People seem to want my recommendations in the judicial elections. I’m working on them, and have already talked myself into one perhaps surprising recommendation. But this year I’m doing the whole ballot because so much is at stake. So today it’s the big stuff – the federal races.
Important note if you’re voting early before I get the next two installments up: as well as voting in the top ticket races, be sure to vote NO on Florida’s deceptively worded Constitutional Amendment 1 – that’s important too.
US President: Hillary Clinton.
I am not a big fan of the neo-conservative and militaristic foreign policy, but on almost any other policy metric, Clinton scores from fairly well to great, depending on the topic. And on the one, most critical, issue she is transcendentally wonderful, that being the issue of Not Being Donald Trump. This may be the most important vote you cast in this lifetime; and we need to not just win but run up the score both to make a point, and to avoid any chance of subsequent civil unrest on claims of a stolen election.
US Senate: Patrick Murphy.
Marco Rubio is an empty suit. So, alas, is his opponent. On policy there is much less difference between them than one has a right to expect, as Murphy is a former Republican. Even after switching parties Murphy continued to vote more like a Republican than most Democrats – at least until he decided to run for Senate, at which point Murphy toed the party line a bit more.
I had planned to vote for neither. I’ve reconsidered because so many members of the GOP have vowed to obstruct Clinton on judges and everything else. In normal times we might be able to risk divided government, and in normal times I’d suggest not voting in this one as both candidates are depressing. But we don’t have that luxury: Florida’s Senate seat may be the swing between the parties that determines if we will have a fully functioning Supreme Court, or a gradually shrinking one. Hold your nose and vote Murphy.
House of Representatives (FL-27)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has earned admiration both for constituent services and for her principled and very early separation from Donald Trump. Her opponent, Scott Fuhrman, has good positions on the issues but also has a checkered past. There are probably few if any Republicans in the House who more clearly have earned re-election in a normal year than Ros-Lehtinen; that result is also pretty much a forgone conclusion unless we have a wave election the size of which remains hard to imagine. The case for Furhman is like the case for Murphy – it’s about who runs the House. That said, in Murphy/Rubio you have two dispiriting candidates so it makes sense to vote the national consequences as a tie-breaker. In Ros-Lehtinen you have an admirable politician who happens to caucus with the wrong guys, and votes wrong on financial issues of importance to her constituents – but votes her district on gay rights and immigration.
I will be voting against Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (I moved back into the district recently). I am a Cuban-American and firm opponent of the so-called Cuban Embargo. Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen is the poster-girl of that failed policy. I admire that she is otherwise a seemingly reasonable and capable politician. But, as I see it, she represents that old failed vision of US/Cuba relations. I would like to see that vision ushered out.
As for Scott Fuhrman’s checkered past, I’ll admit that I don’t know much about him. I am not voting for Fuhrman, but rather against Ros-Lehtinen. That said, his “checkered past” is that he is a bad driver and didn’t quite know how to handle alcohol in college? I think the Kennedy’s would be quite amused by that characterization.