Today was primary day here in the great state of Indiana, and although I initially hadn’t planned on voting (reasons to follow), I couldn’t bring myself to NOT vote!
[Does anyone remember the old voting machines? With the little levers, and then the big lever to register your votes? I never got to use one for a real vote, but I recall using one in a mock vote in school. Filling in an oval is not nearly as much fun as these monstrosities!]
I think there are other states like this, but in Indiana’s primary, you have to vote in one party’s primary or the other; you can’t vote in both. I had two choices today: I could choose a Democratic ballot, although most nominees were running uncontested, or choose a Republican ballot, where there is a primary race that is garnering national attention—incumbent Richard Lugar vs state treasurer and teabagger darling Richard Mourdock. I considered casting a strategic vote in the Republican primary, because my current Congressman, Joe Donnelly, is running unopposed as the Democratic nominee for this Senate seat. Senator Lugar is a stand-up guy, and I have voted for him in the past, but I’m not crazy about his recent pivot to the right to appease the teabaggers, so I would definitely vote for Donnelly over Lugar. Lugar is a stronger candidate against Donnelly, so Mourdock would be a better opponent if we want to pick up the Senate seat, and that was my possible strategic vote.
Ultimately, I chose to vote today (there was a judge I wanted to vote for) and chose the Democratic ballot, because I just could not cast a vote for Mourdock even though I have no intention of voting for him in the general election. Although I disagree with some of Lugar’s votes, I believe he has done his best by his state and by his country, as well as making the world safer for everyone with his work on nuclear arms reduction. I couldn’t vote against him. I think it’s shameful that he has been targeted by the teabaggers because he has worked across the aisle and has been willing to compromise on certain votes and issues. This ideological purity test that is happening with the Repubs lately is just sheer insanity to me, and I don’t see it getting better anytime soon. They can go as crazy as they want, but I won’t aid and abet their idiocy. Part of this was Lugar’s fault, too, for not taking the threat seriously.
Anyway, it looks like Lugar is going to lose, so in the fall it will be Mourdock against Donnelly. As the state treasurer, Mourdock has more name recognition statewide than does Donnelly, so my advice to the Donnelly campaign (if they read this...and I’ve had a few visits from various Washington, D.C. offices, so it’s possible) would be to come out of the gate hard, and start defining Mourdock as an extremist and all that junk. Donnelly is well-known and fairly well-liked in his own district, but he definitely needs to get a real jump on this and define himself—as well as his opponent—statewide.
After my errands and a good workout, the sun had come out enough to burn off the fog, and it ended up being a pretty nice afternoon. I got some reading and sun time in out on the deck, which was an unexpected treat. As an extra-added bonus, I saw a boy hummingbird at the feeder, so the boys have joined the girls! Yay!