Friday, August 08, 2008

But on the bright side ...

After a disappointing primary night, I'm back on the horse ... and things are actually looking pretty good!

I expected the Democrats to field a strong candidate and really contest Missouri's 2nd US House district for the first time in eight years. That pretty much narrowed my job down to going after entrenched incumbent Republican Todd Akin from the usual "Libertarians are kind of right-wingers" angle and trying to beat him down enough to make the race competitive.

I wasn't very comfortable with that job description. "Left-libertarian" is a self-description I take seriously, and I kept finding myself coming at this thing from that direction no matter how hard I tried to fit into the conventional wisdom mold. I mean, c'mon: I support impeachment. My campaign is carbon-neutral. I support marriage equality. I support unconditional withdrawal from Iraq. My tax cut proposals are "bottom-up," not "trickle-down." I can't imagine that I've been breaking loose many Republican votes.

The Democrats surprised me -- they nominated Bill Haas. He's a "political solution in Iraq" fence-sitter and an "America must defend Israel" interventionist. He's not sure whether he supports marriage equality or wants the government to inspect flies and look up skirts. Also ... well ... some of Haas's co-partisans seem to think he's insane.

Not having met the man, I can't testify as to his mental status, but I'm just sayin'. Third party candidates almost automatically get pigeonholed as marginal. It can't hurt my vote totals to have one or both of the major party candidates perceived as even more far out, and not in good ways, than the Libertarian in the race.

Much to my surprise, I appear to be the candidate of the principled Left in this election. Not at all what I expected, but definitely what I'm most comfortable with.

Even more surprisingly, I also seem to be a strong contender for the "Least Likely to be Arrested While Running Down the Street Screaming 'Wildman! Wildman! Wildman!' Naked (Except for Wearing Someone Else's Head as a Hat)" nod.

As the first order of post-primary business, I have challenged my opponents to a series of six debates. I'm willing to add a seventh "Competitive Rorschach Inkblot Test" event if anyone's interested.

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