Posted tagged ‘Election 2008’

Steven Goldman sums up my feeling on the subject nicely

February 18, 2010


Y’know, I devoured Heinlein in high school and emerged a naive libertarian.  Then I mostly ignored politics in college and for awhile thereafter, voting for Nader, then Kerry.  I thought of myself as an independent then.  Growing up in NYC, my baseline for normal is probably pretty liberal, but watching the Clinton administration in my formative years, I couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for the Democratic Party.  That Nader vote reflected my desire for “another path;” I held my nose and checked Kerry because Bush was obviously abhorrent.

I actually would have voted for McCain over Nader or Gore in 2000.  Then he went batshit crazy in time for 2008. I was *not* looking forward to voting for Hillary.  Then I got as swept up by Obama as anyone else.  Fed up with the political system and irrationality of the Bush years, Obama apparent promise of change was irresistible.  The Race Speech was where I absolutely jumped on the bus–it seemed like at last someone was defying the Kabuki play that is American campaigning.

To watch the Democrats squander every opportunity since the election, to see them show time and time again that they’re afraid to publicly and proudly proclaim the supposed tenets of their beliefs, to see them foiled at every turn by assholes and idiots…ugh.  To apply Bill Simmons’ Levels of Losing: I went through An Achilles Heel (Level 15) loss: “this defeat transcends the actual game, because it revealed something larger about your team, a fatal flaw exposed for everyone to see. … Usually the beginning of the end.” And when HCR dies, that’s upgrade it to a Dead Man Walking (L11): “applies to any playoff series in which your team remains “alive,” but they just suffered a loss so catastrophic and so harrowing that there’s no possible way they can bounce back. … Especially disheartening because you wave the white flag mentally, but there’s a tiny part of you still holding out hope for a miraculous momentum change. … So you’ve given up, but you’re still getting hurt, if that makes sense.”  And with the Senate’s failure to pass anything of substance even with a 59 or 60 seat majority, there’s an element of the This Can’t Be Happening (L8): “the sibling of the Full-Fledged Butt-Kicking. … You’re supposed to win, you expect to win, the game is a mere formality. … Suddenly your team falls behind, your opponents are fired up, the clock is ticking and it dawns on you for the first time, ‘Oh, my God, this can’t be happening.’

Anyway, barring a miraculous turnaround, I’m back to thinking that both parties are below replacement level.  The Repubs are actively damaging, the Dems passively so.  The long and short of it is that the Republican Party inspires outrage and loathing in me, while the Democratic Party _merely_ drives me to apathy. USA! USA!


December 2, 2008

I was kinda bothered by how, in the aftermath of the election, all anyone was talking about was the racial barrier that “we’d” (just over half of us!!!) overcome. I’m guessing it’s a generational thing (I’m twixt GenX and GenY/Millenials), but the question of race had nothing to do with my vote for Obama and I find it more than a bit disappointing that anyone’s did. We shouldn’t collectively pat ourselves on the back for entering a postracial world while we’re talking about nothing but race for a week straight. I’m not saying African-Americans (or whites who were active in the civil rights movement) didn’t have cause for celebration, but I prefer Jon Stewart’s take: the change that Obama really represents is having a President who treats us like adults. If Obama keeps doing that, I’ll be much more forgiving when I disagree with his policies.

Unrelated point, though it occured to me b/c the last sentence made me think about Obama’s choice of Hillary for Sec. State: is Colin Powell going to have a role in this administration?


November 4, 2008

Here’s hoping I won’t regret getting swept up by ‘bama. Obviously, it’s an historic night.  Here’s what’s been going through my head:


October 12, 2008

Wholesome Reading » Blog Archive » It’s Saturday, So Time for a New Tactic

Well said.

I miss President Bartlet

September 22, 2008


OBAMA The problem is we can’t appear angry. Bush called us the angry left. Did you see anyone in Denver who was angry?

BARTLET Well … let me think. …We went to war against the wrong country, Osama bin Laden just celebrated his seventh anniversary of not being caught either dead or alive, my family’s less safe than it was eight years ago, we’ve lost trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, thousands of lives and we lost an entire city due to bad weather. So, you know … I’m a little angry.

OBAMA What would you do?

BARTLET GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence. While you’re at it, I want the word “patriot” back. McCain can say that the transcendent issue of our time is the spread of Islamic fanaticism or he can choose a running mate who doesn’t know the Bush doctrine from the Monroe Doctrine, but he can’t do both at the same time and call it patriotic. They have to lie — the truth isn’t their friend right now. Get angry. Mock them mercilessly; they’ve earned it. McCain decried agents of intolerance, then chose a running mate who had to ask if she was allowed to ban books from a public library. It’s not bad enough she thinks the planet Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago complete with a man, a woman and a talking snake, she wants schools to teach the rest of our kids to deny geology, anthropology, archaeology and common sense too? It’s not bad enough she’s forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood, she wants the rest of us to guide our daughters in that direction too? It’s not enough that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose, it should be the law of the land that she has to carry and deliver her rapist’s baby too? I don’t know whether or not Governor Palin has the tenacity of a pit bull, but I know for sure she’s got the qualifications of one. And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!

Does anyone care to explain to me why Sorkin isn’t Obama’s head speechwriter?

Infuriating, or maybe just saddening

August 9, 2008

I’m increasingly disappointed by Obama. It’s not that he’s a bad candidate. I (along with many others) projected unrealistic hopes onto him. As the recent New Yorker profile drove home, he above all is a savvy politician. I think we’re headed for a presidency of idealistic speeches but compromises that, well, compromise those ideals. I’m not against compromises with the right over policy differences (such as the current energy bill be floated around) but I’m incredibly disappointed that the Obama campaign immediately folded on this point (depending on your viewpoint, maybe that should read “had to fold.”) Spare yourself the high risk of bleeding eyeballs that reading the comments about Rany’s letter–I’ll paraphrase:

DEMOCRAT: Obama had two choices: fight the good fight and lose the election or fold the hand and win big. This is the way our elections/campaigns/government/society is: best to deal with it. Obama’s running a smart campaign. Once elected, he’ll do Great Things for the Left. Anyone who thinks Obama can take on the problems with the media/electorate/system AND win in November is a deluded fool.

LIBERAL: Obama’s turned out to be just another pol. He’s selling out his principles (or, at least, the principles we wish/expect him to have.) This is a shameful act on the campaign’s part.

RIGHT WING MOUTH-BREATHER: Obama’s a Muslim. All muslims are terrorists. Thus, Obama’s a terrorist. Or, my favorite: Obama’s a flip-flopper who’ll cave on any issue to get elected. Which would be true, is only you replace the word “Obama” with McCain.

Personally, I fall between the first two positions (and piss all over the third). Actually, it would be more appropriate to say I’m torn between the two: my head’s with the Democrat, my heart’s with the liberal. Part of why I got excited by Obama’s campaign is that I thought he wasn’t a typical politician–and the speech of Race shows that he stands at least a little bit out from the pack–so the continual proof to the contrary is supremely disillusioning. What I want, more so than a progressive politician to win, is for someone to defy the system and win. Is President Bartlet really too much to ask for?

Seriously, I see the realists’ point but I’m not willing to concede that fighting back against these ridiculous smears is a bad move. Didn’t Kerry prove that not pushing back is even worse? I expected Obama to respond strongly to this kind of shit. It has to be at least possible to make a principled stand and have your words and actions rise above the racists’ moronic shouting, especially when you have a gifted orator like Obama in your arsenal. Seize the moral high ground AND FUCKING STAY THERE.

The whole “courting the moderate vote” concept that drives this type of decision is nauseating. I myself am in some ways a centrist, though 8 years of Bush have certainly pushed me farther to the left than ever before. But I want to see an Independent seize that middle ground and break the fucked up partisan politics we currently tolerate, not watch two guys whose recent voting patterns show them to be near the extremes of the spectrum suddenly abandon their ideals and run out the bread and circuses act.

John, Pat, Heather, whoever else actually reads this thing, I’d like to know your opinions on any of this.

Hillary = Amoral

June 11, 2008

Amoral, as in: not attached to any moral principle that isn’t completely negotiable if there is an obstacle in the way of what is wanted.

That’s exactly what I’ve felt about Hillary from the get go. (It’s also what distinguishes McCain 2000 from McCain 2008.)