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Monday, October 22, 2012

Cutting off your nose to spite your face
Posted by Jill | 6:20 AM
Maybe it's just that I'm getting old. Or maybe I'm nothing but a hopeless corporate sellout. But for all the griping I've done about President Obama over the last four years -- his haplessness, his refusal to believe that he is not dealing with good faith operators when he attempts to appease Republicans, his appalling continuation of Bush policies on rendition and privacy, his refusal to take on Wall Street -- I'm going to be voting for him again two weeks for tomorrow. I won't be doing it with any illusions, but I'm going to do it. Because the alternative is unthinkable.

Twelve years ago, enough people were disgusted by Al Gore's then-seeming centrism and with some of the sellout of progressive values that were done during the Clinton years that they fell prey to the siren song of Ralph Nader -- a guy who made his name as an advocate for automobile safety in the early 1960's, a gadfly who has flitted from one nonprofit to another for four decades, and a pest who shows up every four years to run for president -- unwilling to do the actual work that could have made him a legitimate political force. "There's no difference," they said. Enough disillusioned voters pulled the proverbial lever for Ralph Nader in Florida in 2000 to throw that election to George W. Bush, thus setting the stage for a terrorist attack on U.S. soil that the new Bush administration did nothing to stop, two unfunded wars, the squandering of a budget surplus, and the a near-global financial collapse as the proverbial cherry on top.

No difference? Seriously?

I'm not going to say that I know everything. I supported John Edwards in the 2008 primaries, so what the hell do I know? I just knew I couldn't support Hillary Clinton for her unapologetic support for the Iraq War and for her statement at what was then "Yearly Kos" in 2007 that "lobbyists are people too." And I also felt that the charismatic first-term Senator from Illinois just hadn't seemed quite ready for prime time at that event, never mind that I just could not imagine this country electing a guy whose middle name is "Hussein." Neither of them was talking about what the Bush economy had done to the poor, and I knew that the push towards oligarchy that had been going on since the Reagan years could very well push the entire middle class into the ranks of the poor.

Then there was 2004, when GOP suppression of the vote among minorities, seniors, and the young was even more rampant than it had been in 2000, and the corrupt Ohio Secretary of State, Kenneth Blackwell, played the role of Katherine Harris went so far as to invent a terrorist threat that forced him to have votes counted in secret.

This is going to be a close election. Why it's going to be close, I have no idea, other than that we are living in a country that is populated by idiots whose views are colored by whatever TV talking head pulling stuff out of his ass feeds the most crap into their heads the loudest and most frequently. We live in a nation of the inattentive, the uninvolved, the apathetic, and the willfully ignorant. How there can be people who are still "undecided" at this late date is a mystery to me, unless you're talking about those who have the gun pointed at their own foot and can't decide whether to pull the trigger or not.

I'm not saying that Barack Obama is anyone's dream progressive. In 2008, when many of my friends were insisting that he was and couldn't understand why I was saying that he wasn't, no pointing out of how he sat on his hands in 2004 while the late Stephanie Tubbs-Jones pleaded for a Senator to stand with her in objecting to the certification of Ohio's election results and noting that he chose Joe Lieberman as his mentor would sway them. As Mr. Brilliant put it back then, "I think Obama will sell us out one iota less than Hillary Clinton will." But I never had any illusions about him, and it's been sort of pathetic to watch progressives over the last four years insist that there is some kind of twenty-seven-dimensional chess game going on, instead of a guy unprepared for the kind of vitriol the opposition party would throw at him, unsupported by the hacks in his own party, and possessed of a case of Chronic Reasonableness.

I'm under no illusions about an Obama second term, either. A Democratic hackocracy concerned mostly with keeping its own jobs is unlikely to get the back of a lame duck president, particularly one who isn't "one of them." As bad as the Republicans have been during the first four years, they'll be even worse in a second. Obama could try to implement the Romney/Ryan agenda in a second term and the Republicans will block it. And the racism, that festering boil on the nation's buttocks that started to ooze the minute Obama took the oath of office is going to explode, and I don't even want to think about how that will manifest, not just among the talking heads of Hate Media, but among all those racist gun nuts who I fear will take the idea of "second amendment remedies" to heart.

But what's your choice, really? Do you really want to stay home and let the Republican governors who are trying to institute vote suppression tactics the likes of which we haven't seen since the Jim Crow era choose Willard Rmoney as the next president? Do you really think that Rmoney, a guy who's in the business of sucking whatever life is left in struggling companies and then leaving the carcasses to rot, can "create jobs"? Do you really want to consign this country to the kind of feudal serfdom that Rmoney and his billionaire owners have in mind? Do you really think there's no difference?

I mean, I like what Jill Stein had to say on NPR a couple of weeks ago too. But voting for her is just plain stupid -- and it isn't even like shooting yourself in the foot, it's tearing off your own head because it's a doll revolution.

Another reason to show up is down-ticket races. There are a number of decent-to-good House candidates with a very real shot at being elected -- people like Alan Grayson in Florida and Rob Zerban in Wisconsin and Tammy Duckworth in Ohio. Progressive incumbents like Sherrod Brown, also in Ohio, is fighting an onslaught of Koch brothers money and arguably the most odious Republican teabag twerp not named "Marco Rubio".

We may very well be headed off a cliff anyway, given the Democrats' haplessness and refusal to fight for anything. But I really don't want to do it yet. And if we do it, we should do it with our eyes open and recognize that to not do what little is possible to stop what the Republicans have stated quite baldly that they want to do to this country and to stop this Naderite notion that if Things Just Get Bad Enough the people will rise up and revolt. They won't. Because after all, Honey Boo Boo is on.

You may not like it, you may have to hold your nose, but you know what you have to do. Do it.

More along these lines from Daniel Ellsberg, who knows of what he speaks.


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Anonymous The Wifely Person said...
I am also disappointed in President Obama, but I do support him for a number of reasons, not the least of which is Mittens himself. But to tell the truth, a long slow recovery is apt to be longer lasting that instant, unsupported growth.

I think the guy got into office and found the state of the union to be far worse than anyone imaged. And i also think that the other elephant in the room, racism, was much worse than anyone anticipated.

Do not underestimate the damage that an obstructionist congress can do. Even thought he had a majority in the first two years, the D's lack of support of their own president was astounding. I think the other elephant was already there.

Yes, there are things he couldn've done better. Yes, I am disappointed in the health care plan and immigration reform, but what ever those shortfalls are, at least movement was made.

Dare you imagine where we'd be if McCain/Palin had gotten in?

Blogger jurassicpork said...
I think what few regular readers I have know very well what my thoughts are on Obama. I'd sooner see that son of a bitch up on war crimes charges at the Hague, with the Bush junta as a warmup act for those just coming back from the concession stand. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate my sore Irish ass.

So, since Romney has about as much chance of winning the state he'd governed as Rush Limbaugh winning a platinum medal in women's figure skating, I'm voting for my homie Jill Stein. I am not and will not nor will ever vote for a child killing corporate fuckstick like Obama.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
New Jersey is safe for Obama too. I'm going to use my vote to make a statement. If we're not even willing to make a stand in a safe Obama state, then nothing will ever change. Stein all the way.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I live in a state where Willard will win in a breeze. That said, if Indiana were a "swing state", I'd still sit on my hands. Evil is evil, and I'm not going to vote for either one of them.

Out Senate race is between two right-wing goons, but in that one I'll vote for the Democrat. Joe Donnelly is a jackass beyond compare, but so far as I know he hasn't murdered anybody.

One more thing: There have been some good responses to Mr. Ellsberg's claims that 'lefties' like myself have to suck it up and vote for BHO. Here is one of them.


There are no circumstances whatever that I vote for BHO. In the highly unlikely event Romney wins, at least the "Dems" will be opposing criminality instead of supporting it as they are now.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Forget third-party voting or writing in the name of some person who will never win the presidency.

There is only ONE way to stop Romney & Ryan from turning this country into something unimaginably bad, and that is to vote for the only other person who -- realistically -- can stop them, Obama.

I am no fan of Obama (far from it !) , but as disappointing as he has been he looks like gold compared to the two Republican assassins who, if elected, will kill hundreds of thousands of Americans who will not have the money to live decently, eat well, get needed and appropriate medical care or in any way have a fair chance at life.

It does not "punish" Obama to withhold your vote from him -- he will do fine with his government pension -- the ones who will SUFFER the most will be those in our population who are the most vulnerable and at risk.

Even in the so-called safe-for-Democrats states, sane people need to vote for Obama to boost his "popular" vote, since there is now a concerted effort going on among the extremist wackos on The Right to declare Obama an "illegitimate" president if he wins the electoral vote but loses the popular vote (which is looking more and more like a possibility).

Never mind that in the 2000 election when Al Gore beat George W. Bush by 500,000 votes, Bush was considered "legitimate" because the well-heeled turds in the media declared him so. Their reasoning was that if presidential elections were won by the popular vote, Bush would have designed his campaign differently.

Well, the same reasoning SHOULD apply to Obama if he loses the popular vote but wins the electoral vote -- but it won't, because The Rulz are different for Republicans and Democrats.

Or, at least, according to the over-paid and over-pampered media people they are.

I don't want to see America become the country envisaged by Romney & Ryan -- a mean, nasty place where greed and selfishness are fashionable and accepted.

The ones who will suffer are those who are the most vulnerable among us: the elderly, the poor, the children, those who want decent free public schools and the opportunity to go on to a good college, women (for sure, women will go back to the Dark Ages with a Romney-Ryan win), the jobless, the ill, the uninsured, and anyone else who isn't already filthy rich.

Think of a U.S. Supreme Court with more rat finks like Scalia and Thomas and Alito and, yes, Roberts.

Mitt Romney could be removed after four disastrous years as president but the people he would appoint to the Sup.Ct. would be there at the Court for decades -- doing their dirty best to help the rich get richer and return the rest to poverty, humiliation, disgrace, depression, joblessness and homelessness.

There's only one way to stop Romney & Ryan from winning and that is to vote for Obama (even if you have to hold your nose while doing it).

For god's sake, this isn't a Parcheesi game, this is life and death for a lot of people.

Anonymous CC said...
I thought the same thing, Anonymous. NJ should be a safe Obama state, so I don't see why Jill is so down on Stein. If you vote for someone you don't support, but who has a chance of winning just to keep out someone who's even more repugnant, then you can't complain when evil lite pays you back by screwing you over. It's this lesser evilism that's enabled the Dems to thumb their noses at their base even as they accept their votes.

Hey, The Wifely Person, had McCain/Palin won four years ago, do you really think they'd be worse than Bush/Cheney? Methinks the Dems would start to act like an opposition party in the face of the radical and totally unqualified Palin, the Tea Party would probably not have formed, and the Dems might have held on to their majorities in Congress.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
CC wrote: "If you vote for someone you don't support, but who has a chance of winning just to keep out someone who's even more repugnant, then you can't complain . . ."

YES, I can !

But your third-party voting would deliver this country into the hands of people who would do even MORE harm to our most vulnerable fellow Americans. The Tea Party would rule!

And once Romney had the opening to appoint one or two more rightwing extremists to The Court -- and they would be there for decades -- Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts and the newbies would undo any good that has been done since the days of FDR.

Anonymous CC said...
Anonymous (presumably a different Anonymous), I've been hearing that explanation for years.

Hardline conservative nominees to the Supreme Court have been blocked before when the Democrats acted like Democrats.

In case you haven't noticed, the Democrats have been complicit in recent decades in undoing some of FDR's good policies.

Blogger jurassicpork said...
So, and this goes out to you people who insist on voting for Obama because you think someone like Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson is an even bigger threat than Romney, what you're essentially saying is you can justify voting for a guy who murders woman and children with utter impunity then lies about the collateral damage numbers and has been giving his liberal base the middle finger ever since he was on the campaign trail?

Well, God bless you! because I've yet to achieve that level of callousing of the soul. But I have to end this comment by asking a question: How much more horrible does the Democrat have to get before you realize that, by dint of Overton's window, you find yourself voting for a Goldwater or Nixon Republican with a "D" after their name and that you've been hoodwinked all these decades?

I'd vote against that son of a bitch Obama even if I lived in a swing state and at least I'll be able to look myself in the mirror when I get back from the polls on the 6th. Those who keep saying that voting 3rd party is a statement vote only seem to insist that such voting will always and should always be counted in small numbers.

Gary Johnson's getting on 90 of the ballots. Jill Stein, 85%. That's more than Lyndon LaRouche fringe appeal. You people who seem to think voting 3rd party is an unnecessary evil are automatically discounting the possibility that if enough people vote 3rd party, it'll do more than send a strong message to those of the monolithic two parties and that we'll finally have something more varied than the two party system we've all been duped into believing we have.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The two major parties don't give a rat's ___ for your political purity when you vote third-party instead of voting to STOP the worst candidate in the running.

As you prance off on your high horse feeling nobler than those of us who inhabit the real world, I hope you will be happy when even more people than currently die because of Mitt Romney's policies: the uninsured, the elderly, the poor, children who need to have good and free public schools, women who will lose the right to manage their own bodies, etc. ... etc. ... etc.

Romney could conceivably be removed in four years but the extremist rightwingers he would appoint to the Sup.Ct. will be there for decades doing their dirty work.

If you think the poor who rely on food stamps, the homeowners who need help with their mortgages, the women who need workplace protection will salute you for your "high-mindedness" for being unwilling to stop the Romney-Ryan, extremist rightwing takeover of our government and our Courts, you are dreaming.

But your dream of political purity is the nightmare that will be suffered by others who need a government that works for the majority of ordinary Americans and not just for the already-wealthy.

The view from your tower must be pretty good; for the rest of us down here in Realityville, it is terrifying.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Anyone who doesn't vote AGAINST Mitt Romney will be held responsible for all the harm Romney, Ryan and their Republican henchmen do to this country -- and especially to the poor, the old, the sick, the children, the jobless, the homeless, and women! !

There is ONLY ONE WAY to stop Romney from destroying lives, and that is to vote for Obama, because there are ONLY TWO ACTUAL contenders on the field; one of whom is going to be president. If you don't vote to STOP Romney, it means you are agreeing to let him: repeal a woman's right to choose; repeal the Lily Ledbetter Act; repeal the protections of Obamacare, such as insurers having to cover people with pre-existing conditions; cut Social Security benefits; drastically reduce Medicare protections; slash Medicaid, upon which the poor rely for their health care; repeal any regulations that "tie down" Wall St. or the bankers or anyone else that wants to rip off the American consumer. Is THAT what you want?

Voting third-party or writing in the name of someone who has zero chance of winning is -- in reality -- a vote that helps Romney win.

And P.S. Romney (with his policies, domestic and foreign) will kill as many people as Obama has and then add a few hundred thousand more who will die because they cannot afford proper medical care or find someone who will provide a back-alley abortion.

And, yes, Romney is wild about drones -- loves them and loves what they can do.

Only ONE person can stop the Romney-Ryan-Tea Party-extremist rightwing takeover of our government, our Courts, and our future, and that is Obama ! ! (No matter how you feel about Obama, Romney is worse, much worse).

Anonymous CC said...
Anonymouses (4:09 PM and 6:09 PM):

Looks like the Democrats are entering panic mode, since Obama is in a tighter race than he should be. It didn't have to be this way.

I guess you forgot about Obama's "Cat Food Commission," which looked for ways to cut Social Security.

I guess you forgot that Obama's used drones in at least three countries as if there's no tomorrow.

I guess you forgot that Obama chose to bail out Wall St. instead of helping its victims. (By the way, how many banksters have gone to prison under Obama?)

I guess you forgot that under Obama, chartered schools have expanded greatly. (Look who's his Secretary of Education.)

I guess you forgot that under Obama, unions have continued their retreat. He didn't even come out to support their efforts in Wisconsin, just to name one example.

I guess you forgot that Obama extended Bush's tax cuts, which mainly benefited the wealthy.

I guess you forgot that Obama offered to cut Medicare in exchange for a Republican agreement to raise taxes only slightly.

I guess you forgot that Romney should have been buried after his 47 Percent comment came out, but Obama gave him a transfusion with his lame first debate performance. His stronger second and third debate performances haven't entirely made up for that.

If Romney wins, he will owe his victory more to disillusioned 2008 Obama voters who switched sides and disheartened 2008 Obama voters who've decided to stay home than to all third party voters combined.

Oh, and don't forget about those voting machines, most of which are owned by Republican firms. Can't blame third parties for that.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think Romney won't do ALL of those things and MORE of those things and ADD a few new actions of his own that devastate the poor and middle class, you aren't attached to reality.

You are not punishing Obama by withholding your vote from him; you are punishing the 90% of us who aren't wealthy and who will suffer even MORE with Romney, Ryan and his extremist friends in charge.

Anonymous CC said...
Anonymous (8:54 AM):

If you think Obama didn't ALREADY do all those things I listed, then you're detached from reality.

A President Romney may end up finishing the job - unless the Democrats miraculously wake up and stop acting like Republican lites.

I get no pleasure from saying that. But the next four years will be a case of pick your poison. One party will decapitate the 99 percent of us; the other will slowly asphyxiate us to death. Which one is less painful?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Romney does NOT believe disaster relief -- even in the event of a catastrophic emergency -- is the responsibility of the federal government, saying relief should be the responsibility of the states or it should be privatized.

Here's Romney on the topic of FEMA:

"Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that's even better," said Romney in 2011. Asked by debate moderator John King if that included cutting disaster relief, Romney said, "We cannot -- we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids." http://tinyurl.com/8ryp6fr

You see, Romney's kids will be Very Wealthy no matter what happens -- and Romney simply does not give a rat's as_ about how anyone else's family survives a crisis.

Obama supports FEMA and using government to help those in a crisis.