Three Good Candidates In The Race
Wednesday - May 19, 2010
I’m shocked to see myself writing this, but I’ve concluded that we’ll be very ably served by whichever contestant is elected to Congress this Saturday in the urban Oahu district.
I gave my vote to Ed Case (it’s too late in the game for my opinion to be an outcome changer), who was endorsed by both of our daily newspapers. He’s smart, experienced and - most important for me - an independent thinker. I’m basically a social progressive, but there are fiscal things Democrats sometimes propose that thinking people should oppose.
Party-line voters in Congress are bad medicine. Parties are becoming bad medicine. George Washington warned upon leaving office that the rise of political parties threatened the health of the republic.
Charles Djou, the conservative Republican, is smart. And he bucks standard GOP thinking on immigration and financial reform. He’s against same-sex marriage, but you hardly ever find a candidate you agree with 100 percent. Djou did relatively badly in the debates. He seems to memorize speech snippets.
He has been advertising daily on the Drudge Report, a very expensive venue and a very conservative, anti-Obama Web site. If he wins a three-way plurality, he’d be going to Congress while more than 60 percent of the voters said they preferred one of the Democrats.
Colleen Hanabusa probably will run third on Saturday and is the poster candidate of Sens. Inouye and Akaka, Mayor Hannemann and the unions.
Hasn’t generated great public traction.
But she’s smart, has 12 years of legislative experience and matches me in social progressiveness - leading society to change as the times change. She’s quick on her feet. She’d obviously be very beholden to her endorsers, but she’s now a party player anyway, no longer the dissident of the early years.
A good point made by Case and Hanabusa in the debates: You can’t just say no new taxes ever, no stimulus money, no bailouts. If you do, you need to offer an alternative revenue source, another way to lift the economy in a recession, and another way out if our biggest banks and industries all crash at once.
But Djou’s “no’s” aside, there’s nothing that makes me say, “Oh, heaven forbid!” if any one of the three wins - and it’s only an interim win because we go right into a campaign for the September primary. Yep, more fundraising, more TV commercials, more of those dinnertime robo-calls - for governor and mayor, to boot!
The GOP smells great potential for a win on Saturday. Republicans are hungry. As political strategist James Carville says: “There’s nothing that makes people hungry like being out of power. When you’re in power, all of the big operatives have good jobs or they’re working for some lobbying firm and making $3 million a year, while the other guys don’t have anything to do.”
Gov. Lingle is in her last days. The GOP is a ghost force in the Legislature, absent from the Hawaii delegation and has lost its only City Council member.
The local Torries are starving.
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