Dilemma Resolved

First, thank you all who read my post Immoral Dilemma and offered words of comfort, advice and all manner of expressions that showed that my bloggin’ buddies really get me!

To anybody who didn’t read that or click on the link:  On Saturday, a GOP primary was held to choose the GOP’s candidate in my congressional district.  I detest the front-runner (I’ll show you why later on in this post).  Virginia primaries are open primaries — regardless of how you register, you can vote in either side’s primary.  However, this time, if you voted, you were required to swear an oath to support the GOP candidate in November.  My question was basically is swearing an oath, an illegitimate, possibly illegal, unethical oath binding?  Could I just go and vote and swear the oath and do as I pleased in November?  Could I go there intending to lie, even if I felt it was for an important goal.

Comments were on both sides of the question — and if you look at my answers to them, you will see that I went back and forth with each one.  Apparently, I sway with the gentlest of breezes.  Thank you all.  Truly.  Did I say that?  Yeah.  Well, thanks again.

I tossed and turned Saturday night, and did a lot of soul-searching for most of the day.  I read and considered everybody’s comments and realized that both sides were right, which is why I was having such a hard time.  But then just as I had to really make my decision, I read Mae’s (of Maesprose) comment:

Do what you feel is right but when you call someone a liar or not truthful – like the Republican party – remember, what you hate may become your own definition. Just sayin.

And I realized that she summed up (at the 11th hour as it were) just what I thought.  I’m not a liar.  And I don’t want to take on the characteristics of the GOP that I find so disgusting.  So, while on a long, thoughtful walk, I decided against going.

When I got home, though, I found that I had a little elf at home who was helping me.  My husband John had learned that, while they were calling it a “primary” it was really more of a “straw poll” — there were about 6 places around the district (which is huge) where Republicans were meeting in a large room where they would vote — no voting booths, no anonymity, no semblance of a real primary.  Names and registration were taken.

I would have been turned away at the door.

So in fact, the decision was made for me.  But I wouldn’t have gone — as much as I loved how Val of QBG Tilted Tiara suggested I look at it:

You do know acting like the enemy is nothing more than ‘going undercover’. Perfectly acceptable during wartime.

Predictably, the candidate I most feared won.  Barbara Comstock.  She is currently in the VA House of Delegates, where she has voted consistently against women’s interests, and bizarrely, against spending funds for transportation here in NOVa.  She worked as an opposition researcher for decades.  In fact, was one of the main people working on Travelgate and other Clinton-era scandals.  She is a pit bull.  If she ends up in Congress, she will make Daryl Issa look like an amateur.  She is a nasty piece of work.  And this district is so heavily gerrymandered, that she will be there for the rest of her life.

So it looks like I will be busy in the fall.

Thanks again to everybody who offered opinions, options, words of comfort.  You guys are the best.  Can I come and live in your political district?????

 

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72 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Elections, GOP, Huh?, Hypocrisy, Law, Stupidity, Virginia, Voting, Wild Beasts

72 responses to “Dilemma Resolved

  1. Looks like you will indeed have your hands full this fall. I love Val’s response. Very clever. :)

  2. To me this doesn’t sound like a democracy. Aren’t our votes suppose to be private and don’t we have the right to vote at anytime who we want to? I don’t get it Elyse.

  3. I’m glad you made your decision before you had it made for you. Now you will always know what you would have done and won’t question it. Sorry about Comstock winning. Rest up for the fall.

  4. Eva

    Damn, woman. The underhanded moves of the GOP never cease to amaze me but constantly frighten me at the same time. Comstock sounds like she came from the same, demon litter as Jan Brewer.

  5. Definitely respect that decision. Sounds like a tough one. You can certainly come and vote up here, Elyse, our politics are very dull and there’s nary a Barbara Comstock to be found… just disregard that Rob Ford fellow in Toronto, he is a total outlier (and will likely win re-election this fall).

    Best wishes with the good fight.

  6. Paul

    In retrospect I agree with Mae – as much as I personally think what they asked was unethical and hence ignorable – you could become like them by trying following their lead. That beng said, what John discovered was even more fightening: they were holding open votes with a sworn oath to stay dedicated to your chosen candidate. This is precisely why every free country demands that votes be confidential. It smacks of shades of Nazi-ism because those who watched you vote could turn you in to the organization if you didn’t follow the oath. You could be blackballed for supporting another candidate, you could be threatened (if anyone in the meeting was your boss or co-worker you could lose your job and family income), pressure could be applied to make you keep silent about abuses, voters could be bought by rival candidates who saw who they needed to sway to change the outcome, and on and on and on. The rules are there for a reason and these guys are trying to make a workaround to benefit themselves and influence an election. It makes me shiver.

    • @When I got home, though, I found that I had a little elf at home who was helping me. My husband John had learned that, while they were calling it a “primary” it was really more of a “straw poll” — there were about 6 places around the district (which is huge) where Republicans were meeting in a large room where they would vote — no voting booths, no anonymity, no semblance of a real primary. Names and registration were taken….>>I co-sign with Paul that this type of crap makes me shiver..Not only that alot of US(even someone like me whose run for public office before; BUT trust & believe not as a Republican..) had no clue existed..I am glad you had this dilemma; if for no other reason you wrote & shared this insight..I’m used to rolling sleeves up for any election..But with November’s being especially important; it is good to know exactly what we’re up against. I’ll be spreading the word & that will hopefully motivate more folks to roll sleeves up and get involved.

      • It is scary, isn’t it? Glad I could share. But there are a lot of bad apples around, on the ballot as well as off.

        I am impressed that you’ve gone so far as to run for office . Good people need to do that!

        • Yes, many more good people need to run for office..Thankfully it was a good , clean race and I only lost by few votes..I learned alot..What I learned most that I hate about politics is it takes ALOT of moolah..And that doesn’t necessarily mean the best man or woman wins. Getting worse instead of better in that regard..But least alot of us, like you, are still doing what we can & when we can to keep politics honest.

    • You Canadians are such kind and welcoming folks. But it is soooooo cold up there! But the absence of Comstock-like pols does sound inviting!

    • Yes, there is nothing good about this process, that’s for sure. And there are shades of nasty things for sure., Paul. But I just find that I need to work hard up to November. Shit.

  7. There is a lot of rolling around in the metaphorical mud down there, Elyse. Yeesh. Good luck in the fall!

  8. I liked both responses (Val and Mae), and when I read your post yesterday, did not even attempt to throw my hat into the ring because I don’t know which way I would choose. The only thing I have to go on is my churning stomach, which recoils in revulsion at the thought of much of the dogma that is circulated by the Republican party. Voting is a requirement, not an privilege (in my view). Which would almost have me launching into a story I’m dying to tell about sisters and opposite political beliefs, but no time for that now. I’m glad to know that you can sleep and night, and your integrity is still intact. Learning how to fight fire with fire gets lots of people burned. :-)

  9. Well, at least your question resolved itself.
    My first thought was to stick with your principles.
    But then there’s also the question of which of the many principles at play in the question are affected, and which weighs more…

  10. You wouldn’t want to be in my district, gerrymandered. I am NOT represented by Republican Ann Wagner. She is a pal of “Legitimate Rape” Todd Akin. Heck, we have a bust of Rush Limbaugh in our State Capitol, put there by Teapublicans in a ceremony that wasn’t even open to the press. Thank God, I live in St. Louis, which is somewhat of a liberal stronghold in a red state.

  11. mercyn620

    You would be disappointed in my district, although this year the Dem party is putting lots of $$ behind its candidate – they believe the tide may finally be turning in this previously overwhelmingly Rep’n district (in the southern part of Christie’s state of NJ). The guy has been in the House for years and is a conservative – but did vote for Sandy funds. We will see.

  12. I’m sorry, what? Swear an oath? Like a feudal fealty type bow down on one knee and kiss the master’s ring type of oath? Is this some new fangled nonsense that’s happened since I’ve been out of the US? Do I want to come back to the US? It sounds pretty scary over there at the moment, Elyse.

  13. I have a “way too late” question here: if this was supposed to be some type of open primary (did I get that wrong?) then how could there be a litmus test like “taking an oath”? Isn’t that a whole lot worse than a poll tax?
    I guess I’d never vote for anyone who had to use tactics like that to get my vote!
    But what do I know? I vote Green!

    • It was confusion on my side. They called it a “firehouse” primary so they could fudge the rules. Everybody sat around like a straw poll.

      They did it this way to keep people from voting for the more serious weirdos on the ticket. Which I would have done …

  14. Yeesh. I’m not familiar with her, but she sounds scary. I mean, being worse than Issa is really saying something!

    You’re welcome to come to my district out here in the Massachusetts 2nd. It’s a pretty great district–very progressive in my area. Okay, I did catch one of our Senators flirting with a beauty queen outside a bathroom once, but…we have Elizabeth Warren! And a town near me just elected its first ever transgender candidate to the school board, and we have an openly gay candidate running for AG–I believe if she gets elected, she’d be the first openly gay state AG in the country.

  15. No time for a lengthy comment —a wrack of ribs is waiting for me—but I will say that I gave you bad advice. I said lie through your teeth. You should come to expect nothing less from me than bad advice.

    Good God, I hate gerrymandering. That’s my button to push. My “Slowly I turned…”. How was that allowed to happen? Are there NO honest people in Washington? Never mind. I already know the answer.

  16. Well now you will have to work double hard to send the bitch back to hell. Look at it this way, They turned Minnesota Blue, it was Red as the Devils backside in 2002 and by 2004 it was purple, by 2008 it is BLUE. We are following the same roadmap in Texas, today Dallas County is BLUE, entirely and we will turn this state Blue by 2016 if not sooner.

    So, okay ethics are good. No undercover work. But get out there.

    • You crack me up, Val. But yes, I will have to work pretty hard. This district is a mix of educated liberal, serious conservatives, and dumb Fucks. So really anything can happen. But Comstock is seriously bad news.

      Let’s hope VA, like TX comes to it’s senses!

  17. Interesting how the straw poll was disguised as a primary (or the other way around). You did the right think by not voting. Although the oath presumably has no teeth, it’s designed to play on one’s moral compass. Of course irony is those preying on that compass have a selfish compass.

    You wouldn’t want to live in my district because it is one where many vote for the designation associated with the candidate. Besides, the Dems also post lousy candidates. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to the upcoming Ohio primary so I can undeclare my party affiliation.

  18. Oh my, didn’t realize my answer was so weighted! Glad to see you are happy with the outcome.

  19. It was just as well, Elyse, not to compromise your integrity.

    • That is where I came down, but in a real primary, they cannot ask you to do that. Since I thought it was real, it followed that they couldn’t be allowed to demand it. Hence the dilemma…

  20. Of course, not voting was the logical choice, even though you really wanted to take part in our privilege to vote. As it turned out, you would have had no control over who won. I feel so sorry that the candidate who won was just the one you didn’t want to win. :-(

  21. Come to Alberta! They just announced on the news today that a liberal leaning Conservative from Toronto is planning on running as the Conservative leader of Alberta. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Alberta is the most Conservative province in all of Canada because of our oil reserves. We are the only province in Canada where there is no provincial sales tax. So here, you don’t pay sales tax, the millionaires are very rich & you have to wait a long time for healthcare because the province doesn’t sink enough money into it. I think in your state this might constitute a Republican? Or am I mixed up about your parties?

  22. Pingback: Thank You All! « LargeSelf

  23. The grass is always greener in someone else’s political district, Elyse. Or is that over the septic tank?
    Anyway, I’m glad you didn’t go and have to slink off when your cover was blown.

  24. You are, indeed, in the thick of it–the vortex of the storm, as it were. Yet political chicanery is everywhere. What would America be without it? As long as there is a power play to make, mud will be flung…

    • Lorna, how nice to see you. I was going to drop you an email to say hello. I hope you’re well — just busy.

      And yes, there will always be some dirt in politics — with power at stake, of course there will be. But the GOP in VA is doing everything it can to not play by the rules. If they ever start running decent candidates (highly unlikely in the near future) we would be in trouble.

  25. Sorry, I’m late to the party, but personally, if I’m voting for someone who makes certain promises only to break them later (a.k.a., “any politician”), I would have very little compunctions in breaking an oath to vote for them. The fact that the oath is unenforceable probably doesn’t mean as much as the fact that it’s probably illegal.

    Did you know that Mitt Romney bragged about changing his registration so that he could cast votes in Democratic primaries?

    • This was a few weeks ago now, and I didn’t go. It was called a firehouse primary –but it was more like a straw poll in my mind. So I didn’t’t go. But you made my point precisely — in VA in a regular primary, anybody can vote in either side (only one, though). That’s what pissed me off — then I’d be asked to SWEAR? Of course, the GOP makes me swear all the time!

      • I read both posts and the comments, so I know you didn’t. I would be less comfortable swearing in the open, but then I could call it a “political protest performance art”.

Play nice, please.

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