Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In Defense of Illinois Voters

Soon after Rod Blagojevich was arrested, one of the blogs I read regularly, We Love DC posted about Rod Blagojevich with this choice passage:

The blatant “pay for play” and pure escapist’s collusive fantasy, it’s hard to take in without thinking, as my friend PJ does, that Illinois no longer deserves the right to hold free elections.

WHAT? So, the voters are to blame for Rod Blagojevich's mistakes?

I was in Illinois during the reelection of Balgojevich. Voters were between a rock and a hard place. Republicans are suspect because of George Ryan's scandal, plus Judy Baar Topinka isn't a favorite. Rod Blagojevich is pretty much universally hated by this point but is he much better than Topinka? It was the hardest choice any Illinoisan had to make.

It was a common topic of conversation, simply because people were bewildered. How in the hell do you decide between someone you hate and someone else you hate? Illinoisans were stumped.

Take a look at the election Wiki entry again. Rich Whitney, Green Party candidate from Southern Illinois (both tend to fair badly in elections), received 10 percent of the vote. This is better than Ralph Nader faired in 2000. I took the easy way out and voted for him.

Moral of the story: it isn't the voters fault. There just weren't choices. Democrats were sure to nominate Rod Blagojevich, simply because he was the current governor. Judy Baar Topinka is probably one of the more respectable Republicans but couldn't escape the taint of the rest of the Republican party (Sex scandal, anyone).

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