Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Liberals: A herd of cats

I saw a poll today showing that Pa. Senator Rick Santorum has closed the gap with his Democratic challenger Casey. The closure is entirely thanks to the entry into the race of a Green party candidate. The poll tracks an exact percentage (4%) drop in support from the Democrat, Santorums support remaining the same and now 4% intending to vote Green.

I saw Santorum on Hardball last night absolutely chortling about his campaigns very public support of the Greens. Santorum openly gives them financial and staffing support for the express purpose of splitting the liberal vote. The thing that baffles me is the extent to which it appears to work.

What could possibly influence a liberal to vote for a 3rd party candidate in a competitive race? Especially when the ascendancy of that candidate is openly promulgated by the conservative who will plainly benefit. For that matter, what was the allure of Ralph Nader in 2000 that drew so many liberals and cost this nation so dearly at the end of the day? It was well known during that election that the race was extremely competitive, it could have gone one way or the other, yet Nader pulled hundreds of thousands of crucial votes from Gore. What were liberals who voted for Nader thinking?

I guess it comes down to this. Trying to get died in the wool liberals to act in a cohesive manner is like trying to herd cats. You might be able to move the majority of the gang in a somewhat similar path, but there's always going to be the few who wander off on their own who just don't seem to care about the macro picture.

Died in the wool conservatives on the other hand? Herding them is like herding sheep! Try prying them loose from the party dogma, the party word of the day, the latest party line... and you got a real chore on your hands. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary or the incontrovertible scientific evidence, a true red conservative will not falter in their faith of what they have predetermined is the case. This makes for a formidably solid voting block come election day. To show the difference just consider that Pat Buchanan also ran in 2000 and the percentage of the vote he received was a pittance compared to Nader.

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