Voting in the Primaries: So now they talk of Delaware.

Here in the small town on the edge of the bay facing the big waters we are worried a bit about the two storms whirling their way across the Atlantic.  

Delaware makes the national press once and a while because of a storm, and, to be fair to VP Joe, once and a while because he speaks and the words rush out, and everyone remembers Ol' Joe from Delaware. 

Otherwise Delaware does not make the big time very often. We kind of like it that way. A state with no commercial airline service and no sales tax and fewer than 900,000 people and not too much land has no reason or desire to be front page press.

Politics in Delaware is a kind of family affair.  There is a lot of crossing of party lines here and we are sometimes given to keeping someone on in office well beyond his or her prime. But hey, their family.

from Christian Science Monitor article
This time, however, Delaware is all over the news.  It seems that a Tea Party candidate, Christine O'Donnell, has a chance to beat Rep. Mike Castle in the Senate Primary. See the article by the Christian Science Monitor and hundreds of other papers.

As a Democrat there are times I wish I could cross party lines and vote Republican. (Not many.)  Actually, in the past I have voted for Mike Castle in the regular election. Its one of those Delaware things. But this year I am pretty well convinced that when the time comes, and should he win the primary, I will vote against him and for his opponent.  I have been very disappointed in his work these past few years, and in particular in the economic crisis of this past year. 

But be that as it may, if I could have I would have voted for him against Ms. O'Donnell in a heart beat. Better he should lose to the Democratic candidate later than to O'Donnell now. Should she win Sarah Palin will claim her support of O'Donnell was key and use it in the next round of political doings. More, should O'Donnell win the ship of this little state will lean not to the conservative (almost all of Delaware is full of conservatives) but to the hard right. And here in Delaware that is bad news indeed. Not far below the water line the old hatreds and fears live and they will crawl out and chew at our feet.

So, I got out and voted today. Love it. Voting is right up there with voicing the strongest opinions I have. I support this business of voting, in the state and in the church. All those folk who don't like the way things are going (and there are always lots of us) get their chance every couple of years to change course.  Meanwhile we put up with losing sometimes and winning others.  I wish we understood that in the Church.


  1. From a very outsider's perspective TEC seems to be a place where the "losers" leave. I am sure that that tensions happens a great deal closer to my home, too. Yet along with TEC's position as an early adopter of many progressive moves within the Anglican communion, came the opportunity to be the earliest to address how to keep the "losers" in.
    Especially in situations unlike civil elections where there seems little opportunity to change things at the election. That works where there are two large parties in play. In my province the diocese of Melbourne comes to mind where evangelical and liberal/catholic bishops have alternated. But where one party is very much smaller than the other we seem to have more difficulty in an (small e) episcopal system.

  2. I saw the news of the vote when I returned from vestry executive committee this evening. I am so sorry. A big piece of my heart is still in Delaware and right now it feels a bit sore.

  3. The Episcopal Church bent over backwards to accommodate dissenters, especially on women's ordination, for decades. Those few dioceses who opposed women's ordination remained free to prohibit women from all priestly and pastoral functions, and they did. There was no accommodation at all for liberal dissenters in conservative dioceses. Liberal parishes were prohibited by their conservative bishops from calling any women clergy. Gay religious groups, and others, remained underground in those places.
    And yet, liberal Episcopalians stayed with those dioceses until their bishops left the church on their own initiative. Thank God they stayed, because now they are busy rebuilding the Episcopal presence in their regions.
    No one drove anyone out or even asked them to leave.

    I think a big reason for extremist victories in primary elections is low voter turnout. Only 57,000 people voted in the Republican primary in Father Mark's state of Delaware.

  4. Counterlight,
    I am sure you are quite sincere in your statement that TEC bent over backwards for dissidents. It is part of all our current difficulties that we find it hard to fault the actions of those we agree with.

  5. And Holy Sydney, like Holy Russia, can do no wrong.

  6. Well some might think that, but not me. Despite my last comment!

  7. So, am I right in thinking that in Delaware you have to be a card-carrying member to vote in primaries? My state lets any registered voter walk in and ask for either ballot(only 1). Which leads to Republicans choosing the Dem. ballot to vote against the person they most dislike and the Dems. doing the opposite. Which some would say is rather underhanded, but also leads to more centralist candidates left on the ballot for the final election.

  8. Well, I'm not in the NE Corridor anymore, Dorothy. Sigh.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.