Or – An inquiry into the potential limits of “But the other guy is worse!” as a progressive political theory.
And John Bel Edwards’ victory over David “Depends on Me” Vitter is as good a place as any to start.
In Louisiana’s gubernatorial contest you had a rancid Republican who has a larger than normal negative impact on the environment because disposable diapers last FOREVER.
On the other you had a Democrat whose views on the right to privacy and access to health care have devolved in less than a decade. In 2006:
Edwards indicated support for the following principles regarding abortion
- Abortion is the freedom of choice, between the appropriate parties and their higher power.
In 2014, Edwards voted Yes on a number of bills supported by the fetus protection racket, including HB1274 (amended section underlined):
When interpreting this Part, any ambiguity shall be interpreted to preserve human life, including the life of an unborn child if the qualified patient is pregnant and an obstetrician who examines the woman determines that the probable postfertilization age of the unborn child is twenty or more weeks and the pregnant woman’s life can reasonably be maintained in such a way as to permit the continuing development and live birth of the unborn child, and such determination is communicated to the relevant classes of family members and persons designated in R.S. 40:1299.58.5.
(And if the wording of the law rings a bell for non-Louisianans, it may be they’re thinking of case of Marlise Munoz, the Texas woman a hospital kept on life support against her family’s wishes, because she was pregnant.)
In short, when Edwards talks about his anti-choice chops, he is not idly boasting. It’s hard to imagine an anti-privacy bill that he wouldn’t sign. Yet because he ran against someone who is far worse, some people are hastening to point out that being anti-privacy, anti-health care, and – in the case of keeping women on life support so they can incubate a fetus – anti-human dignity, isn’t that big a deal.
And apparently, it will remain not that big a deal. For the foreseeable future, the “Less of a walking nightmare than the Republican Candidate” bar will be easily cleared by anyone who isn’t a convicted mother stabbing father rapist, or Dagon. (And I’m not so certain about Dagon.) If one says that being anti-privacy is an acceptable stance for a Democratic candidate, what is unacceptable?
I’m thinking now of Sen. Joe Manchin, v. 3.0 (D-Mountaintop Removal). He was greeted with cries of relief by Democratic voters, and is now greeted with loud gagging noises, and rightfully so. What a Grecian-Formula’d knob the man is. However, the Just say no to deal breaker/purity politics theory dictates that if he receives the nomination Democratic voters should line up behind Joe because … he’s not for total repeal of Obamacare? Maybe? [Fingers crossed!]
But if he gets re-elected on the basis of not being as bad as the Republican candidate (who will of course be worse, even if they have to lure Cheney to the state with a trail of newborn babies’ hearts), where is his incentive to stop fighting to allow coal companies to remove the mountains from the mountain state?
Exactly. The same place as Edwards’ incentive not to further erode the privacy rights and access to health care of half the state’s population. (And to rein in fracking, apparently.)
Where’s the progress in that?