(Fortunately for my preference, Democratic slimeballs don’t seem to be in short supply.)
In the comments at Ethics Alarms, “Michael R” writes:
How to tell if you are infected [with "partyism"]: if there is an election where the candidate for your party is known to be incompetent, corrupt, or a bigot but you vote for them anyway because you “can’t let …. have more seats in the ….”. I know a lot of people who refused to vote for someone in one local election that they admitted was intelligent, hardworking, and dedicated to bettering their community. They refused to vote for him because of his party, instead voting for someone that they admitted had none of the attributes above. The same people voted for someone with felony fraud convictions rather than his opponent, a man who only ran because he felt someone needed to run in opposition to said ex-felon.
Jack agreed, saying that he’d rather have a non-slimeball regardless of party affiliation.
I don’t agree. Michael appears to be talking about a member of the legislature (“you can’t let… have more seats”). When it comes to members of Congress, what’s important is how they’re going to vote, and which party they’ll caucus with. When it comes to Congress, I’d rather vote for a drunk puppy-kicking sidewalk spitter than vote for the nicest, most moral Republican on Earth.
Because when Republicans are in power, they do things like defund the UN Population Fund, leading to tens of thousands of women in the developing world dying for lack of good maternity care, and thousands more suffering needlessly from treatable fistula. Democrats reverse this.
The UNFPA is one example, but it’s not the only example. From food stamps, to climate change, to health care, the policies supported by the Democrats (as lousy as they often are) will kill fewer people than the policies supported by the Republicans. Even if you don’t believe that, at least believe that I believe that.
All else being equal, I’d rather have a good person who is a Republican in office than a Democratic slimeball. But all else is NOT equal. In the legislature, a good person with bad polices does infinitely more harm than a bad person with good policies. Votes based on “character” are, in my view, self-indulgent and unethical; it is voting to make the voter feel good, rather than voting to do the most good. Especially when it comes to Congress, the only ethical vote is a vote based on policy.