What Votes Do You Regret?

I regret voting for George W. Bush in 2000

There are a few votes that I’ve cast in my life that I regret — and, no, voting for Jesse “The Body” Ventura to govern my state for four years is not one of them!

I regret voting for the Minnesota Legacy Amendment to the state constitution in 2008. I don’t think that we should legislate via constitutional amendments, nor do I think that taxes should be set by amendment.

I regret voting for Norm Coleman for U.S. Senate in 2002. I was going to vote for Paul Wellstone. But the speeches of Rick Kahn and others at Wellstone’s funeral pissed me off so much that I lodged a protest vote against the Democrats. I flinched, and that was a mistake.

And I regret voting for George W. Bush in 2000. His disastrous response to 9/11 — the invasion of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan — drove our country into moral torpor and economic recession. I think he was a good guy, and ultimately a centrist, but he let himself get pushed around by Cheney and Rumsfeld. He listened to the wrong people.

OK, so what votes do you regret?!?

"The Pawlenty Is Boring" Meme

I seem to inhabit the territory of presidential also-rans.

When I arrived at Dartmouth, I was informed that the College had never turned out a president.  Plenty of presidents were alumni of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, but Dartmouth had only come as close as perennial candidate Daniel Webster and Paul Tsongas.

And my home state is known not only for the Vikings going 0-4 in the Super Bowl, but for presidential also-rans Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and Eugene McCarthy.

Tim Pawlenty (Associated Press)

It looks like we’re going to continue that tradition with Tim Pawlenty.

I used to be pretty fond of Pawlenty, and I voted for him.  He seemed to me a centrist Republican.  He governed our largely liberal state and worked with a Democratically-controlled state legislature.  He’s a life-long politician, so he avoided the demagoguery that second-career politicians (Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, Michelle Bachmann) seem to bring to the job.

Honestly, he seemed not unlike Barack Obama — a commonsense, centrist politician, one whose religion was understated, albeit important.  He was not an ideologue.

But all that has changed.

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