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T-minus 72 hours (or something like that)

Laughing my way to WTF Election Day with Lily

Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then–we elected them. –Lily Tomlin

Good Saturday-before-the-elections morning, everyone. It’s T-minus time! I grew up with an astrophysicist at the Thanksgiving table and astronauts and Mission Control employees for neighbors, so the countdown just comes naturally I suppose. And, given that my handle is “Wonk the Vote” and it’s crunch time for midterms season, what else could my morning roundup this weekend be about other than the upcoming elections next week?

We are a matter of a few days away from WTF election night, and there is an incredible volume of stories pouring out as the elephants and donkeys get all the publicity trying to pit a caricature of socialism against the hot air of “(T)axed (E)nough (A)lready” while the rest of us–Lily Tomlin’s 98 percenters–look on in horror and disgust. I can’t quite pick a headline to start with. I’m going to go with a snark-and-sneak-in-the-news approach.

So let’s get down to business. It’s the Saturday before Halloween, and spooky things are about to happen at the ballot box. Right on cue, Paul Krugman sends out the warning signal that if the elections go as political observers expect, we need to “Be afraid. Be very afraid.

In 2008, I used to call it the Halloween Election and ask who scares people more: The Messiah or the Maverick.

For 2010, I’m updating that. Who scares you more: The Mama Grizzly or the Mofo DINO?

You think I’m joking, but I’m only joking by half. In all seriousness, which do you think presents the greater harm? Conservative women on the political rise… or delinquent Democrats on the moral decline? (If you want to answer that question in the comments, consider this a warning upfront not to go all Bill O’Reilly or Joy Behar to make your case in this thread’s space. This is not an invitation for “come here bitch” or “Muslims killed us on 9-11” type arguments. The haterade only helps Wall Street to divide and distract Main Street, and besides, it’s a big blogosphere out there. If you really need an outlet for your rage against the shadows in Plato’s cave, I believe both of our majorly inadequate parties have official blogs for that kind of thing.)

I wouldn’t vote for either (I’d register as a NOTA voter if I could), and it’s not because I fear Sharon Angle or Harry Reid (here’s a CNN link on how neck-and-neck that race is, with Angle holding a slim lead within the margin of error.) It is because I have no confidence in either of them to serve the needs of everyday women and men who just want government that works and works for them. On balance, I’m going to go with the Mofo DINO being more of a drag, though. At least as a costume.

The chattering classes can keep telling each other goosebump tales, embellishing the fear factor with each retelling, of how conservative wimmenz getting their hands into politics is The One True Scary Monster under the bed. Personally I don’t find the GO(TEA)P women any more–or any less–threatening than their male bozo counterparts. On the bright side of the dark side, a few more GOP women in office means a few less suits to disagree with and a few more faces wearing lipstick at the table. Alas, the fratboy media only cheers on Change and a Fresh Face when it’s a man wearing those qualities on the sleeve of his empty armani.

But, hey, let us imagine the hypothetical day that the lipstick-less-with-no-plans-to-be-a-mama Grizzlies start taking over Congress. Tucker Carlson and Rush Limbaugh are already crossing their legs in raw fear.

And, on that note, here’s a link to Judith Warner’s “The New Momism from the Gray Lady’s magazine. While it is an interesting read connecting the dots between Michelle Obama’s mom-in-chief PR and the Mama Grizzly phenomenon, I’d like to point out the cognitive dissonance of Warner saying “Momism is a clever strategy in a season of populist rage” while pointing out that the poll trends indicate women are likely to sit out this election in record numbers. If that turns out to be the case, it seems rather unclear to me just how clever this strategy is. I personally would love a political brand that values women for their contributions wherever they make good outside, inside, upside, downside, whatever side of the home.

The Incredible Shrinking Woman on the Mike Douglas Show

Oh that’s right! We already have that political brand, and its name is Hillary Clinton. All this momism does, at least to my mind, is reinforce my longstanding observation that the elites, who feed these kinds of narratives, want to put strong larger-than-life women into the tiny box of the Incredible Shrinking Woman. See clip to the right for more Lily Tomlin goodness.

Ok, I pulled out all the absurdly funny I can see in any of the midterms season above because if I don’t laugh, all there is left to do is stare into the void of leadership and weep. I have never looked forward to having the Boehner of our existence become the Speaker of the House, but at the same time Pelosi has had the American grassroots’ interests off the table well before she wielded that gargantuan gavel of hers, so the difference there is only around the edges. Pelosi is likely planning on retiring (link goes to Jay Newton-Small reporting from DC for Time magazine)–if she can’t have the gavel, she’s not going to stick around, which isn’t very surprising, but it seems like a waste of her seat since she didn’t let any other Democrat run. Any San Francisco residents reading this? What are your thoughts?

While Boehner measuring the drapes is an obnoxious circumstance we have had months to come to terms with–given that the current Democratic leadership has waged nothing but political malpractice and thrown away the political capital that was built from 2006 to 2008–the hardest hit for any of us anywhere on the left might actually be in the Senate, even with Democrats having the odds on keeping the Senate. We are perilously close to losing Russ Feingold in Wisconsin (as of the time I drafted this post, Johnson’s lead over Feingold averages 6.6 at RCP, 5.1 at Nate Silver/NYT, and 8.1 at Pollster/Huffpo). I do not see Russ as the immaculate public servant (and none of them are in DC), but I do like him and I do think he is substantive and at least to the left of Pelosi, Reid, and Obama. Feingold is about the last place I would have started if weeding out this Congress were entirely up to me. I am saddened looking at his odds on Intrade and pray for an upset (my prayers aren’t to any anthropomorifc anything, just a cry to the universe for some fairness and justice along the way as it expands).

I was born in Wisconsin and have a soft spot for the historical progressive tradition out of that state going back to Fighting Bob La Follette. As much as the Democratic establishment deserves to have their collective ass handed to them, I am just really saddened at the prospect of losing the voice of someone who would actually poke the establishment sometimes. His primary endorsement of Obama in ’08 and his HCR vote comes to mind as examles to the contrary, but still I’d rather he keep his seat and his ocassional poking rather than say NY’s Chuck Schumer and his two-by-four politics. After all, if Angle angles it out and becomes the junior Senator from Nevada. Schumer is standing in line to battle Dick Durbin of Illinois for Harry Reid’s Majority leader role (link goes to a NY mag puff piece in which Howard Wolfson compares Chuck to LBJ, so bring your barf bags if you’re not a Schumer fan).

I came across this tidbit from the editorial page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Down to the wire: President Barack Obama wouldn’t be here Sunday if he didn’t believe Gov. Ted Strickland can pull an upset — the White House has rejected pleas from Democrats, reportedly including Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, it sees as goners.

So there it is in print. The “fierce advocate of maybe someday” that we have in the White House sees Russ Feingold as a goner.

The American electorate is poised to put Congress through chemo, which will zap the not-so-malignant critterz along with the ones invading the body politic, and the Obama permanent campaign has long since moved its gaze to 2012 (I tell you that’s where it went straight after the election of 2008). This is what happens when you let a Reagan wannabe (that’s news only to voters waking up to the real Obama) run as the literal second coming, when what we really needed is the political second coming of FDR. Thanks a lot Circle Dsfor all this Exciting! Historic! Unprecedented! “change that matters” …and that we could have lived without.

As much as I love a good politics fix and you won’t find me anywhere but glued to the news during election time (it’s my Superbowl or World Series), I cannot wait until this one is over–except for the fact that I grow even more exasperated thinking about what will come next. The politics of fear and division are thick and heavy in the air. You can almost taste the stench of the dirty games being played and feel the weight of the ugliness on your own shoulders, knowing full well that whoever wins–the DINOstablishment or the GO(TEA)P–neither of them will work on behalf of the American people. And, to top it all off we have conspicuously-timed terror alerts going, too. Whew! It’s early, and I already need a drink. Sangria for breakfast sounds good. 🙂

The local races in my area are not giving me very many reasons to vote FOR anyone. I live in the district where one of the big races is a LaRouchie Democrat challenging the GOP incumbent for House Rep (link takes you to Ed Brayton at scienceblogs.com highlighting the fact that the Democrats have their own Sharon Angle in Kesha Rogers)–and hey if it weren’t for the fact that this is Tom Delay’s old district and I have suffered enough joke representation, I might find all this more amusing. My voting strategy is NOTA, and since we don’t have NOTA on the ballot, I am leaning toward sitting this one out. I think it is the most cost-effective way to send a message to the Democratic party here that they need to provide a more meaningful alternative to the GOP. I am aware of all the “you are throwing your vote away and making your voice meaningless” arguments in the world, so save yourself the effort. Movement conservatives sat out 2008, and that did not kill their voice, rather they are the loudest voices out there right now. They are so much more coherent on strategy than they are on policy.

As Mother Jones (the actual historical female figure, not the sellout magazine that exploits women on its cover) once said, “I have never had a vote, and I have raised hell all over this country! You don’t need a vote to raise hell! You need convictions and a voice!”

Now, if Bill White can catch a break in the polling in the next day or so and there is a realistic chance that we sane Texans will be rid of the contagion that is Guv Goodhair and his whacko religious right flank, then White already has my vote and I would have to reconsider my entire voting strategy. But, it looks bleak and I want to make history by being one of the record numbers of women not voting this year. I would make my vote meaningless if I voted for Ds and Rs when I have lost all faith in both those tickets.

And, as my local paper, the Houston Chronicle, put it yesterday: Gov All Asshat No Cattle Rick Perry (that’s my nickname for him not the paper’s!) is “positioned” to “win an unprecedented third four-year term, according to a new statewide poll conducted for the Houston Chronicle and the state’s other large newspapers.” I can hear the bizarro Perry for President choir screaming already. Make it stop! Like I said, if White magically gets within striking distance by Monday, that is a whole different ballgame. Perry needed to mosey on out a decade ago.

Some real quick links before I wrap this up:

The Democratic Surge Is Just a Fantasy” (via Huffpo from a few days ago)

Gender slurs intolerable” (October 29, 2010 Letter to the Editor in the Spokesman Review, which is not what the title might have you think and why I have filed it mentally under Sophist Arguments about Sexism)

Polls: Voter pessimism helps GOP in 4 states Obama won(via McClatchy)
 

Obama urges ‘steps’ after election, calls GOP stance ‘troubling’ (via the Hill, the President’s weekly address reads hollow and empty just like his politics. “Just words.”)

Meek: I Turned Down Crist Cross(via the WSJ’s Washington Wire)

Going against the NOTA grain, Atrios says “Vote.

Here is an example of one headline in a long list of headlines that reaffirms my decision to go NOTA in 2010 — the governing result of Ds and Rs all too often has been going something like this and leaving ordinary Americans without a public servant fighting for them: “Parents told to leave disabled kids at homeless shelters.” (via Yahoo News)

Oh, and about that Hillbuzz open letter to El Rushbo? I could turn on the pirate mouth and say a lot more, but here is all I am going to say: Hillbuzz really needs to just rename itself PalinCentral already.

Since my local races are not doing the trick for me, I wanted to close with the one race I am watching and anticipating hearing the results of: Nikki Haley’s likely win for the governorship of South Carolina. Her politics are not the same as mine, but I do like her as a person, and although the race is tightening as we wind down the campaign season, if she goes on to win she will make history as the first Indian American woman to become governor. I am getting emotional writing that. A few years ago I would not have even thought of that happening, let alone think about whether it was possible. Hell, I don’t think I ever even thought of a Desi Girl running for governor period.

I freely admit that I am identifying at an identity politics level rather than a policy level there. Then again, I am not in Nikki’s state so I don’t have to make that call as a voter anyway. I am just looking on as an excited observer to see how the race turns out.

Nikki herself says don’t vote for an image. From the NYT:

At a small gathering of Republicans on Thursday at a shopping center in this coastal town, her supporters distributed pink T-shirts that read “Team Haley: A Women’s Campaign,” as upbeat pop music played from a stereo. Flanked by young volunteers in red T-shirts, Ms. Haley played down her celebrity.

“If you join our movement, don’t ever let it be about a person, don’t ever let it be about an election,” she said. “It’s about what gets done in January.”

New America Media has this report out today that says “Racist Rhetoric Hounds South Asian Candidates.” If Nikki wins, she will wield another blow to that Good Ol’ Boy strategy.

Oh, and one more thing to go along with the T-minus stuff. Your October 30th trivia: On this day in 1985, “Space Shuttle Challenger lifts off for mission STS-61-A, its final successful mission.” (I just pulled that straight from wikipedia’s October 30th entry.)

Here’s hoping against Hope that we have a successful lift off in the political realm on November 2nd. (Who am I kidding?)

Well, that’s all I have for today! It took me a little longer than expected, so it’s more like Sangria for Brunch time.

What are you reading and ruminating on this Saturday? Would love to hear from you in the comments.

67 Responses

  1. Voting is such a blunt instrument. To vote for an incumbent at this point basically says that I approve of their performance. *wince*

  2. This is a tremendous roundup! It will take me a while to digest. But I have to say on the HuffPo link, I HATE when political “commentators” confuse Independents with “the middle”. Much of that “middle” is people like me, former Democrats, now in exile, and much of the rest is former Republicans, for whom the party itself wasn’t crazy enough. It’s not centrists at all.

  3. I agree that “momism” reduces women to a role status. Men are men and women are mothers. It’s definitely not a step forward.

    • I think “Mom” is the one female authority archetype that still exists in the extremely patriarchal USA. So if women are using it as a crack in the door to power, I can’t fault them. When you have a boot on your neck, you have to recognize and grab whatever opportunity arise to free yourself.

      • As long as one frees oneself. I don’t have any examples either way.

      • Just thought of an example that worked. “soccer mom”

      • I agree. Mom is often the archetype that even men who have no internal concept of “woman in power” can relate to without freaking out. Use it.

        I also don’t necessarily think that invoking momism is ONLY a role stereotype. Motherhood is an integral part of the female experience overall – not for every individual woman, but overall. I don’t have big problems with celebrating and incorporating that part of the female in our message, so long as we aren’t exclusive.

      • And BTW, men have been effectively using father archetypes to appeal to voters for centuries.

        I find it a little suspicious that suddenly when women do the same, it’s a controversy. Sometimes we really do shoot ourselves in the foot.

        • It’s a controversy because men have never been taught that fatherhood is the highest good they can contribute to society nor have they had to fight for the last several hundred years to be perceived by the law and other social institutions as actual human beings with functioning parts other than uteri. It plays into a restrictive stereotype.

          Men, on the other hand, have been taught that their highest potential calling is to kill and/or die to preserve one patriarchal structure at the expense of another patriarchal structure, frequently expressed as “protecting our women, children and sacred hearths.”. If for some reason they can’t or don’t pro patria mori, then second best is to “conquer” something else–space, the wilderness, cancer, a mountain, a philosohical principle, whatever. Women stand by and applaud, then fetch their slippers when Daddy come home tuckered out by his efforts. That, too, is what’s wrong with it.

          • I’ve often thought women were wrong not to insist that men get paternity leave too. It would help men nurture and cement the idea that men have their part in the responsibility of child rearing. Additionally, it would have gotten rid of that old excuse men give to keep the wages of women down that women leave the workforce to have children and therefore have less value to a corporate environment.

      • Mother Jones worked also.

      • Hi everybody. If you click over to the Judith Warner article, you can see the “New Momism” construct she is specifically defining. A snippet:

        The whole mom-shtick is clearly meant, in part, to domesticate those whose very real power or wealth or celebrity or bizarre pro-wrestling-ring antics might be a turnoff for men and women alike.

        Warner also repeats the soundbyte myth that upwards of 99% of the media has pushed since ’92, reporting Hill’s tea and cookies comment out of context and making her sound like she has come along way since those days now that she’s Chelsea’s mom first. *eyeroll*

        Here is what Hillary Clinton said in context:

        I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life. I’m a big believer in women making the choices that are right for them. The work that I have done as a professional, as a public advocate, has been aimed at trying to assure that women can make the choices they should make.

        –HRC, tea and cookie in its full glory

        I just think the MSM is trying to momify them and hold them to these really limited boxes. I skimmed a few other pieces on Mama Gs this morning that I didn’t have time to frontpage:

        From the ForbesWoman blog — Who are the ‘Mama Grizzlies’? Are they feminine conservatives or conservative feminists?

        From the left-wing New Statesman — What Tea Party Women Want

        From the right-wing UK Telegraph — US midterm elections 2010: Grizzly phenomenon … the rise of a new politics in America

        A lot of it just rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t have a problem with a woman raising hell by means of a mother archetype (see Mother Jones). I just think the narratives that the elites and the media all too often push about the mama construct is rather restrictive and repressive and tries to keep women in a rather narrowly-defined mama lockbox.

        • I understand where you are coming from, Wonk. I just don’t see these women as unempowered, or restricted. Wrong on lots of stuff? Yep. But not repressed at all.

          • We agree here–I don’t think MO or SP are repressed women at all. I’m not talking about them as women.

            From a PR point of view there’s a broad swath of women who aren’t being spoken to right now, who aren’t voting. That’s what I was trying to address– the disconnect there, or at least what seems a disconnect to me. I think that shows the cracks/limits to what both Michelle O and the Grizzlies are doing with their respective brands. They’re obviously shoring up their support from their base, so I’m not saying it’s completely ineffective either, but it’s not translating into electoral results for the broader female electorate, at least not right now. It seems they may actually be turning away women who feel invisible with all this momism but would probably respond to a Hillary type that would go beyond the pat symbolism of archetypes to speak to them about the nuts and bolts of policy solutions that will make a difference in their lives.

          • I think the restrictive or repression part comes from the fact that the “MamaGrizzly” paradigm only acknowledges the public power of women as it relates to a specific female role (and stereotype). Men can have a public life and public role which is completely independent of their other roles as husband, father, son, brother, etc. But women can’t.

            “MamaGrizzly” just reinforces that. It IS progress of a sort — at least it’s implies some sort of acceptable ferocity, which used to be completely verboten to women no matter the context, but it’s still implying ferocity in women, untethered to their roles as mothers (or, in some cases, wives) isn’t ok.

        • I guess I tend to separate my own ideology from my view of accomplishments or barrier-breaking.

          I despise Barack Obama, but I thought it was a good thing to elect a black president. I was glad to see Condi Rice in her role as SOS. I’m thrilled when an Indian, or a woman, or an African American, or whoever, breaks down political barriers, even if I dislike their message.

          And quite frankly, I see some people on the left try to diminish their accomplishment in ways that smack of the old “you are not really a woman, or a black person, or whatever, unless your politics agrees with ours”.

          The ones insisting on a “restrictive lockbox” in that case seems to me to be the professional feminist left, who I think are a bit disingenuous in intimating that these women are somehow not empowered, while at the same time freaking out that these women might be coming to POWER!! ZOMG!” Bit of a cognitive dissonance there, no?

          Call them wrong all day long. But calling them unempowered is kind of laughable.

          • Oh you’re preaching to the choir here! I had a falling out with a corner of the pumasphere who didn’t like when I expressed how moved I felt about Obama’s election at the symbolic level (and how could I dare to cry tears of joy seeing Malia and Sasha on stage on election night! What an Obot I must have been!) even though I remained unmoved and deeply skeptical at the policy level. That’s when I decided I had outgrown PUMA and just went and turned into a left-leaning indy. I think Obama, Palin, Nikki, Rice, Michelle, etc. are all barrier breakers and nobody can take that away from them. Again, I was speaking more to message/PR/media angle than to their womanhoods when discussing the boxing in. I actually feel more sympathetic toward Michelle and Sarah for it if anything, rather than feeling their womanhoods are diminished.

          • Yep. I cried when Obama was inaugurated, even knowing he’d be a disaster. Whatever you thought of the man, that was a moment that was important. You have to separate the two.

  4. Message from John Smart this morning (before I run out for my day-with-the-girls):

    Just remember (re election), no matter what they say (politicians, both sides), the TRUTH is this:

    The parties are cousins, identical cousins, the differences are surface, the DNA the same.

    Have a great day, everybody!

  5. Long time dems in WA are in toss-up races. Actually, pretty much all the WA races are super close.

    With our top-2 primary there are only two choices for each seat on the ballot.

    • I’m pondering my limited choices in those races. Right now I’m favoring the strategy in this 2nd paragraph excerpt of WTV’s post:

      …poll trends indicate women are likely to sit out this election in record numbers. If that turns out to be the case, it seems rather unclear to me just how clever this strategy is.

      -snip-

      My voting strategy is NOTA, and since we don’t have NOTA on the ballot, I am leaning toward sitting this one out. I think it is the most cost-effective way to send a message to the Democratic party here that they need to provide a more meaningful alternative to the GOP.

  6. It is a no-brainer. The DINO-mofos are scarier and the last 4 years of Dem. control of Congress is proof of that. What have the last 4 years of Dem control of Congress but a sheen of “liberal” on their conservative corporate agenda? heck, the sheen is so thick that despite all evidence to the contrary there are people yelling “You have to keep voting for the Dems! The Republicans are worse.” Someone please explain that to me — did they close gitmo while I was sleeping? Did they repeal the Patriot Act? Are warrantless wiretaps now illegal? Did they sneak a public option into the health care bill? The list, sadly, goes on and on.
    The only way to make the Dems actually start acting like Dems is to stop voting for them until they get the messsage. Actual liberals can take a lesson from from the far-Right — the far-Right stayed home in droves (or voted for Obama) because they refused to vote for the “moderate” McCain — and what, exactly, is happening in the GOP right now? Exactly. The GOP is embracing & courting the far-Right.
    Furthermore, a freshman Senator Angle is far, far, less powerful than Senate Majority Leader Reid – it is laughable to equate the two.
    Finally, the more women elected — regardless of party affiliation — the better. Yes, I know there are lots of women who support the 30% solution as long as it is Dem. women being elected — but that is not how it works. There needs to be more women elected period. Party affiliation doesn’t matter, for now. It is shameful that the Afghani parliment has more females in it than the US congress. The status quo has to be changed; then we can start to draw lines about party.

    • ITA 10000%

    • Hey Angie! I had to run out yesterday…

      I completely agree about the 30% solution! Women in leadership as a common sight will help liberal women in leadership gain in numbers.

      On a recent vacation, I saw a little girl wearing a “Future First Lady” t-shirt. I couldn’t help thinking WTF? It may be the reality today, but this girl was maybe 9 years old. I hate to think that in the 30-40 years for her to be a viable age to run that nothing would have changed.

      • What kind of parent sets the bar for their little girl as one day I’m going to marry the guy who runs this country? Future First Lady indeed.

        Yuck.

    • “Finally, the more women elected — regardless of party affiliation — the better.”
      Yup, agree too!

    • yay you! {{{{{hugs}}}}}}

    • Honk, honk!

  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/30/obama-primary-challenge_n_776443.html

    Obama Primary Challenge? Nearly Half Of Dems Want 2010 Fight
    ALAN FRAM | 10/30/10 12:12 PM |

    …half seems low to me

    • Much as I love Hillary, I don’t want a challenge. That would be electoral doom for the party. The AA community would be angry, and torn.

      I want some party poobahs to talk the jackwagon of ineffectiveness into bowing out.

    • Remember there are a whole bunch of former dems running around… they aren’t counted.

  8. Great post, Wonk!

    I have only one Dem (Ciro Rodriguez) here in TX I can vote for with good conscience. The rest are crap. The D running for DA is a convicted Ecstasy dealer, if you can imagine that. Fortunately, the R running against him is a woman, so I’ll punch her name with no qualms.

    Mostly I’m watching with fascination the various shifts in the electorate unfold. I don’t think anyone reporting on it really “gets” it, because it’s not ONE thing going on, it’s several interacting dynamics. It’s all flux.

    Oh, and Wonk? About this on Nikki Haley?

    she will make history as the first Indian American woman to become governor. I am getting emotional writing that.

    When Barrack Obama took the oath of office, I cried. Not because I admired the man, or thought he was going to be anything other than a disaster. But because of what it meant. I will never feel bad about that. Things like that should have meaning, whether we like or agree with the person breaking that barrier or not.

  9. Just read the “Crist Cross” story link WaPo. That is FREAKY.
    Crist offered Meeks a cross for him to remember to think about his offer? That’s so ..Godfatherish.
    Then he called him at 4am?

  10. Again I guess I’m a contrarian. The idea that we might creep ever so much more righter faster (Tea party candidates which aren’t all female by any stretch)scares me more than inching there slowly. Ideologically I’m not excited that there are candidates who openly are calling social security a ponzi scheme or insisting that being muslim means you’re an extremist. These views repulse me to my core and I am not happy that these people will make this language acceptable discourse.

    That being said, is it enough for me to vote for the guy inching me rightward as a D? Nope. The Democrats aren’t going to get my vote by being 2% less evil. I’m not going to save their bacon unless they actually do things to improve my life and those around me. I guess I’m petty that way.

    • That’s not petty, it’s sensible.

    • I’m not supporting the far-Right in any way, shape or form. However, I do think you are wrong that the Dems are inching us “more slowly toward the Right.” They aren’t — they are just giving us a “sheen of liberal” while they drive us fast toward the right. Freshman tea-partiers will not get us there any faster than the rate we are going now, and have been going for the last 4 years with Dems in control of both Houses.

      The only shot we have of getting Dems to stop their b.s. is to hit them were they hurt — stop voting for them and they just *might* get the message, as the GOP did when it continued to ignore the far-Right. Is it a sure-thing? No, because Dems have proven, imo, to care even less about the Left than the GOP cares about the Right, but it is the only chance we have.

      • Honk!Honk!
        The only disagreement – I am starting to doubt voting does anything.
        Now that the buying and the selling of politicians is so brazen, in the open, they don’t even pretend anymore to do what voters want them to.
        Me, I am voting solely for its nostalgia symbolism.

      • Our strategy is the same even if our thought process isn’t.

        I’m fed up with “good enough for government work” democrats who feel they can phone things in rather than stand for values.

        After 12 years of wearing a uniform I never thought where politicians could get me to the point of apathy but I’d like to congratulate them because they have. I could care less which side wins because neither side is representative of me. My values have been bartered away in exchange for civil discourse with people who might call them “baby killers” if they stood for choice or “terrorist sympathizers” for questioning whether or not active engagement is the best solution and use of our resources. My beliefs have been exchanged so that folks like Obama can be politically expedient and not be seen as some dirty unwashed mass member who believes that taxes are a necessity and that the government has a responsibility to regulate entities without a moral conscience whose sole imperitive is to derive profit. It’s groovy though because this way is “easier” and “more pragmatic.”

        Democrats haven’t gone so far as to suggest that Social Security is a ponzi scheme or insinuate that anyone of the muslim faith would collude with people who would attack our country. However, I have no faith or illusions whatsoever that they’ll do anything to defend the concept of Social Security or defend religious freedom. After all, if they did so the Republicans might attack them and call them mean names. And past history shows the Democrats just can’t have that.

        In short, no matter who wins- I lose. Well if that is the end result either way then I might as well stay home and wash my hair or bake some brownies and drink some coffee until someone gives me an alternative other than “lose.”

        I’m done enabling a broken process and the only thing I’ll be actively searching for is a real means to convince others that the process is broken and for alternatives that might crop up to fix it.

      • Yep. If you keep voting for ’em, they ain’t going to learn nut’in.

  11. Best tweet about Stewart rally

    DepressedDarth Darth Vader
    I bet Yusuf hates being called Cat Stevens as much as I hate being called Anakin.

    BTW, as Harry Shearer noted, what happened to his last name (Islam)

  12. Nancy Pelosi was thinking of retiring the last time she was up for reelection but stuck around because of Obama and because no one wanted the Republicans to be in power any more — no one wanted her seat to go Republican. If she is talking about retiring now, it isn’t because of any recent events.

  13. Just read from a comment on His44 that AIDS activists booed Obama like crazy today at his CT rally. I didn’t see it, but they said he got very tense, clenching his jaw, and was having a hard time.

    GO GAYS AND LESBIANS!!! Hold his ass accountable.

  14. I am surprised that no one has picked up on the NPR story about ALEC. It is a consortium of politicians and big business to write legislation that benefits big business of course. This group was the prime architect of the Arizona immigration Law that ended up being adopted virtually word for word as written by this group’s membership. The prime author of the bill is Correction Corporation of America. Arresting anyone who does not show proper immigration paperwork will be incarcerated in one of their prisons on the state tax payers dime. This will be a continuous money feed into the corporate coffers of low security ” inmates” which they only have to feed. The goal of the group is “smaller government” of course
    Those who call for smaller government are really saying corporate welfare by privatizing as much as possible ensuring profits into businesses at tax payers expense without any accountability to the tax payers. However any legal liability continues to be with the tax payers.
    http://www.kgun9.com/Global/story.asp?S=13414139

    Ohio just got rid of most of its contractors in the prison system because there was no accountability. We have two private prisons whose costs per inmate are just about equal to the state run prisons. Meanwhile their employees make less and have fewer benefits.

    So yes I still vote democratic since less of this happens with democrats. I do withhold money to the general fund and only give to individual candidates. I do not believe in sitting at home . BTW social security is a ponzi scheme by definition. However it is the most successful ponzi scheme ever by lifting many seniors out of poverty thereby creating the greatest good. Privatizing social security or even a portion of it, benefits the few who will devour the good for themselves at the expense of the many.. or in other words…theft by deception.

  15. I understand your angst, Wonk, but cannot relate to it.
    You are doing – on one hand… but on the other… kind of thing.

    For me, the issue is simple. The Dem party needs to be
    destroyed for what they did to Hillary in 2008 and for the all the deep-rooted corruption in the party. If there is still any hope left of the second FDR that we all dreamt about in 08, the Dem house needs to be burned down. There are no two ways about it.

    I am going to vote for a no-name rightwing Repub against a first-term Dem here in northern VA with a clear conscience.

    • Hi ecoast. You have to vote your conscience and what is best for your goals and strategies.

      For me and my goals, the DINOs have done enough to destroy themselves and the rightwing will take care of the rest, they don’t need my help. My goal this year isn’t about stopping the Ds or the Rs, it is about sending a message to the Ds that the Politics of No Place to Go is expired.

    • Uhm. So you want to destroy, in her name, the Democratic Party to which Hillary has given her time, effort and dedication for forty years, leaving her with no mechanism to support her run in 2012.

      Makes a lot of sense–from a far-right point of view. Not so much from a liberal stance.

  16. Gawker alumni Kid Pareene:

    An endorsement of civility and reason is basically an endorsement of Barack Obama. “Reason and civility” are practically the Democratic party’s platform. The rally was a call to keep fighting for the things that make educated young liberals support Democrats in the first place.

    I’ve never seen so much fail packed into three sentences.

    I still remember the “reason and civility” of the Obots. It’s hard to forget when they’re still doing it.

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