A repository for Marcospinelli's comments and essays published at other websites.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Thursday, August 23, 2012

So who will you vote for with the facts as they are today?

I get this question regularly so bear with me for a moment as I explain the situation as I see it, the options available, possible solutions, etc.  

#1 - Sitting Out The Election

I never advise people to sit out elections because the first rule of politics is, "If you're not at the table, you're on the menu". It's what p!sses me off about Obama (and one of many reasons I know him to be a con man betraying "them that brung 'im") because by shutting out liberals, the Democratic base, from his administration, by taking single payer, a public option, off the table, by putting Social Security and Medicare on the table, by eliminating regulatory oversight from finance reform legislations, he's given pro-corporate, Republican-like policies an inside line. The People's advocates can't even get in the door of this government much less a seat at the table.

#2 - Getting More Liberals/Progressives Into Congress

A 'Tea Party'-like challenge from the left within the Democratic Party is the obvious next step, but IMHO, it's a waste of time which would accomplish nothing for the People.  Obama and the DNC have been working their butts off to prevent real Democrats, real progressives, from getting into office - Their strategy for getting more Democrats into office has been to run Democratic candidates who believe in Republican ideology and support Republican policies and legislation.    

One variation on this is if, A) Obama doesn't pull an LBJ (drop out) or, B) another Democrat or third party candidate doesn't challenge him, then take the money and shoe leather that you were planning on spending for Obama and use it to make both Houses of Congress overwhelmingly 'blue' and let the chips fall where they may (Obama sinks or swims on his own, or a Republican gets into the White House) and we go to work immediately finding a real Democrat for 2016.  

Given how effective Republicans (with the smallest minority in decades) have been at stymieing Democratic legislation and policies, you would think Democrats could do the same for any Perry/Bachman/Romney/Palin/etc. administration. 

#3 - Primary Obama - [When it was possible, beginning the effort in early 2011]

Two powerful arguments for challenging Obama from the left: 

Michael Lerner's very powerful case for primarying Obama.

Ralph Nader's very powerful case for primarying Obama (and no, he's not running again).

Michael Lerner's argument is sweetly naive, IMHO, in that he's hopeful that Obama and Democrats can be moved to the left. I don't think that's true anymore. I think the party and the culture of Washington, what's happened to our government in the last 40 years (both parties), has been thoroughly corrupted.

Up until recently I was saying that, to begin with, no one in the Democratic Party would do it.  Due to the hierarchical system of party government, it would be suicide for any professional politician in the Democratic Party to run against the party's sitting president.  

Liberals/progressives within the Democratic Party, no matter what their rhetoric, no matter what they say, they march to Obama's/Reid's/Pelosi's tune.  They vote as they're told to from up top or else they risk the full weight and power and tools of the office of the president, the DNC and the Corporate Masters controlling them.  The Party will cover them as best it can, get as many votes as it needs from Democrats in safe districts first, and will only call upon liberals/progressives to betray their constituents from safe districts if it needs them, accompanied by threats/promises of national party help when it comes time for their reelection bid (Alan Grayson, Dennis Kucinich, 2 examples).

The DLC has gotten too powerful, what with a Democrat in the White House and a Democratically-controlled Senate overseeing an NSA with today's eavesdropping abilities (I say that somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but it's really impossible to deny in light of things like this).  

As I said, that was while it was primary season, beginning in early 2011. Word had it then that a challenge was coming, but it was really not a serious one, not intended for anyone to get the nomination from Obama.  But it would only happen if Obama's numbers went down, and like the idea of the Republicans having a brokered convention, Obama's 'most ardent supporters' would have to wake up and realize that he's sold the people out again and has made more deals with corporations in order to keep any 'normal', moderate Republican from getting into the election.

So unless Obama dropped out/drops out (in which case another approved party apparatchik, another corporate tool, would inevitably take his place), the only legitimate challenges to him will come from outside the Democratic Party (Republicans or Independents).  And the most likely way that Obama would drop out is if his numbers plummet.

[I wrote the above #3 at the start of the primary season, when it was still possible to move Obama to the left from within the Democratic Party.  Obama's people snuffed out any movement to challenge him in the primaries with a *shock & awe* campaign that online regulars will surely recognize: "No incumbent president in the last 50 years who has been challenged in primaries has gone on to win reelection!  Remember Jimmy Carter!"  And, "
a third party choice has always amounted to splitting the progressiv­e vote and conceding the election to the ever-unifi­ed regressive­s."

That's a common mispercept­ion put forth originally by DLC political operatives in their efforts to get Democratic voters to vote for DINOs (candidate­s whose beliefs and ideas are Republican­, but run as Democrats)­.  It's a misperception that usually goes unchallenged, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that those repeating it are too young to know the truth about those campaigns.  

LBJ and Jimmy Carter wouldn't have won whether or not they'd been primaried or not.  It wasn't the primaries that did them in.  

In 1968 it was a whole array of circumstan­ces starting with the assassinat­ions of MLK and RFK that led to Humphrey's defeat, and had there been another 2 weeks before the election, I think Humphrey would have won.  The momentum in the final weeks of the campaign was certainly moving in that direction.  

In Jimmy Carter's case, there were elements of the 2000 election and Republican­s who were intent to win no matter what (treasonous intent; read Bob Parry's series on that), and a candidate who was, unfortunat­ely, not up to the task of vanquishin­g that group. 

Both were tone deaf, victims of chance, and whose bad decisions and policies made to the circumstan­ces they'd been dealt  had an electorate rejecting them with a passion.] 

So what's left?

#4 - A Third Party Challenge  

We're not limited to voting for just Democrats and Republicans. There are other alternatives besides sitting out the election or voting for Republicans. There are other candidates running as independents, from Green to Libertarian (Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, et al), in just about every race.  If you don't know which candidate best fits your views, you might want to take an online quiz.   

If for no other reason than to get enough of a percentage of the vote necessary for getting a seat at the table, I think that may be enough for great numbers of Democratic voters this time around who are dissatisfied with Obama and the Democratic Party and are willing to vote third party to make that happen.  

What this means is a considered, longer term approach instead of just accepting the traditionally passive role of citizens to vote for whatever slate is offered by one of the two parties that is closer to your opinions on issues.  We saw this in the 2008 when first Obama and Democrats were swept into power on a platform of CHANGE, and in 2010 when disappointed and dissatisfied voters took out incumbents in both parties.  We'll see if that trend continues in 2012, and how it will be spun by political operatives in the media.  In 2010, the media spun it (and Obama framed it) as a mandate to move the government even farther to the right, despite the fact that while Blue Dogs were turned out of office big time, progressives/liberals only lost 3 seats.

#5 - The "Oh,fuck it, let's get it over with - Vote for Republicans"-plan
The horse is out of the barn and we should just let the radical right have its way.  It's not like Obama and the gutless Dems are going to stop them.

It would be carnage for a few years, people eating other people (though that really only happens in the southern tier of states), old people dying (why are we so eager to keep them alive, anyway?) and cats and dogs living together...

Let it all come crashing down--but let's make sure to kill Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare. These Tea Partiers should be allowed to pay what the market will bear, right?

By the way, while our Tea-Party/Real Men (or whatever those guys who wouldn't pay taxes a few years ago are called) friends talk about how they'd like to keep more of their hard earned money and give less to the idiots who "gave us Vietnam and Iraq," perhaps they'd like to pick up the bill for the grading and paving of the road that leads from their home to their office--can't be what, more than $60K a year.

While they're at it, maybe they'd like to cut a check for the police and fire people they'd have to employ to protect their home and valuables from damage. If they could get one guy for another $30K, they'd be lucky. Oh, and then there's that water and waste service, if you've got that.

Really, just let these fuckers get what they want, and we'll put it all back together again later.

#6 - Continue the Insanity, meaning we keep doing the same thing* over and over again hoping for a different outcome.

* - Same thing; Continue to refuse to believe our own 'lyin' eyes', keep doing what we've been doing for the past 20 years, continue voting for DLC-controlled Democrats, vote again for Obama in the hopes that he's a closet liberal playing 12-dimensional chess, believing that he's got a plan, a strategy, that nobody can see or figure out, but because he's the smartest, grown-uppiest in the room, in all of Washington (on the whole planet, even) his scheme eludes and confounds us, so we just need to be like Republican voters and have blind faith in our political leaders.

[Clue: There aren't any grown-ups to save us; we're 'it'.]

What happens when millions are out of work, no jobs, no money, no hope.  London, Philadelphia, where next?

"Quickly Brad, there are thousands of lives at stake... Brad any answer..."-Roy Neary, 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind


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