The Republican Candidate Who Makes Me Feel Like Less of a Partisan

In many ways, I am a fierce partisan. Loyally Democratic, though the mainstream of the party is too moderate for me.

In a Republican vs. Democrat show down, I want to win.

Quite honestly, I’d probably be willing to over look many of a candidate’s questionable actions if it meant putting a Democrat in office over a Republican. If this was the 7th season of West Wing and Alan Alda’s Republican was running against a terrible, not-Jimmy-Smits Democrat…I’d probably still vote Democrat.

The partisan in me likes to see terrible Republican candidates. I was scared of McCain when he was moderate, but breathed a sigh of relief as he ran to the right.

The partisan in me would like to see Sarah Palin run for president. She still has some appeal, no doubt, but her inability read a newspaper and her tenuous grasp on international relations could only serve to fracture the Republican party more.

There’d be a certain morbid delight in that.

Or at least it seems that way in theory.

What I’ve discovered in this election cycle, though, is that when there’s a big, hulking, troll in the room, sucking up all the air time with his bombastic personality and offensive comments – I genuinely feel bad for the Republican Party.

Last night’s Republican debate – the prime-time one, mind you, not the “happy hour” one – shattered viewership records, averaging 24 million viewers and claiming the spot of most-watched non-sports show ever on cable TV.

And all the news coverage today is about the troll who took center of the stage. Everyone is discussing whether his antics gained him favorability or whether his post-debate move to attack Megyn Kelly will ultimately backfire.

In some ways I should be delighted. I can hardly imagine him winning a general and his efforts to get there – especially if he launches an independent bid – will only hurt the Republican party.

But instead, I’m just tired. I don’t want to hear about him any more. I don’t care what racist or sexist thing he said. I don’t care about his backwards views on the issues.

I don’t want to hear from him any more.

I want to hear from some sane conservatives. I want to hear from people whose ideas and experience differ from my own, but who have come to their conclusions through rational thought.

I want to see two parties who can truly balance each other – who can have spirited disagreements which force both sides to improve.

I want to see Republican candidates I can respect and who I can imagine respecting me.

I want an Alan Alda Republican.

…And then, I want to vote for a¬†Jimmy Smits Democrat.

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