Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The primary elections for Pennsylvania are coming up a week from today. I have a pretty good idea whom I'm voting for with most of the races - Corbett for governor, Toomey for the Senate, any tea party candidates available for the party functionary offices, and the incumbents for the state legislature. However, there's an unmanageable mass of Republican candidates for lieutenant governor, none of which I've ever heard of, and now I'm wondering if it's worth the effort to figure out which one's least objectionable.

Is the lieutenant governancy worth a bucket of warm spit? We survived five years of the grossly incompetent, senile, or just plain crazy Catherine Baker Knoll, and I see that she died three years ago & was replaced without my having even noticed it. On the other hand, it is useful to have a competent lt. governor on hand if something takes the sitting governor out of office - Schweiker was a better governor than the elected clod he replaced, to cite an example.

So, then, is there a Schweiker lurking in the pack of would-be lt. governors?

Update: Where the heck does the state party apparatus get off endorsing statewide candidates in the primaries? That's reason enough to *not* vote for Cawley. I'm starting to like Kennedy, although I don't fancy an "insurgent" candidate with enough money to air a lengthy radio ad like the one I heard going to lunch this afternoon.

Still and all, while ideological purity is tempting, state offices tend to be technocratic positions, demanding organizational and financial competence. Obama's myth of competence would have *never* have survived a term as governor of Illinois. He merely presents as a technocrat - he obviously has no interest in actual work. All this being a pretty good argument for Jean Craige Pepper, who seems to have decent financial management experience.

Of course, the worry with technocrats is that they'll turn out to be Herbert Hoovers - the Peter Principle writ catastrophically large. Also, you should watch out for signs of corporatist inclinations with candidates with big-business CVs. Are they the sorts that want to reduce governance to "bringing everyone to the table"? The bane of "reasonable men", really. And I don't like the whole paleofeminist come-on. It's tone-deaf and whiny.

Ugh. Kennedy seems like a crank.

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