The Last Undecided Voter In America: A Probably Legal Request For Someone To Tell Me Who To Vote For

“Undecided voters are cunts”—Mitt Romney, campaigning in Defiance, Ohio.

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While I disagree with the tenor of Mr. Romney’s statement last week, and I certainly take issue with him referring to Jacksonville as “the biggest cold sore on the herpes infected cock that is Florida”, he does raise an interesting point.

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Isn’t there something a little irritating about the undecided voter? It’s not just that they can’t decide. Although seriously, you can’t decide? Mitt Romney never stopped running since the last election and you need to hear his stump speech again over the weekend to piece it all together? Mitt Romney outsources jobs, invests his money in foreign banks, and the only thing he seems to like about America is that Jesus is from there. He got rich by firing people. Of course, Donald Trump likes him—he’s who Donald Trump aspires to be. If the last decade has taught us anything, it’s that the only thing Republicans are good for is mispronouncing words in folksy ways and sucking off guys in airport bathrooms (Although had we known then what we know now, wouldn’t it be great if Bill Clinton responded to his impeachment by saying, “At least I was getting the blowjob.”) Barack Obama, on the other hand, saved the economy, sent Bin Laden to his virgins, and gave all American children health insurance. Against that, Mitt Romney puts up his crowning achievement: the time he made the 2002 Winter Games more profitable. Winter Olympics, massive layoffs, and dressage horses? Please. Give me basketball, real jobs, and terrorist killing. I think I’m getting sidetracked.

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It’s not just that they can’t decide, it’s that they get rewarded for their indecision. We pretend they are the most finicky consumers, carefully poring over article after article before making up their mind, but we all know they just don’t give a shit. And that’s why it shames me to admit that I, your self-appointed life-coach, Ronnie Cottonpants, am an undecided voter.

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No, not about the Presidential election. I tried to be open minded, but Mitt Romney lost my vote when he said that “If my dog was as ugly and hairy as the average North Carolina woman, I’d have never taken that bitch off the roof.” But I am undecided about a very important election. I can not decide who to vote for in the upcoming congressional election between Ben Chandler and Andy Barr.

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I’m liberal, and I want to vote for Ben Chandler. Or rather, I want to want to vote for Ben Chandler. I want a Democratic Congressman, and I want to pull the Democratic lever with pride, but I can’t. He votes for the Republicans every single time, he is selling himself by promoting his “Conservative Principles”, and he is suing the fucking EPA for trying to protect Kentucky, the rural economy, and the health and safety of miners. The only reason I’ve heard to support him is that he has a “D” beside his name.

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Don’t get me wrong—that “D” matters. I feel as confident giving conservative Democrats my vote as I do lending my phone and credit card to a meth-head, but I can handle a blue-dog if I need to. You have to swallow a lot of shit when you’re a liberal. That’s the price of admission, and it usually pays off, but I don’t know that I can do it now.

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Listen, I’m the sort of liberal who won’t forgive Ralph Nader. As my father said of Mr. Nader, “It’s not like I hate the guy. It’s not like if his guts were on fire, I wouldn’t piss on him to put him out. I’m saying, if his guts were on fire, I would piss on him.” The Iraq War, the devastated economy, our crippling debt—all of that can be directly lain at Ralph Nader’s feet.  But that came at the expense of Al Gore, a man who, while a little conservative for my tastes in some areas, I think is brilliant and a capable leader. This is about Ben Chandler.

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I won’t vote for Andy Barr. I kind of like the fact that he looks like if the Howdy Doody puppet grew up and became an alcoholic, but I like nothing else about him. He’s a useless man who is wrong about absolutely everything. But this is about Ben Chandler.

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I want to vote for Ben Chandler, but as of now, I can’t. But I’m undecided, and I’m willing to listen to reason. So I say this very seriously—Convince me to vote for Ben Chandler. I’m Liberal and I’m motivated by fear of Republicans, and I am very, very up in the air on my vote.

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But don’t just say “If you don’t vote for Chandler, it’ll be Congressman Andy Barr.” That’s not enough—or rather that’s not enough if you can’t follow it up with specifics about how they’ll vote differently. Andy Barr is the one making the best argument for Ben Chandler getting my vote. In Barr’s commercials, he says Ben Chandler supports Obama’s agenda, but he never gets more detailed than that—because Ben Chandler doesn’t support the President’s agenda, or the liberal agenda. In fact, he doesn’t support the Kentucky Democratic agenda.  What agenda does he support and why is it a secret?

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Is he pretending to be more conservative than he is out of political necessity? Probably. Is he a better man than a congressman? I don’t doubt it, but I’m not voting for him to be my buddy or my neighbor. I want him to represent me. So the question remains—If one candidate is for conservative principles and will stand up to Obama, and the other candidate is for conservative principles and will stand up to Obama then why should I vote for either one.

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Here’s what I know:
1. My vote matters. Chandler won last time by less than one vote per precinct. Chandler can win without me, but he can’t win without the disaffected liberals he let down.
2. I’m genuinely undecided and will listen to any argument. From now until Election Day, I will engage and try to respond to any and all reasonable suggestions. Why should a liberal vote for Ben Chandler?

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I hope I’ve convinced you that, despite what Mitt Romney says, not all undecided voters are “mouth-breathing fatherfuckers who deserve to go to someplace worse than hell when they die, like Virginia.”  No, some of us are just waiting to hear our questions answered.

30 comments for “The Last Undecided Voter In America: A Probably Legal Request For Someone To Tell Me Who To Vote For

  1. Strangeite
    November 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I too was an undecided voter.

    After reading the very compelling reasons listed here on B&P, I had almost made up my mind.

    Then a thought occurred to me. Right now the Republicans have a probability of retaking the House that sits at 84%. Sure, a 16% chance doesn’t sound like much, but in racing terms, that is about 5/1.

    I would bet on a horse at Keeneland with odds of 5/1.

    Plus, since Chandler only won last time by 648 votes, I would feel like a real ass if control of the House came down to the 6th district (granted the odds of that happening are remote but not completely improbable) and I decided this was the year to “send a message”. RCP has the 6th in the toss-up category.

    TL;DR: I am voting for Chandler because I am pussy and paranoid that might vote might actually matter. But completely understand why someone could not do the same thing.

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    • Strangeite
      November 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      That was supposed to be “this is NOT the year to “send a message”.”

      Kinda changes the point of my comment. Sorry.

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      • Strangeite
        November 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm

        I think I wrote the above drunk giving the grammar and spelling. But the ideas are there.

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  2. Ronnie Cottonpants
    November 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I like that. Sort of like saying “You’re betting on a long shot to win a trifecta, but it’s really the only chance you have of making money.” That makes sense to me. There is no way I’ll ever be happy with Congressman Barr, but at least there’s a puncher’s chance (like UK football vs. LSU type chance) that Chandler could do some good. And of course he could have a Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” type moment where he wises up and votes his conscience (though we’ve seen no evidence of it yet).

    My only hesitation here is that I’m worried by electing and re-electing Chandler we are setting a ceiling of what Democrats are in Central Kentucky. There are plenty of Democrats who could get elected and who would represent us a helluva lot better. That won’t happen if Mr. Chandler won’t get out of the seat (and I don’t know that he’s gonna feel confident enough to run for Governor or take in Mitch McConnell when the time is right).

    And you never, never, never have to apologize to me for writing drunk

    • Strangeite
      November 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      We are on the exact same page. Your analogy of the trifecta is perfect. And 5/1 isn’t that bad.

      Your hesitation is the same as mine, but at the end of the day, come Nov. 7, I need to be able to look in the mirror and that would be very hard to do if Central Kentucky cost the Democrats the House.

      I want a more liberal candidate, but I personally can’t cast that protest vote this year.

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    • Matt
      November 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      Are you sure there are plenty of Democrats who would represent us better AND could get elected? This ain’t Louisville, we ain’t never gonna elect no Yarmuth. Considering how close the Chandler/Barr contests have been, somebody a little more attractive to you and me might lose 2 center DINO votes for every disaffected liberal vote he gained.

      I know it’s a tough choice. I’m not undecided. I know how I’m voting. But I’m not real happy about it.

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      • Ronnie Cottonpants
        November 2, 2012 at 8:48 pm

        No Matt, I’m not sure. Not at all. But given that we have a pretty great Democratic Mayor in Lexington, that we elected Kathy Stein, and Ernesto Scorsone, there’s at least a chance that we could get somebody more honest. I don’t buy the DINO/Liberal dynamic. It’s more about being an effective communicator, which I don’t think anyone could label Chandler as. Chandler is inheriting the family business. Some people do that well and some people can’t. Chandler is being conservative because it is the easiest way to get elected. And I think he’s right that it’s easiest, but I don’t think it’s the only way to get elected in Lexington

  3. Purist Democrat
    November 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    From his vote with the Republicans on Terri Schiavo to his purely symbolic screw you vote with the Republican six weeks ago on alleged Obama changes to workfare rules, Chandler is no more a Democrat than Andy Barr. Granted Barr is an ever crazier right wing ass than Ben, but this vote is similar to the choice between being hung or shot to death. At least if Barr wins, there is a change a Democrat will run in 2014.

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    • Tom Stickler
      November 2, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      Since no one had the balls to primary Ben Chandler, maybe the masochist’s way would be to get rid of him by voting for Barr.

      OTOH, Tom Easterly had to lose twice to get the message.

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  4. Zeb
    November 2, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I’ve been reading this site for about a week and it is great. Love this piece. But I’m questioning Strangeite’s line of reasoning. Given what we know about Chandler, does it make sense to say, “Not voting for him could keep the House in GOP hands?” Chandler doesn’t vote with the Dems anyway.

    I’d say your way forward is to send a message to the KY Dems that 6th district Dems will never vote for this fucker again, or any fucker like him. And do it the grassroots way. Surely a decent progressive can carry that district, I don’t care what Charlie Cook rates it as.

    PS: get Kentuckians for the Commonwealth involved.

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  5. Ricky Ravioli
    November 3, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Ah, yes, Senor Cottonpants, but you do have the luxury of knowing that your vote will not alter a balance of power, which is why I’ll have the luxury of writing in a Pedro/Maggie Thatcher Presidential/VP ticket on my Kentucky ballot come Tuesday. Now, if my vote could be the difference in selecting the President of Ohio, well, in that case, I’d be in a much better position to truly feel your pain. Go Cats. Go Cards. And, of course, fuck Duke.

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    • Ronnie Cottonpants
      November 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      Good to hear from you, Ravioli. While I might not vote for you for President of Ohio, you definitely have my vote as Provost of Duke

      • Ricky Ravioli
        November 6, 2012 at 10:55 am

        Mucho gracias, Senor Cottonpants. Actually, Duke is a fine, fine school, and with your clout and influence I would gladly accept the position of Duke Provost. My first action would be to move that Duke no longer honor Satan or, at the very least, that the proper color be applied to said Belzebub. Secondly, I would remove that NCAA Championship banner in the name of sportsmanship and fairplay, because everyone knows that that son of Satan Christian should have been ejected for his hateful and un-Duke-like chest stomp. And, third, I would I would require that all Duke applicants on their entrance exams to successfully spell Kreshevsky. Oh, my agenda would be so wonderful and impactful that in no time at all my contract would be bought out ala Joker Phillips and I could return to my perch pissing on that fine school with their cash in my pocket. I beseech you, kind sir, to let your influential lobbying for Ricky Ravioli as Duke Provost to commence immediately. There will, of course, be something in it for you.

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  6. Jim
    November 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Take a look at They have a scorecard on what they consider important liberal votes. Criteria aren’t bad. Ben is ranked in the middle. Yarmouth’s liberal action score is 63, Ben’s is 33. Our four Republican congressmen are rated 9, 5, 2 and 2. It is a pretty safe bet that Andy Barr would rate somewhere near 0 and be proud of it.

    So, there really is a difference! Remember he voted for the auto bailout, cap and trade, and continues to vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act. But the biggest difference is you can talk to Ben and to his staff and know that they will listen. Sometimes he will even vote your way. What are the chances of Andy Barr listening to a liberal view–or even a moderate one?

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    • Ronnie Cottonpants
      November 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      Jim, Andy Barr listening to anyone to the left of Cheney is pretty much nil. I have to take issue with the notion that Ben Chandler will listen to our liberal criticism. It hasn’t happened yet. Why hasn’t he tried to speak to liberals and sell his own case? He knows we exist and we vote. Will there be any progress or will he keep occupying that position acting as a moderate Republican?

      Still your point is well taken. I can’t believe that something like the Auto Bailout is considered a liberal vote or that we have to give him credit for voting to not appeal a law he voted against, but I guess in degraded political times we are left with degraded politicians, and we have to make our choices.

  7. Lexpat82
    November 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I share your agony over this decision. I have no answers just, a few thoughts.

    * While I would like to think that the 6th CD could elect a progressive (or at least non-conservative) Democrat, that’s not at all clear–at least right now. 648 votes margin of victory last time doesn’t exactly make this Yarmuth territory. We have questions to answer first: Why didn’t Chandler get primaried from the left after being such a god-awful Democrat over the last term? Who out there on the political farm team is a viable alternative? Are they interested in running for CD 6? Can we make that happen in two years? Four? Six? What is realistic?

    Bottom line: a viable, progressive 6th Congress-person might exist–but they don’t, not right now. That isn’t the choice you have right now. The choice is Chandler or Barr. And if Chandler wins, why does everybody think that he will be Congressman for life? He can still be progressive primaried next time, or the time after.

    Viable liberal/progressive candidates don’t just appear out of nowhere, especially in a city like Lexington. They have to bring deep ties to the community. They have to have worked their way up through the political farm league–and right now, the roster of likely candidates is fairly low. It takes time to develop these candidates. Where and who are those candidates? how can we identify them? How can we support them? That’s long term, sweat and blood kind of work. So it shouldn’t play a factor in your short-term, immediate decision: Barr or Chandler.

    * If Chandler wins this time, then I think Barr is finished. Could he run a third time? Yeah, but it’s unlikely. Chandler will breathe a sigh of relief and might stop being such a spineless conservative. Might. I’m not even 100% convinced by this argument, but I do think Chandler is more liberal than he has been voting over the last two years. If he feels like he has a little breathing room, he might allow himself out of the liberal closet a little bit. Of course, on the other hand: if Chandler squeaks out another win against Barr, then he might take the same lesson as two years ago and run further to the right. If Chandler loses, I think he’d probably run again in two years. Again, he might run further right, thinking that’s his only ticket back in; or he might realize that he could have used the enthusiasm, support, and votes from liberals. If Chandler barely loses to Barr, what message do you think that will send to any potential liberal/progressive candidates who are looking at the race? A couple narratives: (1) shit, maybe this district is conservative enough to elect a Tea Party constitutionalist wing nut. (2)Chandler lost because of disaffected progressives, I just need to get them fired up. Whatever happens, if Barr wins, over the next two years the national Republican plutocrats are going to absolutely make sure that he builds up a firewall / war chest and two years from now, all of the dark money PACS will be lining up to get his back. If Barr loses, then all of those Darth Vader forces will most likely be casting about for another viable candidate, one with much less name recognition, one with much less experience in campaigning, etc. The best scenario for the potential primary progressive candidate is not to have to face a unified, well-funded, incumbent Tea party corporate whore; but rather, to face a well-funded, incumbent conservative Democrat who has built up years of resentment from the progressive constituents in his district.

    That’s all I got. It’s pretty incoherent. I think that if your desired end-state is a progressive Congressperson who is not Ben Chandler, or at least a more liberal Chandler, then it’s better to put him back in office. In the meantime, let’s find somebody liberal to run in 2014, or 2016, or 2018 for CD 6.

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  8. Me
    November 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Ok, here’s an issue, this seat is generally retained by an incumbent. Historically, Chandler got it after Fletcher resigned to be governor. Fletcher won the seat after Baesler chose to run against Bunning for Senate. Baesler got the seat after Hopkins retired. Hopkins replaced Breckinridge (who lost in primary) and Breck replaced Curlin (didn’t run for reeelction) who replaced Watts (died in office). So my point being, allow your vote or in this case, your no-vote, to sway the election in favor of Andy Barr and we could be stuck with him for a while. Based on the last 60 years of our district, we have a better chance of beating Chandler in the Primary than beating an incumbent Barr in the General.

    I don’t disagree that Ben is too moderate for Lexington/Fayette, but is the right Democrat for Scott, Woodford, Bourbon, Clark, Fleming and so on?

    Could a true liberal overwhelm enough of Fayette County to compensate for the loss of moderates in the outlying counties?

    With these thoughts, Chandler at least gives us a shot maybe not this year but down the road at returning a liberal to the Speaker’s gavel. And at least some of his votes fall our way versus almost guaranteed none from Barr.

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    • Ronnie Cottonpants
      November 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      I’m not looking for a liberal. I’d love a liberal, but I don’t expect one. I’m looking for someone who won’t be openly antagonistic to everything liberals care about. I don’t have a purity test by any stretch. However, I don’t want someone who actively fights against liberals. If Chandler was a moderate, I’d say “Oh well” and vote for him. It’s not like Obama is a liberal. But I guess what I haven’t seen so far amongst the (very well thought out and convincing) responses is specifically how Chandler will vote to the left of Barr. If he can’t put any daylight between him and Barr, then I’ll say piss on both of them and vote for no one.

      Chandler’s ads say that I should vote for him because Andy Barr got arrested and lied about it. I don’t care about that. If he ran an ad saying, “Andy Barr is wrong about all of these issues and I am right about them” then I’d feel confident about my vote.

  9. November 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    All of you folks pointing out that the 3rd district is so so so liberal need to remember that before Yarmuth knocked off Northup, she held that seat in Republican hands for 10 years. Yes, that includes the pre-9/11 Clinton years.

    Part of the reason that the 3rd has become so solidly Democratic is that it has an active defender of Democratic priorities, principles and policies in office, who will go anywhere and everywhere — including right-wing scum radio — to defend those policies and win people over.

    When in the last 8 years has Ben Chandler done that? And I’m not talking about arguing why Republicans are right and Democrats are wrong, which he has certainly done — and which gives more “bipartisan” cred to Republicans.

    Making your constituents more Democratic by engaging them in conversation and education is quite possible. Abandoning these tactics in order to “play it safe” in the short term and win, while hurting your party in the long-term… also quite possible.

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    • Lexpat82
      November 4, 2012 at 11:48 am

      Joe, I absolutely agree–wouldn’t it be great if CD 6 had a Democratic representative who actually defended Democratic ideas, priorities, principles and policies?

      We don’t. Let’s find someone who will. In 2, 4, 6, or 8 years. In the meantime, electing Barr would give him a very strong platform to engage in conversation and education with the 6th CD voters about all his wonderful ideas, priorities, principles and policies. It would give him the chance to introduce stupid bills based on those ideas which have no chance of passing, but which would shape the conversation in central Kentucky.

      There is a small margin of difference between the (1) self-inflicted damage to the long-term development of the party of having an apologist Democrat in office and (2) having an uninhibited right wing nutbag in office. But there is a difference.

      PS: It would also be great if the 6 CD representative was rich enough to self-fund their campaign and thus avoid the great muck of the coal companies.

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      • November 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm

        since the ’08 cycle, Yarmuth has given a total of $5,000 to his own campaign. I would hardly call that “self-funded”

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        • November 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm

          if that was your implication, which it may or may not have been

          All I know is that I’m voting in the 3rd District for the first time this year, so I don’t have to make this choice. (Yay for me.)

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  10. Al Roll
    November 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Vote for Ben.

    He promises to relent on his death bed and make it all OK.

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  11. Ryan
    November 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I’ve been having this debate internally for months. I’ve thought about voting for Barr, only for the hopes getting a more progressive candidate to run in two years, but that just doesn’t sit right with me…especially after reading some of your comments that it may be even harder to elect a progressive if Barr gets his clutches on the seat. But I can’t really in good conscious continue to vote for Chandler the way he touts his conservative values (included but not limited to his vote and support for DOMA). I know the independent in this race doesn’t stand a chance, but I don’t think I’ll lose any sleep if I vote for the pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-hemp Vance.

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    • Strangeite
      November 5, 2012 at 11:41 pm

      That is what we call a “vote of conscious” which I always respect (and admire).

      Personally, I am channelling my inner William James and have to vote Chandler.

      Sure, I will gag a little when doing it, but that is the price for having hope for future elections as a liberal in Kentucky.

      p.s. Dr. Sam Wang now has the Dems chance of a majority in the House as possibly as high as 23% or a little worse than 4/1.

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  12. Ronnie Cottonpants
    November 7, 2012 at 9:14 am

    So..Down goes Ben. Or as he prefers to be called “Happy’s Grandson”. He seriously ran commercials referring to himself as Happy’s Grandson. Is that not pathetic? Do you know who my grandfather is? Of course you don’t because while I’m tremendously proud of both my grandfathers, I’m 33, I’m my own fucking man and I would never claim genetics as to why someone should vote for me.

    All that said, I’m sad to see Ben go. Or rather, I’m sad to be represented by Andy Barr. As to my vote, I went into the booth seriously unsure of what I was going to do. I wrote in “Fuck Ben Chandler”. If that is taken as a Chandler vote so be it, and if it is taken as not a Chandler vote, so be it.

    Now, let’s turn Kentucky blue or at least bluer. And am I wrong in thinking that Mitch McConnell is a little vulnerable? Republicans can’t be happy at seeing their share in the senate shrinking, and shrinking under his watch. Let’s kick this motherfucker to the curb

  13. Ricky Ravioli
    November 7, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Now, having TWICE been denied his dream of being Senate Majority Leader thwarted by Tea Party zealotry, McConnell has named Ron Paul’s son in law as his campaign manager and re-located Paul Inc. to Kentucky. Maybe that can be called economic development..the move of a corporate headquarters to Kentucky..or maybe it’s following up two kicks in the head by a mule with multiple wallops with a stupid stick. And, for fuck’s sake, Ronnie, such language. Goodness.

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  14. Al Roll
    November 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    The Blue Dog caucus continues to shrink.

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  15. Ricky Ravioli
    November 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Funny thing is, Al, Obama’s campaign worked the Blue Dog Progenitor, Bubba Clinton, like a rented mule. As Richard Nixon once said, we are all Kenyans now. What’s that? Keynesians? OK. We are all Kenyan Keynesians now.

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