Westlund: He's no Jesse Ventura.

Over at Low on the Hog, blogger Jeff Alworth (yeah, the same one that's here at Blue) has an intriguing analysis of the Oregon gubernatorial race. He starts by taking a look at Ben Westlund's analysis of independent candidacies that's over at Loaded Orygun.

Although he's going for a particularly rosy interpretation of factors, I don't see anything substantially wrong with his analysis. But despite all the factors arrayed in his favor, there is one trump card that I think will inevitably doom his campaign--and any outsider running against government this year. The GOP have successfully drained the life out of politics for most people, so while there's a lot of outrage, there's no energy for Westlund to tap in to.

Where has the political energy gone? For Republicans:

But the government is bigger than ever, and now it runs like a '76 Gremlin. Republicans don't mind if their leaders walk away from office with bags stuffed with cash (profit being a wholesome Republican motive). But getting American kids killed in Iraq for no purpose, watching Katrina swallow Louisiana, and watching their leaders sneaking away with bags filled with cash--it's too much. In business, you have to perform, and the only thing the modern GOP can accomplish is winning elections. Plus they haven't gotten around to stoning the gays.

And the Democrats?

To Democrats, the GOP are exactly what they expected--viscious, greedy incompetents. But the incessant Swift Boating of Democrats has left the party faithful perfectly distrustful of anyone who might once have associated with these sleazeballs. Nationally, we see this playing out in Operation Lieberman, where Dems are trying to purify the party of any Bushie taint.

Westlund, of course, is hoping to draw large number of Oregon's independents. Says Jeff:

And of those indies who won't vote for other minor candidates, will they vote for Westlund? My guess is that he's got some work to do--with his history as a major party politician, and his platform, to unite the two major parties, he's not really running on traditional independent footing. He's no Jesse Ventura.

There's much more where that came from. Read the rest of "Bad time to be an independent". Discuss over there.


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