hope he does a good enough job for history to regard him favorably.

  12. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Some of those I can even ascribe to political necessity, given what he needs to do to get reelected.

    Honestly, I think the political necessity is less him arming himself for reelection and more it’s just the stuff he has to do to get the damn bill passed because Republicans are gigantic soiled douches in the Senate. And you konw the Senate can completely cease functioning when ONE Senator has a sad, stomps his feet, and cries like a two year old because (s)he doesn’t get his way.