Monday, November 01, 2010

Tomorrow's Election


There have never been so many potential senators, reps, governors and members of state houses so ill-prepared, so unfeeling, so ready to dismantle every government program that helps people. These people regard those needing help as not deserving it. They would send our boys to fight a war and then deny them medical treatment to survive it. Survival of the fit.

There has never been so much vicious, lying negative campaigning, supported by the majority of the US Supreme Court. Corporations pouring money into campaigns of people with the platform of ending environmental protection. BP is still stirring the pot despite their near annihilation of the Gulf Coast. The very people on Wall Street who brought us to our knees three years ago depend on Republicans to raise them up again. The fix is in.

I beg you to vote tomorrow and vote for people with the experience, heart and intelligence to run this country. We can't expect the economy to be turned around in two years. Except we can expect the country to be turned around in the next few. By people who would return to the days of 1800. We thought we were living in a post-racist era but instead we are living in a neo-racist era. For a few minutes in time, the world applauded the election of a humane, smart, progressive American President.

The scariest words in the English language: President Sarah Palin.

44 comments:

Joe Barone said...

I very much appreciate your comments. I will vote tomorrow. In my years of eligible voting, I have never missed an election though I have voted in some elections where there weren't very many contested offices or ballot issues.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have missed one or two but in general, I vote. And glad you do too.

Jerry House said...

Actually, the scariest words in the English language are "President Sarah Palin and her Supreme Court appointments".

pattinase (abbott) said...

Which is why we need one more quick resignation from R. B. Ginsberg.

Yvette said...

Bravo! I'm voting tomorrow. I can't imagine that people who I know have forgotten the recent past: 8 years of Bush. But it seems to be true. I am so disheartened by the ignorance and lies I hear spewing from the President's foes. Even more disheartened by the fact that people apparently believe the crap.
Very scary times.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

You're right, Patti: Republican/"tea party" candidates want to turn the country back to a past that never existed, one in which large corporations were given total power and, in turn, those businesses treated their employees with unbridled fairness. The idea that right-wingers could fool Americans once more with their platitudes, vacuous promises, and lack of political knowledge speaks ill of the nation's attentiveness and seriousness. My suspicion is that right-wing extremism will lead to widespread public opposition in a year or two, just as happened in the 1990s, and as a result, President Obama will enjoy a comfortable re-election in 2012.

But the worst part of this in the short term is that aggressive, essential efforts to strengthen the U.S. economy will take a hit from Republican'ts, who believe that "the public marketplace" will cure all ills. They were wrong when they said that in 1929, and they're wrong now. However, a tipping of the power scales tomorrow will set back the work of Democrats and the President to fix what ails the country.

It astonishes me that Americans could be so unsteady and unrealistic in their political judgment. It took Republican'ts eight years to foul up the U.S. economy with their borrow-and-spend practices and abhorrence of business regulation. Why do voters think it should take Democrats only two years to fix it?

I've already voted--a straight Democratic ticket. I don't have patience anymore with political neophytes, fools, and cranks.

Cheers,
Jeff

Randy Johnson said...

I did my voting early as well.

It's hard to believe people can be so willfully ignorant, believing these same platitudes during the Bush years that got us into the shape we're in now. They seem willing to dive back into that same pit.

On a related note, I see that Karl Rove is saying now what he really thinks of Sarah Palin's qualifications to be President. I remember last election he was overbearing in praising her.

The fact that people still put faith in these hucksters scares me.

Josh Harris said...

The REAL scariest words in the English language: Re-elect Barrack Obama.

Want socialism? Move to China.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Oh, please. The last and lowest intellectual resort of right-wing extremists is to shout "socialism" every time a liberal/Democratic politician tries to do something to help the greatest number of Americans possible.

Republican'ts/tea party cultists think Americans are stupid, and that they will be frightened every time somebody charges an opposition politician with being a "socialist" or a "communist," no matter how illogical or distant from the truth that charge is. It's time we showed these yahoos that their platitudes and lies have no power anymore, that Americans aren't the idiots they believe us to be.

Cheers,
Jeff

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

So what do you really think, Jeff?

Randy Johnson said...

Josh Harris is just the sort the hucksters in the republican Party aim for, impressionable people who want nothing to touch their dollar, never mind anybody else.

And in the interests of honesty, I'm sixty-one and have been a registered Republican for as soon as I was able to register. These days, though, it's frankly an embarrassment to admit that.

The Bush 2 years were the worst, but the party has been headed down the wrong path for a very long time now.

WHY am I still a member?

Deb said...

I usually avoid political comments because of the excessive vitriol they tend to evoke, so instead I'll just leave you with two of my favorite quotes. They won't really help the situation, but they will let you know that this sort of thing has been going on a long, long time:

"There are always more fools than wise men in any society--and the majority is bound to have the upper hand." --attributed to Julius Caesar (although it doesn't sound like him)

AND

"Against stupidity the very gods strive in vain." --Freidrich von Schiller

Richard Robinson said...

I voted mor ethan two weeks ago, but I'm worried what the uninformed, believe-anything, racist, anti-constitutional red-neck, guns-are-the-answer, give-me-mine-and-screw-the-rest right wingers are going to do. No, not worried, scared to death. If you fifn't see Keith Oberman's special report, go to Randy Johnson's blog and take a look: http://randall120.wordpress.com/ then shiver with fear, along with the rest of us.

Because the Republicans have shouted to the rooftops, out-shouted everyone else, and then the Tea Party idiots have come along to make it worse, that Obama didn't fix everything in 24 months (as if anyone could fix the effing mess Shrub made out of things in 8 years, we may just get Idiot Rule. I just bought a house in Oregon, but I'd be willing to move to Canada if necessary to escape the Tea Party bigiodts (that's a bigot/idiot).

Anonymous said...

What's really sad is people who believe the so-called Tea Party stuff and yet are voting for Republicans whose only interest is making sure the top 1% of the richest people in the country (see The Koch Brothers, among many others) get even richer with more tax breaks.

By using "social issues" (gay marriage, guns, abortion, etc.) once again they've convinced too many of the ill-informed and poorly educated that the Republican Party is them.

It isn't.

Don't get me wrong, I think in many ways Obama has done a terrible job. He's the great orator who can't explain what he's doing or why it's necessary. I read that only 8% of the country knows that Obama gave 95% of us a tax cut, for example.

The most depressing thing on our visit to Nevada and Arizona? The political ads 24/7. Does anyone really vote for or against anyone because an ad uses Nancy Pelosi as the boogeyman?

If so, that's really really stupid.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The list of his accomplishments is great but he did not know he had to communicate them. Such a great orator during 2008, but he lost his voice and no one in his party gave him much of a hand.

Richard R. said...

I read recently, perhaps in TIME, that 1/3 of the voters today cast their vote based on campaigning literature and ads, rather than an investigation of the candidates and their background, history in office (if any), platform (if any), experience (if any) and personal politics.

Here in California there is a NASTY fight between Barbara Boxer and her opponent, who has been putting ads on TV stating how ling Boxer has been in office and everything that's gone wrong in the country. If you believe the ads, Boxer is personally responsible for 9-11, gay marriage, the entire failure of the economic infrastructure, the mortgage and housing problems, the bailout, the weather and you stubbing your toe last year. Give Me A (Fucking) Break.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Frankly, almost all of us who helped Barack Obama achieve the presidency have let him down since. We expected him to bear the ENTIRE BURDEN of fixing the mess Republicans left behind, and didn't think we needed to put the energy into supporting his efforts to restore the economy, reform the nation's broken health-care system, etc. Yes, I know: keeping up the campaign for change is hard and long, and often frustrating. But we see the results. Republicans have done a better job of tearing the President down, than we have of backing him up with our shared voices.

Those of us who believe that the Republican direction for the United States will drive it off a cliff must do better in supporting Obama and his efforts over the next two years of his first term, and throughout his second.

Cheers,
Jeff

pattinase (abbott) said...

Unfortunately, the expectations were based on wish rather than reality. And since most voters do not subscribe to a newspaper or watch the news, who knows where they get their info. Our local state rep, a Democrat, had to run as a Republican which antagonized his base enough that I find it hard to vote for him. But his opponent is a complete moron.

Charlieopera said...

Not to fear, Obama is no socialist … he’s way closer to Republican than Socialist … and he’s been as useless to American workers as any Republican. The only thing he fixed was the pocketbooks of corporate executives (while setting back labor 50-100 years) … and the whackos in the tea party are probably his only chance of getting re-elected in 2012 (so you’d better root for them now) …

Which is exactly my point … there’s too little difference between these two parties to keep rewarding either of them for consistently acting on behalf of corporations and ignoring American workers.

Sorry, patti, I tried to resist this … I’ll do my best not to look again.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That's okay, Charlie. I know where you're coming from.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you. The only problem Jeff and I faced when voting today was that our congressman (Michael McMahon) is a Democrat in name only (DINO). It was a choice between him, a heartless ignorant fool, or an inexperienced, heartless ignorant fool Republican. We happen to live in the only Brooklyn district in NYC that includes the very Republican Staten Island.

Jackie

Anonymous said...

My favorite local mailer stated that our Congressman (personally, I presume) was responsible for raising property taxes 17%.

Can anyone explain how local property taxes are the purview of Congress?

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We got a mailer saying the same thing! Clearly it was a cut and paste job.
Hey, Jackie! How are you? Did you have fun in Las Vegas?
And we had the same dilemma. Our Dem State Rep. began calling himself a moderate Republican rather than a Dem. a few months back. Only dilemma is if he doesn't get elected, he's a professor in our Department and he will be angrier than ever.

John McFetridge said...

Here in Canada we often feel caught between American and European influence. One of the biggest differences between the two is that the US has only two parties. I can't think of any other democracy with only two parties. That makes any kind of compromise very difficult and it always leaves a lot of people feeling as if they have no voice in the government.

And Charlie is right, I think, a lot of what we're dealing with now has to do with the loss of the working class - it's the foundation industrial societies are built on (and why Europeans fight to keep it) and frankly, there's no such thing as "post-industrial," that's just newspeak for a return to feudalism.

Charlie, it would all be different if Vice President Henry Wallace hadn't been turfed out of the Democrats for daring to talk about the, "Century of the Common Man," emerging after World War Two. Ayn Rand set him straight at the HUAC trials that followed, pointing out that Americans don't like anything common ;)

Or maybe if his Progressive Party had gained any traction, but a system with no place for a third party (let alone fourth or fifth or sixth) it's very tough.

Good luck.

Charlieopera said...

One of my writing heroes (Bob Herbert) sums it up nicely today in his column:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/02/opinion/02herbert.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

pattinase (abbott) said...

The problem is that we, as John says, just have the two parties to choose from. I would say any hope for working folks does not lie with voting Republican. And not voting at all comes to close to that right now.
What was the last thing they did for anyone who made less than half a million a year. Now the Dems are not perfect by any means, but a vote for them in preferable to me. If people hadn't voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 the world might be different today.

Charlieopera said...

About that Nader vote ... it was Democrats who voted along with Bush for both wars (including our Sec. of State) ... we don't really know what Obama would've done because he seemed determined never to make a decision while in the Illinois Senate (131 present votes).

I know it's tempting to stay with the Dems vs. the Reps (I do understand) but ... so long as we keep doing it, we get what we vote for. He (obama) had huge political capital and a veto proof majority and struck out (looking--because he did nothing to push national health insurance).

Let's not get started on the war (that is no longer covered) and his upping the ante there.

So long as we've determined a third party can't win, it won't ... I guess.

John McFetridge said...

Charlie that article is interesting. It seems this really goes beyond politics and the title of the book in the article maybe sums it up best, "Winner Take All."

There doesn't seem to be much middle ground in America these days. Actually, there doesn't seem to be the idea of middle ground. In reality there is plenty of middle ground, but that certainly doesn't benefit those at the very top.

A good book aout the 1920's is, The Consolidation of Capitalism and that's been the direction since. I think people get taken in too much by the post-war years when the working class was full of confidence after winning the war and made some gains, but the beat-down (as the kids say) started right away.

Look at how fast pop culture went from The Best Years of Our Lives to Leave it Beaver.

pattinase (abbott) said...

If there were a viable third party, it would be to the right of the Repubs, I fear. I think we need at least five parties--but none of them can run just on environmental issues. Because there are just two parties, Obama did much of what he did.

John McFetridge said...

Patti, specialized parties really only work if you have rep by pop and not by district. European countries can have a few Green party members in parliament because they get 5-10% of the total vote. Canada and the UK can't really elect parties like that because the 5-10% is spread out over all the districts.

I guess it's the same for the US with all those congressional districts. Still, I'm surprised so few of those districts elect independents with more local concerns.

So far you don't have a regional sepratist party like our Bloc Quebecois or the Scottish National party.

Be interesting to see which party of the US tries that first.

pattinase (abbott) said...

So far the impact of third parties has been to help Republicans get elected. I'd like to see the tea party hurt Republicans but I do think the fix is in.

Jenn Jilks said...

From across the border we tremble in fear!

John McFetridge said...

Well Patti, America is very confusing. It seems like the same people who say the want less government in peoples' lives also voted against legalizing things like marijuana and gay marriage - which means more government control over peoples' lives.

pattinase (abbott) said...

If only Canada would let me in, I would be there in a minute.

Todd Mason said...

That, John, is because they don't want less government...they want the government to do what they think they want it to do, and nothing else.

Patti, there is NO excuse for attempting to blame Nader voters or Nader for the the failure of Democrats to actually press their victory. You might as well blame Nader for Obama's few accomplishments that weren't basically compromises with uncompromising Republicans. The Democrats will never be reliably re-elected as long as they consistently sell out the majority of Americans in favor of less crazily echoing the Republicans. The health-care initiative echoes both the 1993 GOP Senate package and the Romney Admin program in Massachusetts...rather than being the national health service we need. The money given to the banks with almost no strings and certainly no new regulations to speak of kept them solvent, for the most part, without reforming them (surprise!). The utterly inept handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, an attempt to allow BP and co. to keep the well as an active moneymaker if at all possible and damn the cost, remains more than a literal blot on whatever legacy he'll have.

This is not remotely Nader's fault. It might not even be the fault of Sandra Day O'Connor, and the lack of resolution on the part of the Gore campaingn, the two most important factors in the election fracas that led to the installation of George W. Bush.

We have two election machines in the form of political parties, and they are jealous machines. They do what they can to keep the other parties and independents from flourishing.

Charlieopera said...

I guess I'm with John & Todd on this.

http://temporaryknucksline.blogspot.com/2010/11/elections-whats-it-all-mean.html

Back to reality ... my beloved new york state bills in Toronto--John, luck you!

Todd Mason said...

FWIW, the Green parties in the world tend not to be solely environmental parties, but instead radically democratic parties of the left, with at least a fairly strong libertarian streak. Which is why I'm comfortable calling myself a Green in most circumstances.

Todd Mason said...

And John is incorrect...we have at least two well-established regionalist parties, the Alaska Independence Party (which I suspected would be Lisa Murkowski's refuge after her loss in the primaries...progressive former Republican Walter Hickel won the governor's office as their candidate some years back) and the Puerto Rican Independence Party/Partido Independencia Puertoriqueño or PIP. Such other regional parties as DC Statehood Party, now the Green Statehood Party, have had some representation or influence from time to time.

Todd Mason said...

Brainslip...Indenpendentista is the I in PIP...

Todd Mason said...

And Robert La Follette's Progressive Party, particularly in the years in which it fused with the Socialists, was probably the great left hope in the last century nationally in the US. The Popular Front Progressive revival running Wallace wasn't nearly as impressive...nor as popular nor influential.

Ron Scheer said...

Thanks for your candor, Patti, and opening up a contentious subject. It's too easy to over-simplify, but the country seems divided between those who believe we're all in this together and those who believe it's everyone for himself. The vote reflects that national schizophrenia.

John McFetridge said...

Thanks for clearing that up Todd. I didn't know about the Alaskans and I thought the movement in Puerto Rico was to become a state, not to pull out completely.

Yeah, Charlie, the New York State Buffalo Bills are finally going to win a game this year and it'll be in Canada - I hope they count it in the standings ;)

Todd Mason said...

The weirdest thing, Ron, is that almost everyone realizes we're all in this together...just that they want different distributions of what's together to all of us...

John...there are PR statehood folks, too. I don't believe they have a distinct party, though (a correspondent to the DC Statehood/Green Statehood Party)...and, of course, NY State is the King of at least somewhat influential local parties, beginning with the Liberal and Conservative parties...

Todd Mason said...

Seems there's an even smaller Statehood-aspiring part in PR, the New Progressive Party aka Partido Nuevo Progresista, or PNP...