Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Four More Years?

One of these guys is going to be President
for four more years
In war, there are essentially three things your army can do.  You can attack, seeking to push the enemy back and take the ground he is trying to hold.  You can defend - when under attack, you can try to hold the line, seeking to maintain the status quo.  And you can retreat - give ground under attack seeking a better tactical situation, one where you can at least stop the enemy's advance.

That's how I see the 2012 Presidential election.  We can't really attack - there's not really any hope of some great progressive leader showing up to offer a genuine liberal policy agenda.  I am quite sympathetic to those who are disappointed in Barack Obama.  While I don't feel disappointed, exactly - I can't say I'm terribly surprised by most of the actions of a Center-Right technocrat politician - there are cases, from the drone assassinations to the failure to prosecute economic and war criminals, where he surprised me with his vicious pragmatism and willingness to place political expediency above basic American values.  But I view his re-election as a necessary defensive action - the enemies of all I believe in are on the offensive, they have dropped all pretense of participating in a democratic process and are out to radically re-shape the America I want to live in.  Sadly, the best outcome we can hope for is another four years of divided government, relentless obstruction and the veto pen as the last line of defense.  But make no mistake: If Obama is re-elected, the Affordable Care Act and the Insurance Exchanges get implemented, 30 million people will for the first time have some hope of getting health care, the EPA and FDA will continue to protect Americans from rapacious greed, the brutal pogrom against poor immigrants will at least be postponed and, while we can expect endless low-level warfare to be a fixture for the rest of our lives, major regional and nuclear conflicts might be avoided.

The remaining scenario is retreat.  In this outcome, Romney wins the White House, and quite possibly drives enough down-ticket momentum to flip the Senate to Republican Control.  If that happens, the new Republican majority may bet the farm and eliminate the filibuster, giving them unfettered opportunity to drive radical legislation through Congress for at least two years.  The gloves are off - this is no longer a polite game, no longer is it the case that "there ain't a dime's worth of difference" between the parties.  This is an all-or nothing fight for the soul of America.  It's hard to imagine what America might look like after four years of right-wing bigotry, hatred and greed defining the new normal, but you can be absolutely certain of one thing: If you are not comfortably wealthy on November 6th and you do anything to enable the election of Mitt Romney you're no different than the poor unemployed carpenter voting for Romney because he's white.  You're letting your ideology blind you to your own best interests.


  1. I oppose the use of tadpoles for bait.

    TEACHER! Leave those future froggies alone!

  2. Again, merely on the basis there'll be vote counting trickery, I advocate a large popular vote for the Democratic candidate.

    The nihilist in me wouldn't be too disappointed in a Romney admin. & GOP Congress, of course. Could be big fun.

  3. thunder, you will never convince this woman that Obama is unrepentantly evil.

    And you keep saying that Obama is decimating the social safety net, when the only thing he has actually done with it (other than vague sounding statements of compromise) has actually strengthened Medicare.

  4. You can look at Obama's budget - the White House submitted a fiscal 2013 budget, even if congress didn't act on it. You can look at the Ryan budget, passed by the House. This is not even subject to any guesswork - WE KNOW the differences between them...

  5. There is still some hope that the Talibanized Republicans have so disaffected the voters, especially the women voters, that they will lose enough House seats to lose the House, that would put a re-elected BHO in a tremendously more powerful position. Perhaps a rosy scenario, but, if voters can't recognize that the Republican Party does not have the nation's interest at heart, we're pretty much down the tubes as a world leader and everyone better start learning how to speak Chinese.