Independent voters and Digby

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Digby over at Hullabaloo is considered one of the better bloggers.  So, imagine my surprise when I read this article about Independents.  There are quite a few quotes I am going to deconstruct out of it, so, no teasers.  

Seriously, go read the article first, then continue on with me…

Does that make sense? Isn’t the answer more logically that independents just habitually dislike whoever is in power and think that both parties are incompetent? Why else would they identify as independents in the first place?

Let’s get this nonsense out of the way.  Frankly, independent voters are Americans first and foremost.  We don’t subscribe to the ideology of either political party.  We don’t vote for someone because they are Republican or Democrat, we vote for the person that we believe will best serve while in office based on issues.  

The very thing Digby cites, “both parties are incompetent”, is what pushed independent voters to elect Democrats into office in 2006 and give the Democratic Party even larger majorities in Congress plus the White House in 2008 — the Republicans ruled incompetently for eight years.  So, independent voters threw the Republicans out and gave the Democrats the chance to govern.  With 60 Senate votes, the Democrats simply cannot give Americans the health care that the overwhelming majority of America wishes.  We don’t “think” that both parties are incompetent, they prove to us that they are both incompetent.  

In fact, I suspect that a large number of them are apolitical people who don’t really understand politics at all and simply reject whoever is in power when things aren’t going well, without regard to party.

Wow.  Independent voters are now politically clueless because we reject incompetent leadership?  It is because independent voters don’t simply vote party line that make us the most politically knowledgeable voters.  We focus on the candidate and issues.  We have to research each position and each candidate.  We have to weigh both sides before our votes are cast.  We understand when our leadership becomes incompetent because we follow the issues after our votes are cast.  Instead of making excuses for poor leadership, we hold those we elect accountable for their inaction, incompetence and broken promises.

They might just be more cranky, more cynical, more uninformed, more skeptical or more impatient.


When the Clean Air Act gave us even more polluted air to breathe, why shouldn’t we be cynical?  When the Patriot Act gave the FBI the ability to circumvent our constitution, why shouldn’t we get cranky?  When President Obama promised to repeal `Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell`, but now, it’s simply too hard, too soon, and a `can to kick down the road`, why shouldn’t we be skeptical?  When Democrats were elected to end the Iraq War in 2006, and, three years later, we are still in Iraq, why shouldn’t we be impatient?

The number of independents out there is quite large and all national politicians need to reach them in elections in order to win.

This is quite right.  In all of the elections, it is the independent voter that decides elections.  It is, then, the independent voters that are keeping our elected officials and political parties accountable for their actions.  Without the independent voters, the Republicans would still be running the country.  

I didn’t hear how independent voters being cynical was a bad thing when we kicked the GOP out of power, did you?  But, now that the Democrats are in power, and, are screwing it up, it’s the independent voters who are wrong?  THAT is being uninformed.

Digby’s “seriousness” just took a major hit.


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  1. Independents just this week on NPR.  Didn’t hear the entire broadcast, but during the short part I did hear, the point was made that more politicians are running as Independents, and there is even one running as a Communist in Ohio.  

    IMHO, that fact, along with this report:   Gallup–“Parties nearly tied for Congress in 2010 should make both the republicans & the Dems sit up and take note–especially the Democrats who were elected on a promise of “Change”, but who instead have been doing their utmost to continue carrying out bush’s policies and vying for best “republican lite” imitation honors.

    FWIW, if you haven’t seen it, digby did add an update to her post, but I don’t know if it makes her position better or worse.


    • TMC on October 9, 2009 at 1:53 am

    but in actuality I am an Independent, a very left leaning one at  that. In NY to have a “voice” in the primaries, a voter needs to belong to one of the two major parties, D or R. So, in order to elect more progressive representatives at both the state and local levels, I registered as a Democrat. When I walk into the voting booth, I am very much an Independent, a very left leaning one at that.  

  2. …. don’t think she has much practical canvassing experience.

    I wonder if people like that ever think for a second that there are some, no, make that many occupations where a voter affiliation with either party can cause nothing but problems, and if people want to be able to live their lives they opt for not officially identifying with either party.  

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