COLUMN

Searching The Ballot For Worthy Republicans

Let me tell you something you don't know about me.

I'm itchin' to vote for a Republican.

This is really true. I mostly vote Democratic, but it seems healthier to me to occasionally cast a vote the other way. I don't like being a knee-jerk Democrat. Or any kind of jerk Democrat. My parents were Goldwater Republicans, although my father, in his later years, had taken to slipping into the voting booth and quietly voting Democrat. I could tell this was happening because he slowly stopped saying anything about politics in front of my mother.

I voted Republican a couple of times, I think. Probably in the 1970s and probably in town elections. And I always voted for Joe Lieberman until 2006. Does that count? Is it like "M. Butterfly" where you're having sex with another man but you don't know it?

So I keep my eye on Republicans I could imagine voting for. If I had lived in the 5th District, I would have been tempted to vote for Andrew Roraback this year because I hold him in high regard and because I am uncomfortable with Creeping Estyism, a doctrine in which the meaning of "government" is shifted to "partnerships with business" and in which public officials are increasingly named Esty. The kids, Duane, Eldon and LaForest Esty, are all being groomed. Pretty soon you won't be able to swing an (Amazon-GE-State of Connecticut) cat without hitting an Esty.

I probably wouldn't have voted for Andrew because handing John Boehner one more caucus member is like handing Saruman one more orc. Even if you think it's just the cutest darn l'il orc you ever saw, no good can come of it.

I also would have considered voting for Ross Garber for attorney general, even though I have no significant problems with the Democrat who won, George Jepsen. I think highly of Ross, and I would have been able to say, "I do NOT always vote for Democrats. As recently as 2010, I blah-blah woof-woof."

But Ross Garber was not the nominee. Instead it was Martha Dean Christian Space Warrior™. Just the other day I was remarking to my colleague John Dankosky that perhaps we all should have voted for Martha Dean Christian Space Warrior™, because life would have been really exciting and because the state could have written down its debt by selling action figures. But I didn't vote for her because I was afraid to roll the dice on someone who might get the state bogged down in litigation with secular humanist mole people living in tunnels on one of Jupiter's moons.

I also think I could vote Republican because I am getting older and crankier. In a recent "30 Rock" episode Liz Lemon (Democrat) and Jack Donaghy (proto-Republican) were arguing which way their colleague Jenna Maroney leans. "She's aging, mean and rich. That sounds Republican to me," Jack said delightedly.

Even though I've missed out on rich, I've noticed myself nodding in agreement recently while reading Chris Powell columns in the Journal Inquirer. And several times this year, the gnashing, writhing, friendless misfits on the online comment threads — the verbal equivalent of an unfinished Bosch panel — have said they agreed with something I wrote.

Which brings me to Tom Foley. The Greenwich millionaire has said he will run for governor again in 2014. Like a lot of people, I gained fresh respect for Foley in 2010 when he gracefully conceded despite not having exhausted all possible remedies in the messy vote count. Granted, this is easier to do when you own a yacht. You could almost hear him thinking: "Hmmm. I could either make up a pitcher of gimlets and set sail for the Dry Tortugas, or I could hang around having lots of conversations with Susan Bysiewicz. Hmmm."

But that is by far my favorite thing he ever did.

Last week, my Trinity College students divided into teams and worked on hypothetical 2016 presidential campaigns. The head of the Chris Christie team began his presentation by saying, "This isn't your father's Republican party. This is something completely new, and you're gonna be able to relate to it."

Speaking as an admittedly far-fetched swing voter, I say: Now you're talking!

Colin McEnroe appears from 1 to 2 p.m. weekdays on WNPR-FM (90.5) and blogs at http://courantblogs.com/colin-mcenroe/. He can be reached at Colin@wnpr.org.

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