Massachusetts election is none of Lindsey Graham’s business

Just a few hours after I saw Nikki Haley’s Tweet that said “Help Scott Brown stop the government takeover of Health Care,” which had so many things wrong with it that they couldn’t possibly be addressed in that medium, and which caused me to think, That’s it; I’ve completely lost all my patience with Nikki, I …. where was I going with this sentence? oh, yeah… I ran across this one from Karen Floyd:

From Sen. Lindsey Graham: “Please make telephone calls from your house to support Scott Brown…

And so, rather that pick on little ol’ Nikki, I’ll use Sen. Graham as my example.

Senator, the election in Massachusetts is none of your business. The very idea that you, or Nikki, or anyone else from outside that state should seek to influence the choice of a senator from that state — someone who will represent that commonwealth’s people for the next six years, and probably longer, given the power of incumbency — just so that you can win on one vote on one bill in the Senate, is absolutely unconscionable.

Never mind the fact that you’re wrong on the issue in question. Even if you were right, this sort of meddling would be wrong.

I don’t expect you ever to adopt my attitude — which is that I wouldn’t give two cents to help either party get a leg up in Congress — but at the very least you shouldn’t interfere in a decision that should be purely that of the people of Massachusetts for such a narrow purpose.

P.S. — I was going to link to when we discussed this subject before, but couldn’t find it. It was within the context, I think, of SC partisans being urged to try to influence outcomes in runoff elections or recounts or something in Georgia or Minnesota. Do y’all remember? As I recall, some of you took me to task, because y’all buy into the notion that the all-encompassing war between Brand X and Brand Y dictates that all local politics is national. As an unreconstructed Federalist, I disagree strongly. I don’t want folks from elsewhere messing in our elections, and I don’t want to see folks from here doing the same elsewhere. We’ve got enough problems right here at home.

21 thoughts on “Massachusetts election is none of Lindsey Graham’s business

  1. Brad Warthen

    As for both parties’ efforts to boost turnout up there, you might say, “Well, at least no one could find fault with THAT.”

    But I would say, “Just watch me.”

    As all-American and apple-pie-ish as boosting voter turnout may sound, it’s pretty obnoxious in this context. To begin with, I have at least a slight problem with most efforts to boost turnout, and it goes like this: If people are insufficiently interested in an election to turn out without you pestering them about it, I don’t think I want them voting, because it means they likely have paid very little attention and almost no thought to the issues in the election, and are highly unlikely to make a well-considered decision. We have enough of that going on already among those who ARE motivated to turn out on their own.

    In this context, it’s much worse. To be trying at such a late moment to turn folks out precludes any sort of sober consideration on the part of the voters thus affected. And to the extent that that ARE applying thought to their decisions, they will be thoughts entirely influenced by the outside interests that are pestering them to get out and vote. A bad deal all around.

    Yes, it’s possible that by having lots of get-out-the-vote money and effort flowing into a state you will stimulate actual interest that will get some voters to think a little harder about the vote. And yes, the people they are trying to turn out today are most likely folks they have previously identified as likely to vote their way, so it isn’t entirely last-second.

    But frankly, I wouldn’t give you two cents for the quality of “thought” encouraged by the national parties, or the level of understanding and perspective on the part of people who would be influenced by such an effort.

    If you wouldn’t turn out without this effort, perhaps the commonwealth is better off if you stay home.

  2. Karen McLeod

    As much as I want us to get some kind of Health Care reform that actually works for the people needing health care, I have to agree with you here, Brad. In addition, it’s likely that any get-out-the-vote calls from either side will be shaded with so much propaganda as to be opaque to truth, or to real issues.

  3. bud

    I would love to see outside forces meddle in South Carolina politics if they could do so successfully. We have such a mess I would applaud sensible meddling. That’s because I’m results oriented, not process oriented. The process is completely unimportant as long as the outcome is good. That’s why I reject all this talk about restructuring. It’s idiotic to think that any changes we make on the structuring of state government will make any difference. It’s pure bologna.

  4. Kathryn Fenner

    If you don’t live in a jurisdiction, you should stay out of its decisions, like the folks from outside Columbia who are always writing in to The State about what Columbia needs to do. The latest was a gentlemen from Lexington who correctly, imho, stated that Columbia needs to do more for the homeless….but, in my annoyed opinion, Lexington needs to step to the plate and stop sending its homeless to us.
    If you want to have a say, live there.

  5. Doug Ross

    Just add this to the growing list of typical partisan acts Lindsey commits when he feels it is in his best interest to act like a republican.

  6. Kathryn Fenner

    Billlll — Obama is the President of ALL of the states, so his involvement in the politics of any state is reasonable. Graham is just our Senator. A better analogy would be if Senator Al Franken meddled–except he hasn’t.

  7. bud

    Kathryn I would have to protest, mildly, the notion that a person from state A should stay out of the electoral process in state B, IF the office in question has national implications. In the case of Massachusetts the election is for a United States Senator and whoever wins will have influence on legislation that affects everyone, not just people in MA. Hence I would cut Lindsey a bit of slack on this. Since I’ve never been offended all that much by folks who act like partisans I really don’t mind so much that Lindsey is supporting the GOP candidate in MA.

    This is, of course, about the principal involved. I hope Coakley can win, but it doesn’t look good right now. Nate Silver has Brown a 3-1 favorite.

  8. bud

    I agree with Brad on the turnout issue. What is admirable about a big turnout in and of itself. Wouldn’t a quality turnout be better than a big number?

  9. Brad Warthen

    Oops, I let Bill in by accident there. I’ll correct that.

    Just by the way, he tries to interject here on the blog almost daily, usually in bursts of two, as you see above. “Mike Toreno” has also tried to rejoin us two or three times under different pseudonyms. Haven’t heard from Lee in a while, though.

  10. Brad Warthen

    … and bud — amen, brother!

    Maybe we should convert ballots from multiple choice to essay. If you had to construct arguments for the candidate your prefer — whichever candidate that may be — that would pretty much weed out the folks who don’t THINK about their vote.

    I’m only being a LITTLE bit facetious here…

    The questions could be worded this way: “Compare and contrast the candidates for (insert office here) listed below, citing pro and con arguments for each, and demonstrating your thorough familiarity with each one’s platform. Conclude by coherently arguing why one (and only one) of the candidates should win the office.”

    And if you didn’t bring your Blue Book, one would be provided. Hey, I don’t want to raise unreasonable obstacles to voting or anything…

  11. David

    Heck, you don’t have to go that far. Just give ’em a blank ballot. If you know the name of the candidate you want to vote for, then you can vote. It’s a low hurdle but I wonder how many couldn’t make it.

  12. Kathryn Fenner

    bud–much as I truly wish an influx of out-of-state people (I’ll take my chances that they’ll be more sensible than the folks who brought us Mark Sanford twice) would come and influence our elections (yeah, I know–the school “choice” people come, too. Boo), I really have problem with get-out-the-vote coming from away (or from within–I’m starting to see your point, Brad).

  13. Nick Nielsen

    Well said, Brad. Now let’s apply this principle to campaign finance reform. Change the law to allow unlimited campaign donations, but only to candidates for whom you are eligible to vote.

    This does three things:
    1. It eliminates any complaints that people can’t contribute the amount of money they wish.
    2. It eliminates the power of the PACs.
    3. It makes politics local again.

    It may or may not work, but it’s sure better than the rules we’ve got now.

  14. Nick Nielsen

    I forgot a fourth benefit: It gets businesses out of politics. If you can’t vote, you can’t donate.

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