"On crime, I'm conservative. On prostitution, I'm liberal."
There are those (especially libertarians) who might wonder, Jeet, if you disagree with "right on" left-wing party line on so many issues, why aren't you a Republican?
Matt Yglesias' mea culpa on Iraq shines light on why.
Neither the policies being advocated by Bush nor the policies being advocated by the anti-war movement (even at its most mainstream) were the correct ones. What I wanted to see happen wasn't going to happen. I had to throw in with one side or another. I threw in with the wrong side. The bad consequences of the bad policy I got behind are significantly worse than the consequences of the bad policy advocated by the other side would have been.Do I agree with everything in the Democratic platform? No. Do I think that the likely bad consequences of the Republican policy platform are worse than the likely bad consequences of the Democratic policy platform? Yeah, and that's why I vote as I do. In 2000, before the Republican Party nominated George W. Bush, I remember looking forward to a Gore-McCain race because, despite how badly I wanted a President with Gore's positions on the environment and free trade, I wouldn't have minded a McCain Administration because, If a Republican's gotta be the President, I thought, we could do a hell of a lot worse than John McCain. Like George W. Bush, for example. *grumble*grumble*
If I were ever eligible to vote in a race where I thought that the Republican candidate was really, really great (and pretty damn moderate) or the Democratic candidate really, really awful, I might just vote Republican. But that hasn't happened yet.
QUALIFICATION: I don't rule out voting for a third party candidate, but he had better be one of the top two contenders or I had better find both mainstream candidates absolutely beyond the pale.