This quite a year and regular readers will know that I have been anguished about the choices on several races. (just search the blog for “Obama” and “Andrew Rice” if you want to see this back story)

But, I have made my decisions. ..

President – Obama – This decision was not easy for me. I strongly oppose Obama’s stance on the war in Afghanistan and his desire to unnecessarily prolong the war in Iraq. I also am concerned that he is not strong enough on civil liberties, that he will discourage the prosecution of Bush administration war criminals, and that he supported the horrible bail out.

But despite these issues, I do think unlike 2004, there is a clear choice between the D & R Candidates. In ’04, Kerry wanted to increase troop numbers in Iraq, he was pro-Patriot act and he was pro-NAFTA. This time, Obama wants to end the war in Iraq (at least some day) and he is openly critical of Guanatamo Bay and NAFTA.

I also think that the rhetorical and tactical styles of Obama and McCain are strikingly different. McCain is bellicose and belligerent. Obama is willing to engage in diplomacy and even talk to the “enemy.” I like Obama’s approach much better.

And, Obama would be our most LGBT-friendly President to date.

And, he is half-Black. This will be such an incredible thing and a strong message to send to the racists at home and to the folks around the world who have given up on the people of America. Electing Obama will show them that the American people can see past the prejudices that have divided them in the past.

I am still not crazy about Obama but he is good enough to not force me to cast a blank protest vote for President as I did in ’04.

US Senate – Andrew Rice – I was and am still disappointed that Andrew Rice voted for Oklahoma’s horrible anti-immigrant law. I also don’t like his foreign policy stances (basically he has adopted the Obama “redeploy the troops from Iraq to Afghanistan” plan)

But he is still relatively progressive by Oklahoma standards and it is good to see such vigorous opposition to Senator Inhofe (the worst Senator in the USA).

Also I did, check into the campaign of Independent Stephen P. Wallace, but he seems to be only a one-issue candidate.

US House, 3rd District – Frankie Robbins (D) – I am very proud to support Frankie Robbins. He was the only candidate in the race to complete Project Vote Smart’s Political Courage Test and I like many of his answers.
His stands are presidential powers, taxes, immigration and LGBT rights are excellent (he is pro-civil unions… a courageous stand to take in Western Oklahoma)

In particular though, I want to quote what he says on a few issues, as he think he really expresses himself well. This is what he says about abortion…

I am Pro-Life Plus or Whole-Life as I am equally concerned with Life beyond the womb.

There are good people of all faiths on both sides of this issue. At the core of my campaign is my commitment to find common ground and to provide leadership to unite us.

We must bridge the divide and work together on Whole-Life issues such as:
1) The 146,000+ children in Oklahoma without health insurance;
2) The appalling foster care system;
3) The genocide in Darfur; and
4) The fact that 32 countries, including Cuba, have a lower infant mortality rate than the U.S.

Also a long the same line are his responses to the criminal justice section…

Being Pro-Life, I can not support the death penalty. As a jurist, I could not vote for the death penalty.

The U.S. imprisons more of its citizens per capita than any other country in the world. The costs are enormous.

We must do more to rehabilitate prisoners so that they lead productive lives when released and do not return to prison.

We must rethink which offenders should be punished with actual incarceration and who could be punished through alternate means. That is not being soft on crime, it is being “smart” tough and it’s being fiscally responsible.

Robbin’s competitors are Frank Lucas (incumbent republican, supposedly very conservative but has backed Bush’s big spending policies in recent years… however, he surprisingly voted against the bail out both times, still this isn’t enough to justify a vote for him) and Forrest Michael (a fiscal conservative running as an Independent… besides the fact that he is extremely libertarian when it comes to government spending, he also is backed by crazy E.Z. Million which speaks volumes.)

This is the first time in a while that I’ve voted straight ticket anything. I hope the Democrats understand that they will get more progressive vote like mine in the future if they put up decent candidates. We have had such crappy candidates in past years, so warts and all, this is a refreshing change.